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Visit to Cambodia

Welcome back! Hari and Nick, who together run the ceramic water filter development in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia, just got off the plane from a trip to Resource Development International Cambodia (RDIC) in Cambodia. The purpose of this visit was to learn about RDIC filter manufacturing plant, and also to plant and nourish a connection between organizations. It was a successful visit!

We were like two porous sponges absorbing information about filters, people, organization structure, and lots of delicious clean water. This is the first time that Pak Hari has been in a ceramic manufacturing facility, and it is the first time that Nick has seen a working factory for this technology. After dreaming about filters for years, seeing filters being made before your eyes certainly grounds and realizes the collection of ideas in your head. This gave us a chance to see some ideas in use, and try on some others to test their fit. The filter factory was beautiful, with nice looking red terra cotta pot filters adorning shelves, kilns, and almost every available space.

Ajay Chouhan was our guide for the week, and his relaxed tone and knowledge of the organization really made our time there a pleasure. In the factory we were able to learn how to use the manufacturing equipment and try our hand at some of the steps done by hand. This time with Ajay provided opportunity to think through the projects in Cambodia and Indonesia. We formed a strong bond which will help continue collaboration by sharing information, plans, and ideas.

Isabelle Gensburger emanated excitement about her microbiological work and experiments on the firing of the ceramics. She gave us valuable insight into the microbiological testing that she has performed on the filters to date. We spent time understanding the microbiology equipment and tests performed at RDIC, while touring through the labs also revealed the strong research links that RDIC has with universities. In many cases the universities have brought equipment with them when they visit, and it remains to continue it’s life in Cambodia. RDIC has extensive laboratories for testing chemical composition of ground water. They specialize in groundwater arsenic, and the labs are well endowed to perform the arsenic research.

RDIC cannot be praised enough for spending such valuable time with us. It is not easy to take time away from your regular work to take care of some foreigners. RDIC took the necessary time even thought the river outside the campus was in flood stage 12 meters above normal level, and as a result the filter demand was exceptionally high. The hospitality we encountered from RDIC was exceptional and our personal needs were well met.

Donors to Friends Peace Teams to Indonesia fully funded this community-building trip. Without the support of people like you, we could not have covered the costs of the airline tickets, hospitality, and local transportation. This trip provided the opportunity to study the structure of an existing factory and the organization that supports it. We were able to forge key professional and personal relationships with people working with RDIC. We expect to make RDIC an on-going partner and collaborator. It was a very successful trip! Thank you for your part.