Andres Iniesta’s World Cup Tribute

Andres Iniesta got one of the record 13 yellow cards in the World Cup Final Sunday . . . but this one was worth it. Why did he get a yellow card? For taking off his shirt after the extra time goal that put his Spain team ahead 1-0 over Netherlands. Why did he take his shirt off?

That’s the best tribute stories of the World Cup. Like most soccer players celebrating a goal, Iniesta ran to the corner after he scored, but he took off his blue Spain jersey as he ran, revealing a white t-shirt with these words hand-written on the front:

“Dani Jarque: siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque: you are always with us)

The words were a tribute to his fallen teammate Dani Jarque, who collapsed and died at age 26 one month after being named captain of Espanyol. Iniesta and Jarque were teammates on under-17, 19, 20, 21 teams.

“I wanted to carry Dani with me,” Iniesta said. “I had the opportunity to score that goal which was so important to my team. It’s something absolutely incredible. I simply made a small contribution to my team.”

A beautiful tribute for the beautiful game and World Cup 2010.

High Places: a novel set in 1920s Africa

High Places: a novel
How to order the book

Read Chapter 1

About High Places
If Tenwa could make it across the Nile River he might be saved, but he could never return to his home village.

The missionary told him burning his tribe’s religious shrine would please God. But now the tribal leaders–even his own father–want Tenwa dead. Following the missionaries brought this trouble–what good was saving his soul if it cost him his life?

As the Germans and British battle for the continent, British missionaries William and Jessica Bell struggle to survive in 1920s East Africa. Could the ones they came to redeem be their salvation?

Two cultures collide and embrace in this love story and coming of age struggle for life’s high places.

How to order the book

Water4Uganda Video

Can water wells be dug by hand? Yes, that have for centuries. Can a 6 inch diameter bore hole be drilled by hand and hit water? Until now, most people would say no, you need a drilling rig.

Enter Water4, Dick Greenley, Chris Cotner, and Steve Stewart. Two years ago, my friend Chris King introduced me to these guys and a new project called Water4, a not-for-profit based out of Pumps of Oklahoma in OKC, OK. I’ve been around water projects and lived in Uganda for seven years, but I’d never seen anything like these tools: hand augers, balers, rock breakers, and an innovative and powerful yet affordable pump.

As one Ugandan said, “This changes everything.” Will it happen fast? It could but that’s up to people joining hands, working hard, and giving countries around the world their own chance to dig their own wells.

Water4 provides tools, designs that are public domain, expertise, and people like you and me travel and take tools and help train local people and leave projects in their hands to develop as each country and churches and communities see fit.

Watch this video and write me if you want to know more.

Dropping pump into the well

Here my good friend Steven Katurebe joins us from Mbarara for last 2 days of well work to help case the well and here sink the pump that is attached to 1 1/2 inch pipe with 3/4 in pipe inside. The innovation of this pump and pipe system from is that the rod is also the pipe that delivers the water.

My son Jacob standing next to 15 foot pit in Uganda

What you’re going to see in this video is the power of working together. A group of Ugandans dug a 15 foot pit for a latrine but never used it. When we broke tools trying to break through lava rock, we decided after 2 days to explore using that pit.

We began 15 feet down and immediately progressed quickly to 25 feet, then 45 feet the next day. You’ll hear Roy Mwesigwa talking about what we’re going to do next, and that was typical of the way we worked for six days together, muddling through, sharing opinions, sometimes too many, and we had to just take one of our ideas and run with it.

You’ll also see a local woman scooping the wet sand/clay mix and she she said she wanted to smear it on her hut. You’ll see my son, Jacob, showing how his hands have chalky white soil on them from the composition of the soil we were extracting, and you’ll see 3 *real* men down in the hole working hard. One of these guys, James Okumu, was the oldest on the well drilling site.

Ida carries water

Ida (and Ruben, tied to her back) carries water

Our family ate and slept homes of Ugandans, and watching the way water is used and fetched particularly gave us more understanding of the importance of good clean water. We’ve all carried water for a little distance but we’re not as good at carrying on our heads!

Ida and Richard Bozonoona hosted us in their home for several meals and to sleep one night. We watched them get water from their catchment system, water from down the hill, across the street, bottled water. We have loaned Richard and his son, Rogers, some tools to start exploring for water on their property. They are digging with the auger to find how far they can reach before hitting rock or water.

We have really enjoyed being in the homes of our Ugandan friends and we also stayed with Bobby and Candice Garner, who have been here for two years working with The Kibo Group. Some donors from Garnett Church gave some money for children’s projects in addition to the water projects.

Some of this money for children has gone toward a literacy/library program at the Source of Life Cafe and Resource Center. This is a cool place where Ugandans and “Bazungu” (white people) come to do internet, drink great coffee and eat snacks. Computer courses are offered, and right now a BBS (Basoga Bible School) advanced course is being offered on Luke-Acts by Professor Ken Neller from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

Many cool things continue here in Uganda, and we’ve been very happy to catch up with friends, work on the water well project, and show our children the place where they were born and grew up. We’ve witnessed baptisms in Lake Victoria, seen natual wildlife, birds, and enjoyed one of the best climates in the world. We’ve also enjoyed foods we’ve enjoyed over the years, like chapatis, white sweet potatoes, fried cassava, and whole fried tilapia.

So much to tell but little time to sit down and write while we’re here. Love to you all. –The Taylor Family

Buwembe village

Our first visit to Buwembe village where we drilled the water well was three days, then we visited two more times for a total of six days working on the water well. Google map search “Busia, Uganda” and you might find where we are. I don’t know if Buwembe would be on Google maps.

Drilling a water well by hand is hard. We made a lot of mistakes. When I was cutting pipe for the screen at the bottom of the well casing, I dropped the pipe and cracked it. We broke pipe at a joint. Some of these are not really mistakes but just stuff that happens on drilling sites. The first time we pumped water, we realized we’d put a check valve on backwards. We had to pull all the pipe back out.

On the sixth day we sank the 4 inch casing, the 1.5 inch casing and .75 inch “rod” that carries the water. I can’t upload the video right now because I’m using Bobby Garner’s computer and it takes a couple hours to upload, so I’ll do that later. But I want you to see the looks on faces and happiness when the pump brought up the water.

The biggest thing is that we learned together. More than 50 people had their hands and hearts into this project. Children who carry water 1-2 kilometers were anxiously watching this closer well produce water.

Water well kit arrives in Uganda!

We asked many of you to pray for the water well kit we’re bringing to Uganda to arrive complete and without having to pay customs.

Jeff Deavenport and his son Jeffery helped load the 300 pounds of tools and meet us at the airport in Tulsa for our flight. I was nervous we’d have to pay lots of extra baggage, would have to pick up our bags in Amsterdam for our layover and recheck them, then have trouble with customs upon arriving in Uganda.

Our gate agent at Delta was friendly and helpful and we were only charged $400 for the total baggage. That may sound high to you, but understand we had 7 bags of nothing but well drilling tools in addition to our personal baggage. Some of the fees were also waived, and they said the bags would be checked straight through to Entebbe, Uganda, so we felt a big burden lifted immediately and the Deavenports left after seeing the bags onto the ticket counter conveyor belt.

We flew through Amsterdam with a layover then headed to Entebbe. When we arrived Entebbe, we found all of our baggage and the well kit complete! We were thankful to God for that and even more thankful when the customs agent did not question us at all but simply waved us through with her hand. Wow. Thank God for answering prayers of our friends who also want Ugandans to use these new tools for well drilling to get clean water for good health.

How to pack a well drilling kit is revolutionizing water well drilling by producing human-powered tools where no electricity or heavy equipment is available, to countries worldwide. We are taking a kit like the one being packed here to Uganda.

Thank you to Steve Stewart who has engineered these parts, to Pumps of Oklahoma and Thanks also to Jeff and Jeffery Deavenport for helping pack up the kit in seven duffle bags. Thanks to Chris Fields for providing the duffles and to the Garnett Church of Christ for donating money for this kit.

Drilling with these tools costs a fraction of cost of a drilling rig and gets the community involved in sustainable development, drilling for their own water. Clean water is the first building block of health. A third of the world does not have clean water. Well water is one of the best methods for getting naturally filtered water to communities.

Uganda Travel Log 2

Our hearts are ready to see our Ugandan friends. Many of you met Roy Mwesigwa when he was here in the states in March-April 2010. You can hear him speak at sermon page.

We’ve been preparing the water well drilling kit and getting lots of help from friends who are newly passionate about the problem of unclean water in the world, in places like Uganda. We are packing 6 duffles full of well bits, pumps, fittings, and pipes to drill water wells, and our plan is to introduce the kit to Ugandans who can form a team and drill wells in the Busoga region in SE Uganda.

Thank you for your prayers and support of this mission, and stay tuned for more Uganda Travel Logs.