A few years ago, friends of the family, Hank and Janice, asked me to find a water project to support. Later, two more friends of the family, Hugh and Gabrielle, offered to help also. A year ago, a friend in Thailand/Burma told me about a water project that she wanted to do. She had gotten a pump donated and needed money for drilling and supplies. It seemed like it was meant to be.
When we went on vacation last winter, we visited her and the site, which is a Buddhist convent in Burma. I saw the community and thought they were poor, but they could pay for a portion of the project. I told my friend that my friends in America could help support the project, but the community should raise money first. They finished raising what they thought they could and told us what they needed. It took a couple of weeks to get the money to them, and that is when a surprising thing happened: during the annual water festival, they raised a crap load more money. As it turned out, the thing they needed most wasn't money, but the confidence they could pay for it. Once they had that, they raised most of the money themselves.
This week all the work, except for the pipes to the community and a small concrete pad, were finished. The only major problem turned out to be the government (surprise!) started an effort to bring the local Mon State under tighter government control. This has lead to an uprising and temporarily thwarted our efforts to run the water into the community.
Thanks to my friend, who I wrote about before, and the friends of the family, the community will have a safe affordable water system for years to come. Here are a few pictures of the pipe for the well, the water storage tanks, and people from the community enjoying their water.