Thursday, October 24, 2013

Doc Hendley Talk

For UNC Charlotte's Common Reading Experience this year, we read Doc Hendley's Wine to Water, which I reviewed last year. Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a dinner with him (I am on the Common Reading Committee, which is a lot of fun) and then go to the talk. It was really fabulous.

He's a tremendously engaging speaker who has gone all over the world doing water projects while remaining very humble (and funny). He was wearing what he said his wife called his "denim tuxedo," with a Red Man belt buckle.

One of the points he stressed was how Wine To Water is growing, but he was committed to making the growth happen by connecting more to local organizations, who could help forge local solutions. In each place he helps drill wells or fix them using very cheap material. If you bring in expensive drills from India, as many organizations do, then it is costly to repair them. If you construct them out of things that can be bought locally, then you can make a well for $500 versus $5,000 and it can be easily repaired by going to local markets for parts.

If you haven't read the book, you really should.


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