Meeting people’s need for clean water changes sisters’ lives, too
Or maybe it came when the enormity of the project became clear: Crews from the little village of Mejote had been working on this pipeline to bring fresh water to their village for two years, and had about another year to go "We weren’t there to do the physical work as much as we were to witness what they were doing," Roche said.
The "we" in this case was a group of about two dozen volunteers brought to Honduras by the Sister Water Project of the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa.
But project committee member Sr. Judy Sinnwell said the venture has been as much about changing those involved as it is about changing the lives of those given fresh water.
Franciscan Sr. Donalda Kehoe — then 91 — attended a bowling fundraiser last year for the trip and had so much fun she now bowls once a month to stay in shape.
He had read about the project in the local newspaper and heard about it several times at various community events, so when the project committee — made up of sisters, associates and volunteers — needed help with strategic planning, he volunteered.
"I feel like I need to go there when it’s done and drink that water," Roche said.
"And we chose two countries where we either had or still have sisters, Tanzania and Honduras."
But it also changed everyone on the team.
"It was just going to be this one time," Sinnwell said.
Project committee members have been to Tanzania to see the work, Goedken said, but work teams are not needed.