The single biggest problem in the Congo is lack of water. Most of the manual labor employed–mostly by women–is in the carrying of water for use in their homes. Those who have homes in the city and have plumbing still have problems with water–it is infrequent and often simply does not work.
One of my responsibilities is to care for the living conditions of the missionaries: their apartments, water, electricity, working toilets, etc. One of the new apartments we recently moved Elders into (a new area opening up) has no water! Well, it is supposed to have water, from the city, but it doesn’t work. But our agreement with the owner as part of the lease is that there had to be water on the site for the Elders…so he came up with an old, tried and true method of obtaining water: he is digging a well!
As you look at these pictures keep in mind that this was hand-dug! It is perfectly round and perfectly straight down!
This is the first sight I encountered, and could not figure out where all the dirt came from. The eventually used the dirt to cover holes in the dirt road on which the home sits.
Two of the men in charge of digging the hole
After two days they hit water. They have a couple of more days to go to get it deeper.
Here are some picks of an accident not far from the Mission Home. Looks like the car came through the wall, but it just hit the wall and turned over.
Taxis will carry anything and everything, as well as people
Charcoal for the city. Although they have electricity, in many areas it is so undependable that most people still use charcoal to cook with for every meal.
Typical small LDS Chapel in the Congo. Just one long building: the chapel at one end, then a long hall with classrooms on either side.
The typical window for the building–the only issue is that it lets in air, and dust. During the week, in-between Sunday meetings, the dry dust of the Congo filters into the building and covers everything! Floors, chairs, tables, etc. Each week the members must clean the building prior to Sunday meetings.
Look familiar? This is a typical message board in the Congo meetinghouses
With the lack of water available, each building has several of these for members to drink from.