Friday, March 18, 2011

running water...

This past month has been busy, amazing and tiring all at once.  Busy-well, because life here just is!  Amazing-I have had some amazing experiences seeing and hearing about our projects. And tiring, lots of travel up country, up early, and of course training-I am up to about 50-55 miles a week (I usually run 5-6 days a week).  Let's focus on the AMAZING though-and I have a great water story from this last month, from the village of Faifaidu (Fa-fa-doo).

Faifaidu is located approximately 1 hour north-east of our SP base in Foya.  Taya and her WASH team have worked in this area for the past couple of years -installing BioSand filters, building latrines and conducting health and hygiene education.  Finda Siah lives in Faifaido with her family-little Tomba (see previous blog "EPIC" to see his picture) is her son.  I mentioned in that blog entry of the sickness that Finda and her family experienced before getting a BSF.  Here are some pictures of her BSF! (all pictures were taken by awesome professional photographer Joni Byker :)
Finda has had her filter for just over a year.

Pouring dirty water from a nearby open well into the filter.

Clean water coming out of the filter! (via the filtration process:)

Bev (me!) explaining some of the maintenance procedures.

I have worked with the BSF technology for all of my 12 years at SP.  In a place like Liberia where there is a lot of water and people don't have to walk very far to find water, the BSF is an appropriate, simple technology that can really change lives.  The thing I love about the BSF is that it is a household water treatment technology - meaning the household, as in Finda, owns it-she is responsible for it-when Taya or her staff or even me come to install a BSF we get to sit with Finda, one-on-one, and form a relationship that goes beyond just the clean water.  We get to know about her family, her experiences during the war, how she earns a living, play with her kids and just get to know her as a Liberian woman-I love that!!! I learn so much about Liberia and Liberian women just in the time it takes to install a filter or a filter follow-up session.  Although I don't get out as much as Taya and her staff do-I am pretty sure it's their favorite part too.  (Right Tay-tay?)

The other thing I love about the filter is that it as long as people like Finda, maintain it and use it-the filter will keep providing clean water for them for a very long time.  It just sits there doing it's thing over and over again-gotta love a steady-eddie water filter!

Training-well, not sure if I am steady-eddie...but I do feel like I am doing the same thing over and over again!  They (the running experts, not me...) say that the last month of your marathon training is the most important-it's when you do your long runs and the miles pile up more and more.  Your body becomes this running machine as it prepares for the epic 26.2 miles (Which is ONE month away agh!). This past week I hit the track for a speed work out and stadium stairs...ugh.  Joni came and did some video coverage-which may makes it way to this blog in the near future (not sure I like how I look when I run!)-but man, those stairs were not easy!  Later that same day I peeled off 3.5 miles as a "stay loose' run-Matt Swenson (our Deputy Country Director) joined me for a lap which helped as always.  This weekend is much of the same-8 miles tomorrow and another attempt at 16miles on Sunday.  I wish I was like a BSF- it just keeps going and going-it never gets tired or wants to quit!

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