What do these oranges and groundwater samples have in common?
Both have been given to us with great kindness and without expecting anything in return.
I have to admit I am always amazed at the kindness of people and I can’t help but smile when someone accepts to “open the door” to a stranger simply because he/she asks for it.
This is exactly what happens when we look for water wells during field works.
Based on my limited understanding of Arabic, the conversation prior each sampling, runs as follow:
– Good Morning!
– Good Morning!
– How are you?
– Fine, thanks and you?
– Fine, thanks!
– We are looking for a well…Do you have a well?
– A what?
– A Well…
-…. a well, where you take water for irrigation…or a borehole….Do you have a well? Or a borehole?
– Ahhhhhhhh, a well! Yes! Come!
…and after that you find yourself in someone’s property, collecting your precious groundwater sample!
Besides giving the permission to sample, wells’ owners are generally quite interested in our activities and more than happy to answer to our questions….
…or to offer us something to drink or eat, like we where some special guests instead of a bunch of strangers bothering for groundwater samples.
The nicest moments are obviously when kids are around.
With them I always have the impression of being like a circus clown, with my white gloves and some odd tools in the case, ready to do some funny things for them…although sometimes it also happens that they sit down with us and offer some help.
One of the expressions I learnt during the last field work in Grombalia was barak allahou fik (God’s Blessing be upon you), used by my colleagues to thank all the people who helped us, either by giving directions or the permission to take a sample in their property.
I really like this expression even though, being unable to pronounce it properly, I had to use other ways to say thank.
Probably none of the people we met in Grombalia will read this post, but I hope the findings of our research activity will have some positive impacts on them all…this will be another good way to thank them for their kindness.