Thursday, June 23, 2011


So, the UNICEF well that was outside my Health Center, which I'm pretty sure is less than a decade old, broke. It was a nice handpump well, meaning that it broke your back everytime you wanted any water.Now, a health center with no water is sort of a problem. Things are not very clean when you have no water. So today I show up at work and the whole pump part of the structure has been removed. Instead, they built one of those bucket/pulley systems out of a few logs. It looked like it came out of a movie. I actually haven't seen that in Cambodia yet. But, the actual well wasn't built yet. Instead they brought in about 6 giant meter high concrete rings that would presumably be put under ground for the well. Except, they had 4 extra rings and the well was already well above ground. Plus, there's a large broken PCV pipe in the middle of it that used to be attached to the pump. I looked into the well this morning and there was a practically naked guy standing in about a meter deep and handing buckets of dirt to a guy above him. I didn't realize this was how people dug wells...I don't think it's how people are supposed to dig wells. They hit water pretty soon, mostly cause its the middle of rainy season and water is everywhere. I'm pretty sure that in a few months this well is gonna dry up. Really, all they needed to do was fix the pump since UNICEF had built a deep well that regularly got water during dry season.

My town has a chronic water problem since none of our wells are dry season wells. Most people, including me, get all their bathing and cooking water from the pond. I drink filtered rain water, but other people drink straight from the pond. For some reason people keep building shallow wells when it clearly doesn't work and sometimes they build deep wells but during rainy season so they have no idea if they'll get water during dry season. Usually they don't. Plus, just building deep wells could lead to arsenic poisoning which is typically a problem nearer rivers. So much time and money could be saved if they just hired an expert one time to do an assessment. Just once, get someone that actually knows what they're doing to do the job they've been trained to do.

On a lighter note, crabs keep their crab babies near their gills. I found that out today.Though I'm not entirely convinced they were crab babies and not just crab parasites.Also, crabs come in purple!
I live with this really cute 3 year old and she's really getting good at talking.I think living with kids has really made me interested in Child Development. I only studied it a bit in college. Compared to how long behavior change and knowledge learning takes in adults, children are geniuses. Every one of them is a genius. I've compared coming to Cambodia to being a kid again, but everytime I see a baby trying to figure out the world I am just amazed. They have to figure out our spoken language, our physical gestures, our arbitrary societal
rules, and they do it with such speed and cuteness. I think I would go into pediatrics just for the chance to see this in action all the time, though maybe pediatric neurology. I just hate saying that because it seems so elite and specialist and I know general practice is where the need is. I'm sure a small population of well-off Americans desperately need pediatric neurologists and those that are not well-off probably have
bigger concerns like malnutrition, which may eventually lead to a need for a neurologist they will never be able to afford.

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