Wednesday, October 5, 2011

8 Brits, 1 Yank and a Canuck...

One of the coolest things about living and working overseas is how many people you meet from all over the World.  Last week a team from our SP UK office came to see and participate in our WASH projects.  So I got the tea ready plenty of biscuits and prepared for the 10 hour road trip to Foya and beyond!  Now the Brits have a certain way of talking-and I am not talking about their unique accent-I am talking about the words they say that didn't make the trip across the ocean when the first 'red coats' touched down on US and Canadian soil...I am going to try an attempt to slip these little sayings and words in this blog entry to make it a little more culturally sensitive ;)

When we all arrived in Foya the whole lot of us were completely knackered (tired) from the long trip.  The next morning after getting out of our jam-jam's (p.j's) and with one last visit to the loo (toilet) we headed out towards the Guinea border-to Yengbemee, a community that we have been working in since early this year.  We had a shed load (lots) of tents, bags, food and supplies for the next 2 nights and days-but we all felt brilliant as we arrived. 

For the next two days the group built filters and latrines along side of our amazing WASH staff.  I was gobsmacked (amazed) at how hard they were working-the people of Yengbemee had never had white people sleep in their village-never mind also work!  The team took their bucket baths under the African sky as the nightly storms rolled in-slept in tents (some for the first time!) and had an all around cracking time.

It was great for our supporters to see and experience first hand the WASH solutions that SP are implementing here in Liberia.  I have talked a lot about the water and sanitation needs here in Liberia-and how many people suffer from water borne and sanitation spread diseases.  I was so chuffed (happy) to once again see what our staff are doing in partnership with the community to bring clean water and access to proper sanitation to the people of Liberia.  Here are some pictures of our time in Yengbemee it was the bees knees! (fantastic!)
Our welcome when we first arrived.

Ruth getting 'stuck in' to building her filter!

Mary making sure everything is 'spot on'

 Andrew and staff building BSF               Time to build latrines!!!

We helped build the first 4 layers then the owner builds the rest

Adam adding the 'country cement' aka mud...

Getting ready to de-mould

Jo and Mary turning their filter over to de-mould

SP WASH staff and the SPUK WASH team and their filters!

Everyone's filters turned out great (well, except joni's had a little nose crack!) and everyone loved the experience.  I hauled Joni's camera around and Jo built filters and latrines-it was a nice switch-but I am no way as good as Jo in taking pictures!  In Yengbemee we will have 64 filters and 16 latrines built by our WASH staff, the community members and 8 Brits, a Yank and a Canuck...

The SPUK team!

Having teams here is always a blessing and encouragement to our staff and our beneficiaries.  To have people take the time out of their work, travel on terrible roads for 10-11 hours, sleep in tents, eat rice everyday, bucket bath, get attacked by driver ants (in the shower!), get muddy, sweaty, and just be way out of their comfort zone-takes a special person.  They have huge hearts that were broken, touched, and overfilled during their 10 days here. These members also volunteer their time for SP during our shoebox season-spending countless hours speaking at schools and churches, collecting boxes, coordinating other volunteers and doing it every year!  Without people like this-we could not do what we do here in Liberia- so THANK YOU you were all brilliant (or as they say in Liverpool 'dead sound'!).

Thanks to the SPUK office for supporting us in our SP Projects here in Liberia-the SPUK office has allowed me to run again in the London marathon and you will be reading more about the projects you can support through my marathon running.

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