To me, summer months mean that my weekends will begin to fill up with camping trips, picnics, and any other outing that will place me in nature surrounded by friends. Sadly, this equates to a lot of time on the road, and I will likely spend time waiting impatiently to pass sections of ongoing road work as construction crews fix roads damaged by winter frosts, summer rains, vehicles carrying heavy loads, and excessive traffic. Although I am impatient, I should not be as I have roads to travel.Â
Most of the communities where Blood:Water Mission supports work are not blessed by good roads and construction crews are rare. The roads are rough, some are not passable in the rainy season, and others do not have bridges to cross streams. In Ethiopia, there was no road, and the community used hand tools to build an additional 1.5 kilometers of road in order to transport a drill rig.Â
The day I went to visit the well that had been drilled, our car came to a place in the road that had been washed out the day before by heavy rains. The road was not marked with construction cones or signs, and there was no pile-up of vehicles waiting to pass. There was just us, and in front of us the community was already working to repair the road in the same way that they had built it – with their farm tools and their sweat. As we abandoned the vehicle to walk to the well, I realized that I was walking on a road literally built so that people could drink safe water. And they did so joyfully.Â
This summer when I pass construction crews on the road I will be reminded of these people who built their own road so that they could have water, and maybe, just maybe, I will not grow impatient as I wait.
~written for Blood:Water Mission’s June Newsletter