It was quite a show. (Dad, you would have loved it.). We then went with a walk with all the dignitaries to see the neighborhoods that would be supplied by the well. The land was blessed, the Mayor loves us, the drillers started the work after a ribbon cutting ceremony, and all was well. We were told the well would be drilled in 3-6 weeks and the system to the 5 stations would be completed by the end of January. The next week the drilling was stopped. The Catholic church is the main church in the Congo. The Catholic church in the area called the branch president and demanded to know who gave us permission to drill the well. We referred them to the city water department, as our church is only funding the well. After 2 weeks of discussions and meetings between the Catholics and the city, work began again.
The following week some of the drill parts broke. For the past 20 days we have been told every day by the drilling contractor that “they have gone to the airport to pick up the parts” or “they have gone to Brazzaville (which is an hours flight) to get the parts.” So far we haven’t seen the parts to repair it. Ed checks with them every morning, but they are still "waiting for the parts". We shall see what next week brings. This promises to be an adventure. We can now see why the church insisted on someone monitoring the situation on a day to day basis."Patience, Elder and Sister Gates... Patience. T.I.A!" (This is Africa!)