Did you know that World Water Day is tomorrow, March 22? Lifewater International sent an e-newsletter about this observance and why it happens. World Water Day is officially being observed in 69 cities across the US. During the entire week, many restaurants are asking that you donate $1 for your free water; the money collected will be donated to UNICEF for improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities. You can find out more information about World Water Day on the official website.

Having clean, safe water is part of SIFAT’s training. During the Practicum, students take classes and learn about the importance of clean water and the many organizations available to help projects become a reality. Currently, Addison Shock, one of our interns in Bolivia, has been training with Water for All International to drill a well in Ixiamas. An article in the upcoming Journal explains the process and what SIFAT is doing to help Ixiamas and surrounding communities receive clean water.
In the US, we take clean water for granted. In fact, the water bottling industry is booming because we are so particular about our water – the right taste, brand, etc. One of the amazing statistics we share with students in the CARES program easily shows the need for clean water in the world: The World Health Organization says that 70 percent of the world’s illnesses would be eradicated if everyone had access to clean water and sanitation. Wow! So tomorrow, as you enjoy a nice warm Easter weekend, think about clean water, and the possibility of supporting a Practicum student so clean water can become a reality in his or her community. Or, begin “paying” for your water and donate your payments to SIFAT each month. Find a creative way to involve your Sunday School class, Bible study group, civic organization or family to bring awareness of the lack of clean water in the world and ways you can get involved to help everyone have access to clean water.

Did you come up with a great way to commemorate World Water Day? Let us know if you did! We’d love to hear ways you brought attention to the need for clean water and SIFAT.

I made it to RRbake this morning at about five fourty five. Me and Jarred are going to take two days and relax here in RRbake for Holy week. Jarred knew I was getting in this morning but he did not know it would be so early. It scared him when the owner of the hostile at six thirty knocked on the door and walked in the room. I am certian that from my description of my amigo that I gave him he could not be mistaken. Tall, white, red hair, cant miss him. We will head back to Ixiamas on saturday. -Addison-

Bolivar Sanga, our engineer overseeing the Quesimpuco bridge project, arrived in Bolivia this morning. He will be working with communities in the Quesimpuco area to get preliminary work on the bridge site ready for the first team coming in May. A road to the site must be cut, so materials can get to the site.

SIFAT and Auburn UMC are partnering to build a bridge in Quesimpuco to connect two mountains during the rainy season. For more information on the bridge project, download the January Journal.

Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit organization specializing in footbridges, is teaching us the technology to build our bridge. By empowering the community and making them part of the process, more bridges can be built throughout Bolivia.

An update on the bridge project will be in the March Journal, which is being sent to press tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for Bolivar and Benjo as they work with the people of the Quesimpuco area and bring them together to build a much-needed bridge for this area.

Wow! The spring season of campus events started strong. Last week, two groups took part in separate retreats.

Lovers Lane UMC from Dallas, Texas, brought youth from their deaf ministry to SIFAT for a Learn & Serve style retreat. The students even braved the cold weather during the Global Village Overnight Experience. Our staff enjoyed learning some sign language, and thanks to our volunteer Sarah Lewis, even provided an interpretor to give their translators time to enjoy the activities.

The seventh grade from Springwood School from Lanett, Ala., participated in a cross cultural retreat with an emphasis on cultures in the Global Village. They had the opportunity to eat meals from South America, Africa and Asia. Esperance, our intern and Practicum graduate, shared with the students about being a Rwandan growing up in Kenya.
This week, we have three groups taking part in retreats during their spring breaks.

ReMIX Ministries from FBC Jonesboro (Ark.) are college students from Arkansas State University. They came in Saturday evening and will be leaving after lunch on Wednesday. Their retreat is similar to our summer Learn & Serve, only a little shorter. Tonight, they’ll be in our Global Village.

The Epsicopal Diocese youth from north Alabama arrive this afternoon and will have the opportunity to leave the campus Wednesday to participate in a local ministry project. While here, they will also participate in cross cultural training, appropriate technology hands-on application (they’re cooking lunch on our stoves) and the overnight village experience.

Alexander City Methodist Church is bringing a youth work team at the end of the week. Their youth group is coming to Learn & Serve this summer, but they’ll have a mini-retreat and campus work projects to serve our campus and help us prepare for L&S 2008.

Are you interested in bringing a group to SIFAT? We have several different retreats from which you can choose. Our staff will work with you to develop a unique experience that best meets your group’s needs. For retreat information for youth groups, please contact Jamie, waldhourj@sifat.org. For other age groups or facilities rentals, contact Haley, lewish@sifat.org.

We finished the well yesterday.  It is recharging to thirty meters.  Usually we need it to recharge to about fifteen from the top, being fourty one meters but Don Juan will pump it until it is recharging to the top.  We finished about middle of the day yesterday and then we went to the homestead about a mile away to throw the cast net and play a little in the pond because it was a pretty day.  We played till about four thirty then headed home.  We got about a mile away and the truck shut off.  We were not able to get it started again.  Mr.Terry had his cell phone thankfully so he got on the roof of the truck to get signal and he called Mrs. Kathy.  He wanted her to get the battery put it in the other truck SUV thingy and come get us.  She showed up an hour later in a cab.  She could not get the battery to work.  We left the truck and headed into town.  Then I had one of those moments in my life were I have no idea how I got to this place.  Ha Mrs. Kathy had made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and had brought them with bottled water with her.  I was in a cab with eight people eating cookies, covered in grease, driving at sunset through the prettiest backcountry I have ever seen.  It was ridiculous and such a God moment.  I could not help but laugh.  When we got to town we ate spaggetti and then got the other SUV working and headed back to get the other truck.  We got there and finally figured out that if we pull the drive shaft out of the back wheels then we can drive it home in four wheel drive using only the front two tires.  What had happened was all the bumps we hit on the bad roads because of the rain had crammed the Universal drive shaft into itself and broke some stuff in the back axil or something.  We tied up the universal drive shaft with a rope under the truck and got the truck working and were about to leave when we went to start the SUV and it would not start.  The battery was dead.  We did not have jumper cables but were able to push start it to start it.  Then we began the two hour ride back home in first gear.  We had to stop four times to put a knew rope under to hold the universal drive shaft because it was burning holes through the rope.  Finally we greased up an old T-shirt and put it between the rope and shaft and it worked.  We got home at about 12:45.  Then me and Mr. Terry and Mrs. Kathy sat in the kitchen and told delirious stories for about thirty minutes.  It was great.  This morning I woke up about the time for sunday school and played with the kids. After that me and Mary Lou watched High School Musical.  Then Mrs Kathy made homeade.  It was delicious.  It has been a great day.  I am about to go play soccer with the church people before church. Tommorrow the Wallers and I are heading to Santa Cruz.  Hopefully I will catch a bus to La Paz.  Mrs Kathy has to have surgery for her sinus problems so pray for that.  It will be sad leaving these wonderful people.  They have been great and a blast to be around.  I will also miss the food ha.  They have been such a blessing from God not just for me for two weeks but for all of the people in this area who they have touched.  Pray for safe travels. -Addison-