Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13th – Bolenge Hospital and the Drilling is Serious Now

(Mark Nash) So the team less Mark, Carmen and Jacques headed off to Bolenge this morning to tour the hospital and make a few presentations.  The tour included walking the halls of the old hospital and then the new buildings. The team made two presentations at the hospital.  David Owen presented a plaque to be hung in the new hospital in memory the son of a husband/wife team of Disciples missionaries, who died as a child in the DRC. His brother, now a medical doctor in the United States, donated the money for one of the new buildings.  Additionally, David presented a small plaque to be affixed to the new digital X-ray machine when it arrives for the family of the donor.

Our team then presented a plaque to be hung in the hospital recognizing Don and Barbara Angle from Central Christian Church in Enid.  The Angles were missionaries in the DRC from 1958 until 1974. Their Sunday School Class donated enough money to Disciples4Water for several wells.  The class, without Don and Barbara’s knowledge asked us to bring this plaque and have it hung in the hospital at Bolenge.  Several years ago, after the old hospital burned, this same class donated $25,000 to assist in the rebuilding effort.

As we walked through the walls, we could all see miraculous things the medical team here in Bolenge has done with the resources they have to work with. We really take for granted what we have in the US from a healthcare perspective, but what the Congolese have done here make this hospital state of the art, and a model for other rural hospitals around the DRC.

One of the most memorable moments was when the team got to see a couple of newborn babies and their proud mothers. We met Stefan who was less then a week old and another baby girl that was only three days old. Such cuties!

While one group was visiting the hospital the drill team moved the rest of our equipment over from Mbandaka Three to the new drill site (Bokelimba), which is northeast of town in a small village of refugees, who moved in to the area after the last war looking for work.  The guys were hard at it already when Carmen, Jacques and I arrived at 7:15.

After breaking through the last of the latterite layer we found yesterday, we were drilling in clay mixed with rock and a bit of sand.  Not the same type of hard compressed clay we had at Mbandaka Three, so the going is much easier.

I took a few minutes off and went across the road to video the soil conditions in the well (dirty water) there.  I then was able to get a driver to take me up the road about a mile to a well we saw a week ago.  This well, dug by hand, was 12 to 15 feet deep and made for a great video of the layers of soil in the area.

Before I left this well site, I was introduced to the family that lives here and showed them the video I had taken inside their well. Just as I was getting ready to leave, one little bitty girl about 15 months old came tottering through the crowd.  She walked straight up to me and placed her head on my chest, looked up and smiled.  It was definitely a Kodak moment.

Back at the well site, our team called it a day at ten meters (33 feet).  Great progress on the official Day One at well site two.

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