Well Drilling Work a Family Tradition
I may write about my sons a lot, but I’m so proud of them both. When Randy was age two, my dad (Porky Senior) came to our house and told my wife, “Pack his (Randy’s) lunch.” Bess said, “No. Until he’s three, he’s mine.” The day he turned three, my dad told Bess, “Pack his lunch.” From that day forward, and until my dad passed, the two of them were inseparable — from rebuilding a lawnmower engine in the dog house, to riding our Jeep or fishing. When they were together, my dad wasn’t too available because he and Randy were busy doing something. My dad passed before Chris (“Piglet”) had much of a chance to know him.
Both sons are following in my footsteps. Randall (my eldest) currently lives near us and works for a local drilling contractor. Many of you who know Randy know that, given a project that involves mechanical, electrical, welding, design or fabrication, he’s your man. Usually on Saturday’s, he and I work on rebuilding several well rigs. Some are very old. Randy’s married and at this time has no interest in traveling overseas.
As I’ve said many times, get involved and do things with your children. Most times your children will love what you do and want to follow your footsteps. Don’t let others raise them.
Piglet (Chris, my youngest), on the other hand, loves teaching and managing well drilling in developing countries. Haiti is his favorite country because it’s near the United States. Piglet is known all over Haiti as Mr. Piglet the well driller.
Piglet has a Haitian friend, Aggee, who is his sidekick, interpreter, driver and friend. He can also tame Piglet a little when he gets a little agitated (I offered to send Aggee a ball bat). Aggee is well known and trusted all over Haiti and knows where to locate almost anything needed on the island.
Haiti is approximately 10,714 square miles (slightly smaller than Maryland) with approximately 10.6 million people. There is no sewage facility, water lines or consistent water in the capital city of Port au Prince. Telephone lines are nonexistent in Haiti. Phone and Internet are provided by cellular system providers almost everywhere in Haiti at a reasonable price.
There is very little crime in Haiti, probably because there are few guns (no money for guns or bullets), only machetes. There are few paying jobs and income is about $1 per day. Most people are friendly and they survive by helping one another.
People outside the larger cities depend on wells with hand pumps. Many of these hand pumps are provided and maintained by various groups, both religious and non-religious. Many of these wells are in compounds where they are somewhat protected.
Piglet meets many of the people in need of wells at motels or wherever he is staying at the time. Much of the time, when he’s at his lodging, he visits with others visiting the island and the conversation usually leads to talking about the need of safe water in Haiti. Hence the conversation leads to what Aggee and Piglet do. It has been said many times that Piglet probably out talks me. When you are passionate about what you do and love, it’s hard not to talk about it.
Many well-meaning people drill seasonal or improperly grouted wells. Eventually these wells fail and contaminate the available safe water. Some people pay Piglet for his service, but many times he works for virtually nothing. He provides his services for non-governmental, governmental and religious organizations. He and Aggee get satisfaction by helping others have safe water.
Living or visiting much of Haiti can be like camping out — no water or electricity and the food is not always what he is accustomed to.
For more Porky columns, visit www.nationaldriller.com/porky.