Clean Water – Sragen

Yesterday, we went to the village of Gemantar in the Sragen district (about an hour and a half from Solo) to follow up a project that was proposed almost a year ago.  Gemantar had a well, but it was not deep enough, so the pump failed.  So now, during the dry season (April through September) the village has to buy 3-4 trucks of water every day, and the villagers have to bring their bottles to buy water.  During the wet season, they collect the rain water.  So what they would like is a new well and tanks, with piping laid to each home within the village.  We were there to collect more information so the project request can be submitted by the water specialist in Salt Lake.

Choki (translator and Project Monitor),  Darmadi (village chief) and Sutarno (our drilling contractor) – in the small clearing near the drill site.
Choki told us about the Javanese cultural belief where each village relies on special “ghosts” (spirits) to protect the village.  The stone in back is where the villagers leave “offerings” to please the ghosts.
A recent offering
Darmadi pointing to the actual well site.  It’s on property owned by the village so they don’t have to buy it or get the owners permission

We spend a couple hours gathering information needed by the specialist and asking questions.  It’s imperative that the village picks up the ball after the initial work is done, so the project can be self sustaining.  The village needs to monitor the project, maintain the site, repair the well and piping when it fails, etc.

Right next to the well site, there was a celebration of some kind – it was never quite clear if it was party for the birth of a baby, an engagement, someone got a new car, or something.  Whatever it was, there was music, food, etc.,  so we decided to crash the party!

The music was SO loud that we couldn’t carry on a conversation.


Everyone wanted to know who we were because there are NEVER bule’s in Gemantar. 
Singers – we weren’t sure if they were legitimate singing stars, radio personalities or what.  But it was fun having them wonder ‘who are these bule’s  and why are they here’?!   We doubted these girls were local because their dress and makeup is VERY atypical 
Of course, we can’t go to these kind of functions without everyone wanting their picture taken – especially the young ones with DeeAnn.
We think this girl had something to do officially with the party, because she brought us gift bags and thanked us profusely for coming.  She was trying her best to friend DeeAnn on FB! 
He was picking up sticks next to the party (???) and wanted his picture taken!
Damadi wanted us to come to his home, fairly close to the drill site.
Inside his house


It’s basically one big room 

We think we got everything we need to get the project requested.  Of course, there’s never a guarantee if projects will be accepted or approved, or changed, etc.  All we can do is submit what is needed and go from there.



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