We drill our last borehole today!
We need dams and irrigation in Garbagal. The place is too dry, cannot sustain cattle and people even with the boreholes we're drilling. There's simply no grass. I have this picture of pools of water, streams and green pastures, cattle, sheep and goats resting, satisfied. People with all they need and more, to survive this desert environment. Can we provide this for Garbagal? We can, if we build earth dams with irrigation, and plant seed.
We've begun the building of the Garbagal primary school! The foundation has been dug, we're buying blocks, cement, gravel, and rebar today. We've engaged two masons who will do this work; Danjuma and Emman will come back to Garbagal once we've set the pumps and built troughs in Kachia, to confirm their work, hire carpenters and do the roof. The plan is to hire at least two more teachers when I get back here in August and start 'real school' in September.
We drill our last borehole today! We've drilled twelve so far; today's will be thirteen! Pretty awesome, eh?
Yesterday was fun, setting the cement pads and figuring out the best system of getting water to the cattle troughs. While Officer Saidu and I were watching the first cement work, a lone calf came wandering across the sand, bawling his head off, thirsty for the water we had. Of course we gave him to drink till he could take no more, and so he decided we were his new herd and stayed with us all day! The owner came and carried him home, but within the hour, he was back!
Two women walking through the shimmering heat also saw the new pump and came for water. It was thrilling to see them drink this fresh water and go away satisfied. What a blessing. Thank you, Brenda Mason Young for the gift of water in this terribly dry and thirsty land.
The third well we drilled, that was yesterday, was in the farthest, northern corner of the reserve. The people there are very different from the other reserve Fulani, like Saharan or Somali Fulani. They'd never, ever seen a white person before! One woman said, (translated,) "In my life I've never seen such a sight!"
Another asked if I was a man or a woman! Another asked my age and when I told her she said, "How can you be that old and still have teeth?" Totally cracked me up!
So, think dams, streams and green pastures for Garbagal.