2015 PFIG Recipient Nicole Haselden
Journal Entry #1
Water. To one person an everyday convenience and to another a daily worry. Many individuals in the surrounding area of Los Chiles, Costa Rica do not have the luxury of clean drinking water or water to bathe in at their home and must travel varying distances, carrying the heavy load to bring the water home. The access to clean drinking water holds such gravity though. In the United States, showers are often taken without a second thought, a glass of water consumed without knowledge of how it was obtained, and time everyday is not spent considering how much time during the day must be taken to walk and carry back enough water for an entire family. Clean water in homes changes livelihoods. It is with the work of Agua Viva communities here are beginning to have more wells drilled and lives are changed as water spews forth from the ground in a well. Baths no longer have to be taken in a nearby river, sickness is reduced, livestock can be given drinking water, clothes can be washed at home, and in all, time is gained for other activities.
I am so grateful to be able to spend the next ten weeks as an intern with Agua Viva and be a part of the mission to build relationships, foster friendships in the community, and assist in providing access to potable water. The summer has already been successful in furthering my career goals as I seek to work in the public service sector as a civil and environmental engineer post graduation. I am learning not only what it means to serve, but how I can use my assets paired with the assets of others to further the goal of Agua Viva.
My work so far includes facilitating the teams that come into work with Agua Viva (typically between 10-15 individuals of varying ages), assisting in onsite construction and well drilling work, completing a land survey of a water system for a community, teaching English, and simply striving to gain as much knowledge as possible. In terms of service, the internship has already begun to teach me so much as to what it means to serve. Agua Viva is a seemingly unique operation which drills wells, establishes water systems, and completes construction work, but does so with the complete involvement of the community. The teams that come into to assist in the work of Agua Viva are not coming in to do for, but to work alongside the people. In order to help establish these relationships, I teach English classes on a daily basis, strive to get to know the people, and simply smile when my minimum knowledge of the Spanish language forsakes me.
Going forward, I hope to gain more hands on experience with the engineering operations, help discern if this is where I truly want my life to look similar to after graduation, improve my Spanish, and build lasting friendships.