By Steven Stilianos
I woke up to see one of the most amazing sights ever, running water in Ngognani. This had been my ultimate goal since I visited the village last year. Mr. Alter, my parents, and I came to Senegal more than a week before the rest of the group to install a solar powered water pump that fills a tank and released running water. This was a rather ambitious project, often times I thought about quitting, but I stuck with it and the sights that I saw will truly stick with me forever. I saw children crowded around the water tower staring in awe as the water rushed out of the tank. Women from all over the village came with multicolored buckets on their head to bring the water back to their compounds. Kieta, a well respected man in the village, began to water a tree near his house so that it will provide shade. He said that would have never been possible before this project. This really hit me hard because my project allowed for the villagers to do things that were not possible before. It was amazing to see how fast the buckets could be filled now compared to how they filled them by hand before. The people seemed so happy to have this change positively impact their village. This truly gave me the best feeling ever that I was able to make a significant change in these people’s lives. This was my motivation behind doing this ambitious project. I was able to make a change that these people will never forget. This has made a lasting impact on me and is something that I will be proud of for the rest of my life.