Saturday Solutions

Thanks again to those who sent messages of prayer and care. Anne and I were both feeling improved. Anne was still complaining of her head and eyes hurting. I got by without much pain medication at all, thankfully.

Before chores, I went out and fenced off the area around the well. Lucrecia helped me. It’s nothing but a few strands of wire, but it should keep the cows out. We filled tubs with water from the well for the cows, but they didn’t want to drink it. Apparently, it doesn’t taste good. Or maybe they were mourning the drowning of their compatriot.

After breakfast, Alex came to help me dig up the pipe. He’s a contact Oscar found to help me. I paid him $7.50 for the day. His wife, two small children, and two lambs came along for company. They live over in Conchacalla.

We dug and found the cutoff valve Lamar had put on our side of the supply line. Behold, it was also closed off. Alex’s wife went to talk to the neighbor women. She came back with helpful information.

They told her that there was a broken pipe in the field last week (I still don’t know if they broke it or not), and they told the water committee president who said the water must be cut off to our house until the pipe is repaired.

So they cut off the water about a week ago. We ran out several days later when the tank was finally empty, and we’ve been without water since. That’s good to know.

Alex asked me a lot of questions about the situation. He said it was all wrong. His wife said it was discrimination. They both said it was illegal to cut our water without warning and illegal to keep water from children.

Thus, we began digging. The cuts I made yesterday were helpful in showing us the problem was closer to the neighbor’s barn. With a lot of digging, we finally found the leak. Alex said it was clear that a stake had been driven into the edge of it.

At that point, he told me that his brother-in-law is a member of the water committee. He said he’s going to explain to them what he found. He thinks it was intentional, but it could have been accidental. Though, I don’t know why they’d stake an animal in the ditch where they know the water pipe is.

Anyhoo, he says he doesn’t think the committee will bother us after this. I sincerely hope that will be the case. We shall see.

I found another place above the neighbor’s barn where the pipe crossed a ditch and was exposed to the air. There were three visible repairs to it, and it was leaking profusely. I told Alex we would fix that. He was surprised because it’s the neighbor’s pipe, not mine.

I told him we might as well since we were there with the stuff, so we did. He reminded me one more time that this was the neighbor’s problem, and that they had cut off our water. As if I could forget! I told him it was okay, and we wanted to be kind.

A check proved the water was flowing as it should. Steph began immediately collecting more water and cleaning stuff down at the house. Alex and I covered up all the places we’d dug out.

While we worked, his wife struggled with her three-year-old daughter who was not at all obedient. She tried bribing her with playing with her dad’s phone, but the child kept causing mischief.

The lady said at one point that she was never having more children! “They are nothing but headaches that make me want to shoot myself in the head if I only had a gun,” she said.

I told her God gives us children to be a blessing to us, but that we have to work hard every day to teach them His way. I told her our children were a lot of work, but we were blessed with all of them.

“Maybe your children! But not mine!” was her response.

By the time we were finished, it was time for lunch. We offered for them to eat with us. I talked with Alex some more about his work; he doesn’t have regular work. I asked him if he could do some projects for me, and he said he’d back the following week. Before he left, he gave me his number and asked me to call him.

So, we may have made another set of friends. They are only twenty-five and in that tough phase of life with very small children. And they are trying to do it without God. Perhaps we will be able to help them in some way.

Praise God that we have water again! Your prayers and ours were answered.

Fence around the well
Shawn took this picture while we were digging.
One of the leaks
Alex. We were letting air out of the line.