February 6th, 2017 by Hannah Perl
Waking up for 7:30 AM breakfast was tough after our late night last night! But breakfast was worth it! Fried eggs, spaghetti, bread, peanut butter and jelly, and fruit set us up for our long first day conducting fieldwork. A lot of us tried the jackfruit for the first time- it was super sweet, kind of like pineapple! We started the day at a meeting with the assistant commandant of the refugee settlement to be briefed and then went out to collect our samples at a nearby borehole. We conducted interviews with refugees and collected some water quality data. It was so interesting to see the process every household must go through to get water to use and drink. It made us all realize how much we take for granted at home. After the refugee settlement we went back to the Max Hotel for a large lunch! After lunch we visited a groundwater treatment and distribution area to learn about what changes could be made at the distribution level to get water to more people. We took water samples there as well. Our final stop of the day was to a water tower within a community. We took samples from the communal tap where jerry cans, the container water is transported in from the borehole to the homes, are filled as well as visited homes to get samples from within their own personal taps. Some more interviews were conducted then. After our dinner we started our first evening of lab work to test for contaminants and double-check our field data. No one was used to the intense heat so even with a really exciting day, we were all worn out! Ready for sleep and another great day tomorrow!!