August 27, 2004
Heather at Domasi
Hello Pittsburgh! This is Heather. This past week we went up to Domasi Mission and helped some fellow Pittsburghers build a farm! It was quite interesting. Here are a few highlights from my point of view. When we got there on Tuesday, we walked down to the farm to see what was going on before lunch time. When we got there we saw an 18 wheeler stuck down at the bottom of the farm. Kate, an 18 year old from Sewickley Presbyterian Church, who is in charge of this farm project told us that the truck had been stuck for about 3 and a half hours. About another hour later the truck finally got out. So you would think that that would be enough for one day …it wasn’t …in the afternoon another truck that was hired for the whole day almost intentionally got stuck in a ditch and just sat there until the school driver, Blessings, came and got him out. Let’s just say it was an interesting first day at the farm.
The next day was a normal day and we were stationed to watch the certain projects at the farm. I was in charge of watching the water canal, which meant making sure that the mounds were tall enough. I guess you could call me the quality control person. The Malawians working on the canal were such nice, warm hearted people, and they also helped us learn a little Chichewa!
Thursday we rented a truck from World Vision to go pick up over 5,000 bricks. I drove with the truck to get the bricks. I was in charge of paying for the bricks and making sure that they all were loaded onto the truck properly. On our first run we picked up some school kids and drove them down the mountain, and I saw three monkeys! It made my day!!! When we got to the home where they made and sold bricks, there were a good 37 kids just standing around ranging from I would say, a few months to twenty or so. The boys loaded the bricks and then came with us and unloaded them. We made 5 trips to get bricks that day.
Then Friday afternoon Kate, Collin, (a 17 year old from Sewickley Presbyterian Church, who is the other person in charge of running the farm), and I wanted to hike up to the source of the “Living Waters”Project for the Domasi Mission. So we hiked first up to the reservoir where the water is stored, that was about ½ a mile. Then we hiked up to where another Pittsburgh person, Chuck Cahall, was working. He was helping install a tank to catch debris that comes through the pipe so that is does not get clogged up. We had to cross the river. That was interesting …it was really slippery and Chuck and Collin got over with no problems and made it look easy. Then Kate went and almost slipped with her camera on, I was right behind her so we both just got in the shallow water and walked across. There were all kinds of kids there swimming, and their mothers were doing wash and catching crabs, the little kids also were skipping stones, which Chuck taught them to do!
Then from there one of the workers took the three of us to the source. It was along the pipe line. There were places where we hiked right near the edge, and then there were places we were climbing straight up a rock. It was interesting. When we got to the top it was really pretty …the view and the source. You see the pipe coming out of the dam and a cage to catch sticks and other things so that it does not clog up the pipe. On the way down we took a different route and passed through a village and there were about 15 kids there and all of them followed us for a good ½ mile saying, “Azungu, azungu”- that means, “white person.”They were just amazed by us. We took some pictures and they LOVED it. Then there was another little boy further down who asked us for money and we didn’t have any but we did give him our empty water bottles and you have never seen anybody more excited over water bottles.
All in all, Domasi was a good time, we worked hard, and we will help a lot of people for years to come.