When she sat down, Angeline smoothed out her white skirt before leaning back, stretching her arms out wide across the back of the couch. The chatter of the other women seemed to wash over as she sat back, listening intently and nodding along to their conversations.
Her presence was steady, grounding amongst the high energy of the other women.
I turned to face her, focusing my attention away from the distracting Native American pattern on her sweater. She smiled softly and motioned for me to begin.
Angeline Anyango Onango was born in 1955. She had a husband, but he died in 2007. The rest of her children are grown and out of the house, but she was left with the three orphans they had taken in several years before, Samuel, Victor and Brian. For income, she works ‘small contracts’ like fetching firewood or reading documents.
But truly she is happiest at home, she told me with a smile. She leaned forward, planting her elbows on her knees as she gestured with her hands. She prefers to stay at home where she can keep her garden and grow food for her family.
I startled as a cat leapt over my shoulder and onto the floor. Angeline threw her head back and laughed, swiftly joined by the other women in the room.
I glanced behind me and saw an open window. Shaking my head, I smiled and turned back to Angeline, shifting the conversation to water.
Living a dozen or so meters from Pamela, the new water kiosk will be very close to Angeline, something she is excited about. One of her primary difficulties in growing enough produce is a lack of water. If she wants to grow any food during the dry season, she must fetch water for the plants by hand every day.
I smiled and told her that I hoped that with clean water so close to her home, she will be able to spend more time in her garden and with the children.
She paused, looking at me intently. “No,” she said. “That is not what makes me happiest about this water.”
With this kiosk, the clean water will be in her community from a borehole that will not dry up, and Angeline couldn’t be more excited.
This water will be there for her children, and their children.
“Think of forever,” she said.
We have come so far with the kiosk. The extension of the tower is almost done, the largest expense and undertaking of this project. We have only come this far thanks to the amazing people who have donated to this project. We could not have gotten this far without you.
This World Water Day, we are raising money in honor of the amazing women who are working so hard to bring water to their community. We are raising money for Pamela and Angeline. Please, share their stories and donate!