Our trip to Kananga: Part VII: the last voyage

One never knows where the trail will take you. One day while reviewing the water situation at one of the apartments, I discovered that they had NO water. The only water they received came from one of two sources: off the roof and into a rain barrel, or purchased from a woman, who brought their drinking water in a bucket on her head, and filled another barrel on their porch. When I asked the missionaries where the water source was, they didn’t know! I found that odd, and, being curious, I wanted to find out where their water came from. Well, it just so happened that the women came through the gate, with water on her head, at that very moment! I grabbed the nearest elder and said, “Let’s go!”

trip to find water (1)

After walking down the street about a block, we turned onto a side trail that led through several yards and past several houses. I assumed that there was a local well, or water tap somewhere near…

trip to find water (2) Suddenly the scene changed: the trail dropped off and down into a little valley. Well, how far could this possibly be, after all?

trip to find water (3)

It became steeper, and was slippery due to rain the night before.

trip to find water (4)

trip to find water (5)

Just as I thought we were leveling out…

It turned and started heading down again…

Notice how the elder is patiently waiting for me? I think it was his way of asking if I really wanted to do this or not!

trip to find water (6)

Now it got really steep, and they had actually cut steps into the side of the hill for footing…

trip to find water (7)Notice how far below us the women are?

trip to find water (8)And the trail continued down, snaking back and forth down the hillside to… well there was no end in sight!

trip to find water (9)Sometimes I wondered if I would ever make it back up again…

trip to find water (10)More steps cut into the side of the mountain…yes, I have now decided to call it a mountain…

trip to find water (11)Was it possible that there was light at the end of this trail?

trip to find water (12)Finally, the trail bottomed out into a shallow valley at the bottom…

trip to find water (13)Just a short ways further was a small concrete cistern that had two pipes coming out of it with water for those willing to make the climb. I could not determine where the water came from, whether it was a spring, or simply water coming down the valley and collected here.

trip to find water (14)A short way further on was another concrete cistern, and another pipe with water coming out.

trip to find water (15)

trip to find water (16)

Now we had to make the long arduous trek back up the hill. The women carrying water simply laughed at me… I was huffing and puffing, while they, with 40-50 lbs of water on their heads, simply walked past me…

trip to find water (17)

I don’t think I will ever take clean water for granted ever again!

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