Life! Changing! These two words encapsulate my experience this summer being present with Kenyan villagers as a new Hydrating Humanity well was installed. A well that will provide water to people who have never had access to clean, safe drinking water.

Virtue is an asset that is developed not bought. As I watched the villagers wait patiently, even after many delays, as the well installers kept digging and searching for water, their hope and patience never wavered. I learned that the ability to wait patiently is a virtue – a desirable quality that isn’t lost, but gained, even during lack.

Appreciation from the villagers is authentic and widespread. The villagers are overwhelmingly grateful for the generosity of others to help provide them with this necessity of life. Their appreciation extends beyond a mere thank you. They want to give back and willingly offer their best meals, crops, and even animals to reciprocate this generosity. After their well was complete their expressions of gratitude demonstrated that they aren’t looking for handouts, just a hand.

We are more alike than different. The need for water crosses every boundary imaginable. Every human on the face of the earth needs water to survive. Providing clean drinking water and hygiene education is more than just meeting a need. It’s a revolutionizing experience for everyone involved.

I’ve been asked by family and friends what was it like to have this experience, how did it feel, what did I learn, what did I enjoy the most, etc. So many eager questions. I learned that I can’t fully verbalize or express the experience of helping make such an impact, but two words come to mind that seems to sum it up: Life! Changing!

Michael Clinton
Advocacy Director of Hydrating Humanity