Easter Sunday

Sunday morning was cool and breezy, not what you might expect a few

minutes from the Equator. Just outside our rooms, a large heron danced

around the soccer field looking for rats and snakes in the grass, and

two black ibis worked the sidelines. Team members found breakfast at

the convent and lingered for two hours for a very productive

discussion of the water project planning. Erin Cummings is leading the

project and hopes to present a clear outline to BCDC members on

Tuesday. Jim Moyer's previous experience on three EWB student projects

in Tanzania is providing helpful insights into do's and don'ts at this

planning stage.

Easter Mass filled the school dining hall with many Notre Dame

students and a good portion of the Parish as well. A nice breeze blew

in through open doors and windows as swallows sang, darted, and dived

among the rafters and up and down the aisle. Father Godfrey welcomed

us warmly before the service and suprised us at the end by asking us

to speak in front of the congregation. He translated our basic

introductions and statements of the work we expected to do this week.

We felt honored to be received by the community in this way. Several

locals approached us afterwards with questions related to both


One man named Leopold explained to us what a blessing the Sisters of

Notre Dame have been for his Buseesa Community by providing a high

quality education for their children. He felt the Sisters showed the

villagers a lot of respect by allowing them to trade food, supplies,

and labor for their school fees. Leopold thought great potential

benefits could come as the villagers learned from both the biogas and

water projects that the school attracted. We parted and promised to

see each other at the upcoming BCDC meeting.

Matia was another familiar face from our previous trip. One of the key

BCDC employees, he also met with us outside the dining hall and

introduced his family to us. His youngest son is named Nicholas, after

the founder of BCDC. Matia invited us to all go to the nearby town of

Karaguzza to see another friend, Winnie, and to enjoy the town. Erin,

Connor, and Jim accepted, and were also able to scout for hardware,

complete errands, and learn about the water distribution system there.

Ed remained at the school and had a very productive meeting with

Sisters Anita and Judith to update them on the biogas project status

and the outlook towards eventual implementation.

Everyone re-convened for a private Easter dinner with the Sisters, and

a few rounds of cards and dominos afterwards. The bell rang at the

door at an unexpected hour and news came from a watchman that there

had been a vehicle fire down the road in Akasalava. It was a bus

carrying a football (soccer) team back from a match, and it was

engulfed in flame. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The smouldering

carriage was seen the next day in the middle of the road, smoke still

rising from the lumps that used to be the tires. The message the

locals passed up the road through the grapevine was a warning to turn

off your house lights to prevent the fire from spreading through the

electrical power system...?!