Field Note #177: Ice Cream and Clean Water

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Jhonny Anderson, Wine To Water's Colombia international program manager, recently did some site visits and met with a couple families who use our Sawyer filters in the Amazon. Below is a highlight of one of his interactions.


The sun was hot and the environment was quite humid. The team was working to repair the well that was giving us problems to move forward. Three volunteers from the team were doing an interview at the house in front of the well and, unexpectedly, it started to rain. The forecast of the day was sun and humendad. I grabbed some things that were getting wet and asked the house in front of the well to let me keep them there. 

They took me to where Flor, a 14-year-old girl was. She could not talk, eat by herself, or walk. They told me how difficult it was to take her to the city for medical studies when the river diminishes. The roads become swampy and impassable for what they have enough strength to do on their own. I called one of the volunteers to help me assemble a filter and we trained the family. We asked Flor's mother how the filter and the well in front of her house could help her. She showed a smile of joy and enthusiastically showed us a fridge. She pointed and said, "Now I can make ice cream with clean water and I can sell it better. I will have water all year round, in the rainy season and in the dry season. I will not have to walk at all to get water, the well is in front of my house."

I was very happy to see her enthusiasm and see how her livelihood could improve. Also, she would have more time to dedicate to Flor. The next day, I visited his family and we delivered a filter. The family was very happy. I thought we are doing a great job, but also that we are just beginning. Although we have traveled a long way, there is much that we still need to do.

-Jhonny Anderson, Colombia international program manager

Sydney Wolford