Planes, Parades and Plenty of Feasts

Flights do not come regularly to Kiriwa. There is a nice grass airstrip, but unless an SIL or MAF plane has another reason to be in the area, it is not cheap to have a plane stop by the village. One of the many blessings we had during this project was that an SIL plane was picking up a translator in a village nearby and was able to drop pipe supplies off for us in Kiriwa.

We are so happy to finally have enough pipe to case a couple of boreholes!

We had four pieces of pipe previously delivered. Along with the fourteen pieces on the recent SIL flight, we now have enough pipe for 3 wells. Eventually, the plan is for the drillers to put one community well in each of the Arammba villages, but the rest of the pipe will have to be picked up later from across the border.

A hand washing station made of bamboo!

Being flexible is a must when working in developing communities. One of my plans that didn’t work out was the goal to obtain material from across the border in Indonesia. I had written an order and sent funds with a group of guys who were going to the border to get supplies for a big ceremony. I had asked if they could exchange US currency and they said yes, so I sent cash with them. I had hoped to hear from them when they were at the markets, but days went by and the only news that got back to the village was that they had made it to the border. Five days later they returned with good news and bad news. The good news was that they still had my money. The bad news was that they couldn’t exchange it and couldn’t buy the pipe. The other bad news was they lost a piece I sent with them that was really important for making additional extension rods for the drill (something else I had hope they could accomplish). This hiccup is not that bad. I just have to be flexible. I had wanted to be around to see the quality of material and know the costs, but at the end of the day, it won’t hurt my current training schedule. I did have to rearrange which villages will get their wells cased while I am present. Even though we drilled a borehole in Meru already, I need to delay casing that well, so I can use our material for Setavi, Kiriwa and Keru. The men did see the pipe that we needed so I am sure they will be able to get it in the future, I just won’t be around to see it. Another change in the plans was that I had only four villages noted as the Arammba villages in need of wells (Kiriwa, Meru, Setavi and Gowi) however there are actually six primary villages (some that are a couple days walk away, but still part of the Arammba tribe) and another 5 or 6 settlements (a family or two that moves away from the main village and sets up a homestead nearby). That increased the amount of pipe needed, however I will be able to leave money (local currency) for pipe to be purchased for the primary villages. I agreed to supply pipe for the 6 primary villages and it will be up to the trained drillers to help the settlements. I will keep in touch and see how they are doing with funding. They have goals of applying for government grants and I am working to help them achieve those goals by writing reference letters and making certificates for each of the drillers. These guys are really driven – it is awesome!

After we cased the well in Kiriwa, we had to take a break from work because the village was full of visitors from all the other Arammba villages. People had been arriving for days to be part of a Bible School Graduation ceremony. It was huge! Parades, music, speeches, feasts, dramas, etc. It was supposed to happen a week ago, but they didn’t have supplies needed from Indonesia so it was postponed. It kept getting postponed and finally happened on Sunday. Except, it went so long that it went into Monday as well. I really had to be flexible because I was planning to be in Setavi on Monday to start drilling. Instead, I worked in a few lessons with the guys since we had to stay in Kiriwa. We also were able to add in a short graduation ceremony for the 33 drillers at the very end of the event on Monday. It was nice to be able to honor the guys and their hard work. Drilling still ahead, but we wanted them to graduate with so many people from the other villages present because the drillers were representing all the villages. The boys and men could graduate in front of some of their family members that came for the weekend celebration.

I had the chance to speak in front of everyone at the ceremony and I specifically talked about the greatest commandment as written in Matthew 22: 37-40

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

I continued on with the focus on loving their neighbor even if their neighbors was outside of the clan (their family bloodline) or outside of their village or even outside of their tribe. I want them to use this drill to help their “neighbors,” no matter how far that takes them. In this tribe, family (the clan) is extremely important, but there is little sharing when it comes to people outside your clan. I want those on the Drill Team that already have a relationship with God to be good examples of loving and providing for people outside those that they would normally care. Be an example of how Christ loved us. I am hopeful and optimistic that these guys will really help each other 🙂

So, in this culture, if you are not married, you are called a “boy” or a “girl” so when I was called up to speak, the MC said (multiple times) “here is our teenage from the United States” …welp, I’m the oldest “teenager” ever… 😏

So much is happening and I am not able to post it all at once so I’ll have to send another one soon! I’ll be sharing about our drilling in Setavi next 😁

A woman is dressed as her ancestors

Platform built for the ceremony

The Bible School graduates (they started classes 18 years ago but then the school stopped for many years and just started up again a couple years ago). This group had been waiting a long time!
People generally are barefoot or in flip flops. The men that crossed the border went to get shoes so the graduates would be more professional. I could absolutely relate to this man who slipped his shoes off mid-ceremony to give his feet a break from the confines of shoes 😏
This drama was about how their ancestors used to find water and the drama utilized some of the hygiene lessons I taught them in class

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