We have asked Practicum student Becky Forrest to let us publicly post the recaps e-mails to friends and family. Becky is an American and has just begun full-time missions after 29 years as an accountant. Through her posts, we hope you will understand a little more about what the Practicum is and what students are learning. Below is her most recent e-mail. Thanks for sharing with us, Becky!

I can’t believe we only have three more weeks of training. The students all miss home, but we have become one big happy family. We share our problems and unite in prayer together. My friend Raphael from Nigeria received a call from him wife last night to tell him that her sisters were in an auto accident yesterday. One sister died, and the other is in serious condition. He was greatly troubled because he cannot be there for his wife, so we all prayed with him for her and her family. It is very hard for our international students being so far from home. The American students will be experiencing much the same when we travel to our various mission fields.

This week we have continued in water and sanitation. Monday, we built a sand filter for cleaning and sanitizing water with sand. It is a very simple design perfect for people to use in their homes to have safe drinking water, which is one of the biggest problems in the developing countries. Living here in the U.S., we don’t realize the importance of clean water and just going to the tap whenever we want. One of our students said he walked 3 hours to get water from one of the villages where he works as a missionary.

Tuesday, our class was on latrines with a visit in the afternoon to the water treatment in the big city of Wedowee. Wednesday came the fun part of the week. Well drilling!!!!!! We tried 3 holes and hit rock every time. The system we used was the one Addison learned in Bolivia and drilled 2 wells in Ixiamas, where I will be interning next year. Manpower does all the work. We all were covered in mud by the end of the day Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was our big outing to Auburn University. We met with one of the professors there and learned about Water Watch. They are teaching communities all over the world how to take care of their watersheds. We had lunch at Auburn UMC, a very mission minded church with 4000 members. They have been having mission teams since the 90’s and raised the money to help SIFAT build a bridge in Bolivia. On our way home we stopped in at Auburn’s fisheries and learned about fish farms. Many tropical communities have ponds of tilapia for cash crops. Auburn fisheries are the best in the world.

The international students are going to Ft. Walton Beach for the weekend to speak at the First UMC there. A couple of the U.S. students are going to take the weekend off and maybe go hiking or to a movie – for sure out to dinner. We are supposed to get hooked up to DSL next week. We have been praying that would happen because out internet service is really slow.

My seedlings in my tire gardens (my class project) are really growing and I’ll post some pictures on Facebook when we get DSL.

Love to all,