Digging the Well Deep

Entry three of four: I would like to introduce you to my husband…

With Don G gone and our money going fast not to mention that Felipe was not employed,  he decided to finish digging the well himself. It was time for me to return to renew my visa, so I was away the month it took him to accomplish this feat, which I consider to be the prime example of what my husband is cable of. He worked six days a week, 8-10 hours a day. I have never known anyone as focused or determined as Felipe. If he tells you that he will do something, and it is physically possible it will be done.

He entered the vertical stone cave every morning to chink away at the rock face. It is cool and quiet in the well. He found the work meditative and the quest for water a sort of grail. The absolute necessity of obtaining it made him even more ardent than he usually is. As he dug the floor of the well filled with the debris and water. At intervals his work varied as he filled buckets, climbed up the rope he used to enter and pulleyed out the excess stone. In and out he climbed removing the surplus one bucket at a time. This is staggering to me, his ability to steadfastly dig a hole, three meters deep, two meters in diameter into solid rock, day after day , with no assistance. He was also doing all of our house and farm work, since I was away. We talked on the phone a few times and he would explain with great excitement a trickle of water or that there had been two inches more to bucket out in the morning before he could begin. I regretted not being there to help and to share the experience. I imagined him striking the mainline and shooting out of the well on a jet of water, cartoon style. It saddened me I would likely miss the moment.

It was not quite that dramatic. Mid-morning, day 30 he began to feel a drip on his neck, wiping it away he didn’t think much of it because he sweated copiously in the humid tube. Then he realized it continued in a rhythmic fashion and he look up to see a spurt of water coming from a cleft in the rock. He started chipping away at it, a stronger pulse came and then a stream. He told me he started screaming. I imagine his barbaric yalps ricocheting of the wells walls rolling down the creek bed with the energy of a breached dam. The next day the well was half full; within a week it was full and has been for the last 5 years. We have water year round, enough for our household; livestock and a small vegetable garden.

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5 thoughts on “Digging the Well Deep

  1. Great story Abby, makes me wish I had been there as well, can almost here Felipe. Thanks for sharing, brought a huge smile to my face this morning : )

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