Here we are again!
After our arrival a couple of days ago, we were focused on getting settled. The first remark: there is no wifi. This blog will be written on a hotspot from our smartphones on a veeery slow laptop. We thank you in advance for your understanding ;).
Our jeep arrived at Mama Lufuma, after which we were given a warm welcome by the mothers and their children. They rehearsed a couple of songs, among ‘Soyez les bienvenues’. A wonderful experience and meet and greet. We were given a tour of the building and immediately started comparing our ideas to reality. It’s quite hard to imagine distances and sizes of things from bad pictures. We were excited to start!
The impressions of the first week in a nutshell: no shower or hot water, food out of tin cans with only one stove and pot, incredibly adorable children. Concerning the work, Hyppo aranged our personal local engineer Souleyman. He guides us and makes sure the communication with the locals is okay. He’s very enthousiastic and a reliable partner. Before we could actually start working, we had to ask ‘permission’ to the mayor of Matadi. A quite remarkable experience, a close up of Congolese politics. Once this was settled, Souleyman provided us a cost calculation and started to work immediately. Some strong workers are cutting through the stones of the source as we speak.
Besides our main goals of water and electricity, there seem to be multiple small tasks to be completed. Leaking tubes, a swing for the kids, tiling a floor for future visitors and some others. Very nice if you can finish one off, but the dependency on local transport to and from the shop with regards to our safety makes it difficult. Nevertheless, we are making some useful contacts for the future.
Currently we are working on understanding the current electricity network, pun intended. A demanding task, given that 5 different electiricians have worked on this with no coordination whatsoever. A giant soup of cables, unreachable contacts and way too many switches for the 4 lamps in the buildings. Julian and Elisabeth are frowning a lot of the time… Lars and Adriaan are mainly measuring the required tube length for the pump system.
You may not know it, and we most certainly did not expect this, but we are ahead of schedule. Let’s keep up this good work!
Lots of greetings from Team Lufuma/Humasol!!!