Apparently there are at least two types of drills. We’ve had a cable tool drill in Cercadillo the last two days. Basically it goes up and down and sort of pounds out the well. This isn’t working. The workers gave up this afternoon when they couldn’t pass 50 feet.
We were informed today that we need to secure the services of a rotary drill that works in a circular motion, more like an electric screw driver. Thankfully, the government agency who is doing the actual drilling for us has a rotary drill and they are willing to send it out to us. However, it needs some repairs before it can be used. Possibly the rotary drill will be available in 15 days.
15 days? 15 days? After living here several years, I’ve come to understand that 15 days can easily be 50 days. I was wondering how the people gathered around the location of Well #1 would respond when I relayed the news. Since yesterday I had been hearing comments like, “This might be the last morning we have to walk a mile for water. Can you imagine it?”
Although disappointed, the majority responded with comments such as, “Fifteen days is not that long.” An elderly woman said, “I’ve carried water a long way all of my life. Honey, fifteen days won’t make a difference.”
I explained again that I wasn’t positive that it would happen in fifteen days, that it might take much longer. Again they assured me that they understood and that the hope of having water closer was enough for now.
We stopped at the other well sites to explain what had happened and why the drilling truck was leaving the village. At each of the other stops the villagers responded in a similar manner.
Interestingly, the most disappointed person in the crowd was me, the American. I grew up in a world where turning a faucet immediately produced water, where a switch immediately gave electricity and where life seemed almost as microwaveable as food. I learn so much from the people of Cercadillo. Perhaps they’re right, perhaps fifteen days won’t be that long.