Hello Sun and Moon Classes from Chadwick School!
Thank you so much for reading my blog and following my trip! It means so much to me. Some of my friends in Niger wanted to say hello to you too! :)
And here are my answers to your questions. Please keep asking them!
1) What size is the well?
The well is usually big enough for about 200 to 300 people to use. The actual size of the well space is about 10 feet by 10 feet. The hole where the water comes out from the ground is the size of a fire hose nose. When I get back home, I would be happy to come show you some closer up images of the well. I am unable to upload those now because of the spotty internet connection (slower internet connection).
2) Why did you go?
I went to Niger because I have been raising money for 6 years with Wells Bring Hope to build clean water wells. I wanted to visit the wells that kids (like you!!) helped raise money to drill.
3) Did you have to get shots?
I had to get lots and lots of shots to come here. I can't say getting shots was very fun, but my doctor had a teddy bear for me to hold, so it was way less scary. I had to get an adult polio shot, a yellow fever shot, a flu shot, a meningitis shot, take typhoid pills before I left, and take malaria pills before, during, and after my trip. That's a lot of shots and pills!
4) Why did you go by yourself?
Because I wanted to be in school for as long as possible before I left, I couldn't travel with most of the team who left a day earlier than me. I had to navigate the airports of New York, Boston, Paris, and Istanbul all by myself! I recently turned 18, but navigating through really big airports made me feel like a real grownup!
5) Were you there just to give a speech? What kind of speech did you give?
I am on this trip as a photographer, videographer, speech giver, donor, and representative of Chadwick School. In other words, I am in Niger to yes, do a well dedication for Chadwick School and give a speech but also to document the stories of women and children in many villages all across the country.
6) Did you share about Chadwick?
Yes I did! I got to tell the village of Makalondi about the incredible kids from Chadwick who wanted to make sure that the kids in Niger get to go to school. Many girls in Niger do not get to go to school because they have to walk miles and miles to get water. The water that they walk to find is often unsafe to drink and bath in. When a village is given a well, the people now have safe, healthy water close by. This means that now girls are in school instead of walking for water. The girls that said hi to your classes in the videos above are from the village of Simiri.
7) How did you get sick?
I got sick two days before I left for Niger. I got a bad cold and cough but luckily no fever or flu. When I arrived in Niger, the airport staff took my temperature to make sure I wasn't sick going into Niger. This is to prevent diseases from spreading, so I am really happy that I wasn't sick enough to be turned away. Being sick has been very difficult for me thus far because while the dry heat makes my cold less severe, the dust in the desert makes my lungs hurt. I'm okay though. :)
8) Were they nice?
The kids, the villagers, the soldiers, the World Vision staff-- everyone is so so nice! They are also so appreciative of kids like you who care about what's happening in different parts of the world and who want to make a difference in the lives of other kids.
Second Round of Questions:
1) How are the people of the village enjoying the well?
The people are overjoyed with the well. One woman said to me that water is not only life for her family and village, but water is health, water is hope, water is a chance to educate her children and give them a better life. I got to see firsthand how fresh water changes lives. The people of Makalondi are grateful, happy, and so excited for their new future!
2) How are they using the water?
They use the water for cooking, for drinking, for watering plants in a garden, for cleaning their homes, for cleaning school houses, and for cleaning personal chalkboard tablets. The people use the water to bathe themselves and their children. The use the water to stay clean and healthy!
3) Are they happy that they have the well?
They are SO happy. :)
4) Are the kids playing in the water?
No, they kids aren't playing in the water. Water is a really precious resource, and they don't want to waste any water on things that aren't absolutely necessary. Instead of playing in the water, the kids might make some toys out of house scraps, or a really lucky kid might have a soccer ball to play with.
5) Is it still a long walk to get the water/well?
Nope. :) Now it takes villagers 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes to get to the well. The water is close by and safe to drink. Woohoo!
Thanks for writing me, Sun and Moon Classes! 1st grade rocks!! :)