Drilling delayed, life happens

May 15, 2013

In Africa, it is said that “water is life.” So you can imagine our excitement on this recent trip to Sierra Leone knowing our A1 objective was to get boreholes (water wells) drilled on our property. I’m lucky to live in a country where access to clean water is not something I have to think about. What seems to be important in my daily life is my schedule. What am I supposed to accomplish today? When? With whom? The drilling for the boreholes was supposed to begin on Tuesday. That did not happen. Neither did the drilling begin on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. It was very frustrating. We had a schedule to maintain!

What I realized during those days when the drilling was not happening was that life was swirling along all around me. The woman who walked eight miles to carry her sick child to us hoping we could help him; the small village we could reach only by foot, where we were greeted by friendly people and saw poor children running around without clothing; the impromptu soccer match that broke out; meeting an 80-year-old man on the road who spent about an hour telling us about the life he had lived in that area; and even the little girl who had never seen a white person who crossed my path in the jungle and screamed at the top of her lungs – each event leaving a trace on my soul and making me realize that, had I been fixated on the drilling machine, I would have missed all the experiences I had each of those days. As I reflect back, I now feel that while life was happening, we managed to get boreholes drilled and saw clear, clean water spewing forth out of the ground. Maybe there are more important things in life than schedules.