March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015

Dear friends and partners,

Today is not a great day for me – today I am so very angry at our manager in Kompong Speu. I am angry because of his passion for the people he works with – I am angry because he broke the rules and installed 48 ponds without talking to us; without asking if the funds were there. I am angry because I saw the results of his work yesterday and in my heart I understand why he did this but angry that he would put Tabitha in a position that we are not able to pay for the work done by the contractor.

I am angry because yet again the passion of our staff for the people they work with, overrode their responsibility to us as an organization – putting pressure on me that I don’t want yet I love the results. His excuse for doing this was something I truly understood – the roads to his villages are at best passable – at their worst – bone jarring hours to cover but 20 kilometers.  The contractor would not bring his machine out on these horrible roads without ample reason to dig ponds – obviously doing 48 ponds was enough incentive. It is the dry season as well so the machine would not get stuck in muddy fields. All legitimate reasons.

The village has 420 families and over the past 5 years, 173 families had received water. The poverty in the community was and is palpable – houses made of grass, no food, no water, no sources of income. With water came changes too remarkable to ignore. Families began to raise chickens, which multiply with abandon – which are sold to buys pigs, and then chickens and pigs  are sold to buys cows – which multiply and are sold to become roto-tillers, motorbikes, new houses – simple basics like food and clothing – faces that were so downcast now shining with joy.

And then there were the have- nots watching those with water and their desire to change their lives became my manager’s burden. He is not so dumb – he made sure I saw the fruits borne by these ponds that he dug – I met the families, the men so proud of their labors – all had begun the process of chickens turning into pigs and turning into cows – all had fields prepared for mango trees and watermelons – men who are normally not home but away trying desperately to earn enough to feed their families; home because now their land, their labor will change  the lives of their families. http://tabitha.ca/test-news-events-post-1/My manger knew I would be overwhelmed with the looks of pure pride , men standing with dignity – so proud to show me what they are achieving.

I am angry because I haven’t done everything in my power to make sure that we could install 3000 sources of water this year – angry that in some way, I had led him into a very legitimate temptation to break the rules. I am angry that I cannot meet all the needs of the current 57,000 families in our program with water now – I am angry that poverty is a reality for so very many people.

In two weeks it is Easter – a celebration of new life. For myself it is a time to celebrate all life and I am so very thankful to my God that we have touched so very many because of all of you.  As I looked into the faces of the families we have helped and as I look into the face of my manager whose passion ruled his heart – my anger is slowly evolving into passion – the passion of Easter – the passion of a new life for all we work with. Only 3000 sources of water this year – wells and ponds – we must make it happen.

Happy Easter everyone,

Janne

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