Be the change you want

Journey to Malawi: Part 1

10:39 AM  Oct 9th, 2013
by Mickey Shuey '14
Part 1: The Trip Begins
For Dylan Moore ’15, it all started with a scheduling meeting with his adviser, Jason Pierce, during freshman year.
At first, it was a casual, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” sort of conversation, during which the two determined Moore’s second-semester classes.
Then Moore, a political science major from Defiance, Ohio, brought up a goal that not only caught Pierce’s attention, it triggered a series of life-changing events.
Dylan Moore said he wanted to go to Malawi as a part of the Human Rights Practicum.
Moore was a member of Determined to Develop and was well-read on the needs for water technology in the country, including a new water pump.
“Water is the family business; my parents run a water treatment company … so I grew up around all of that,” he remembers telling Pierce. “I really hope I can go someday to do my part.”
It was then that Moore says he heard something he’ll never forget.
“‘You’re going to go,’ my adviser said … almost like it was already decided,” Moore says, recalling the conversation with Pierce. “Then he said, ‘And so is your dad.’”
From that moment, Dylan’s father, Larry Moore, would be joining him on the Malawi journey.
“It was a long process trying to gather enough money to go,” Dylan says. “I couldn’t even afford for myself to go at the time when Dr. Pierce added my dad into the mix. I wasn’t sure how we were going to make it happen.”
It helped that Dylan’s father got a good price on the water pump that the group needed.
“I work with water pumps every day and know quite a bit about the ones that are out there and what we were dealing with,” Larry Moore, owner of Memmer’s Water Tech, says. “It is my job, after all.”
Larry Moore is a member of the Ohio Water Quality Association and suggested his son and other group members attend a conference in Columbus to raise funds.
“When we got there, we basically had nothing money-wise, but when we left, we had over $900 in donations,” Dylan Moore says. “It was remarkable.”
According to Larry Moore, that was only the start of what would be an unbelievable trip to a place 8,100 miles from home.

Journey to Malawi: Part 2

10:42 AM  Oct 9th, 2013
by Mickey Shuey '14
Part 2: A Path of New Lessons
From a distance, junior Dylan Moore anxiously watched a familiar face make his way across the tarmac after landing in Malawi. Two months had passed since they’d seen one another, but all that mattered to Dylan was that his father, Larry, had finally arrived.
Larry Moore saw the first of his four large parcels and quickly grabbed it from the conveyor belt. Then, after about 10 minutes, the second one. By the time Larry exited the terminal, an hour had passed, but he had managed to corral all his checked items, each crucial to the installation of the pump.
“For my first international flight, I thought it went really well,” he says. “I knew it would take a while, but for me it went by fast.”
It was July 15, and just a few weeks remained in a trip that had taken two years to plan. All that was left to do was install the water pump system Larry Moore was now carrying.
After the father and son embraced and said hello, they made their way to lively Sangilo Village, where the people lent a hand with Larry’s luggage … more than once. “They wouldn’t let me carry anything,” Larry says. “Wherever we were going, there were, of course, some of the townspeople; and every time, I was always walking empty handed because they didn’t want me to do anything.”
According to Dylan, the people of Sangilo were grateful and wanted to help as much as possible. Sometimes that even meant setting the ground on fire.
“We had to dig a deep trench, over a distance of 3,000 feet,” Dylan says. “It was agreed that it would be best to dig 1,000 feet per day.” The first day, the village was done with what Dylan assumed would take all day before 10 a.m.
Larry Moore was able to make quick work of the pump, as well, finishing the installation by the end of his second day in town. Dylan says the remainder of the group’s time there was spent putting final touches on things and spending time with his dad.
“We climbed Mount Mulanje, which is the tallest mountain in the country,” he says. “It was great to spend time like that with my dad.”
For Larry, who pointed out he’s “not as young” as he used to be, the trek up Mulanje was not only a way to spend time with his son, it also helped him see the man Dylan was becoming.
“I wouldn’t have made it to the top without him,” Larry says. “He was encouraging the entire way; he has no quit in him.”
Between the work, the mountain journey and a safari, Larry and his son shared experiences few others ever have.
“I’ve always known it, but my dad is so unbelievably hard-working,” Dylan says. “To see him leave his business — and our family — to spend this time here not just with me, but with people he’s never met or heard of … he’s a great man.”
For both, it was hard to say goodbye to the Sangilo Village. But as they did, they understood how lucky they were.
“We take things for granted,” Larry says. “But here, they have nothing. But if you didn’t know better, you’d think they had everything.”
Perhaps it was a stranger’s kindness that made the village so loving. Perhaps it was a mutual sense of gratitude and understanding.
Chances are, it was something in the water.

Villagers watch Larry Moore install pump   Dylan and Larry

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