Saturday, June 1 2019
Today was Madaraka Day, a Kenyan holiday where they celebrate their independence. Usually, the children go to school on Saturdays, but because of the holiday, many of the younger children had the day off. Since we were almost done setting up enough of the new solar system to test it and since the children were home, we decided to work just a partial day. In the morning, Steven, Meghan, Josh, Ruth, and myself worked on the scaffolding to secure the three wires coming from the solar panels to the beams on the roof. Meanwhile, Chris and Dereck worked on making the final connections between the pump motor and its controller. The Land Development team, JJ and Professor Heisey also made significant progress this morning, digging a trench and running the main irrigation pipe under the road and out to the fields which they will be used in.
After a short break to rest our legs and drink some of Lydia’s Chai, we finalized some of the connections in the battery room and on the roof. We then performed some final safety checks before the big moment. It was time for us to flip the two large switches in the combiner boxes to complete the circuit and start the pump for the first time. We flipped the switches then went down to the bore hole to watch as water started to come out. About two minutes later, we saw the first water flowing. We were all very excited to see our hard work paying off. There was a crack in the line leading back to the tank, but that was easily fixed by some of Living Love’s staff. The smile on Elijah’s face when water first started flowing into their tanks was priceless. We ate a late lunch, then finished up some minor tasks before heading out to play soccer with the kids.
Soccer lasted about three hours, and the team was exhausted by the end. We also got to talk to Solomon about his dreams for the future of LLM, which was nice to hear about. We ate dinner with the children around 7pm, then Steven and I decided to stay an extra half-hour to try again to get last year’s system connected to the internet. Although this attempt was not successful, we will try again on Monday. As for now, we are looking forward to the church service and tour of Mumbi’s orphanage tomorrow.