Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 30th: Antigua Arrival!

It's Natalie here with the news that the team arrived safety and together (mostly) yesterday afternoon.

Julian will post photos later of our adventurous day. It took a lot of interesting uses of resources to find our driver and Sandy and Dave with little money and no cell phones but we got to Antigua fine. The driver did not believe we knew where we were going so it took a little longer than expected but we got there in our two rooms next to each other-- students in a triple (with HOT WATER) and mentors in a double.

Dinner was fantastic at La Pena de Sol Latino-- Sandy wanted to go even though she's been here every time she's in Antigua (it is one of her all time favorite restaurants apparently). Herbert and I did not resist because the food and atmosphere there is pretty great. The owner is an American musician who moved to Antigua who hoped to be able to play with his band for a living. He searched for good places to play music every night and couldn't find any so he made his own restaurant. Check online and see for yourself-- the reviews are all really good. Julian should post pictures later of our meals...and most importantly the deserts.

We really wanted to have an exciting night in Antigua-- I even took a nap in preparation. I woke up from my nap at 5:35am... I don't feel too bad for missing out, it seems like the guys knocked out too; none of us slept much the night before our flight.

Now we are getting ready for breakfast at Black Cat. Today we will be leaving at 9am to go down to the community. We have our concerns about the progress of the project; we will have to see the extent of the work completed and then figure out our game plan for the trip after that. Before we arrive in NSCI, Sandy found out about this famous market in Chimaltenango that has great bargains on Wednesday and Sunday that we will check out for a bit to see if we can pick up some souvenirs.

Herbert and Julian say hello, Julian just missed out on his chance for probably his only hot shower in Guatemala. Post more stories & news and pics when we get the chance. Post comments, lets make this interactive!

Talk later,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We're Back! ...With Pre-Trip Updates

We're back! Hope this hot summer has been well for all of you.

Hi I am travel-team-member Julian Modesto and welcome to our first blog update for the mouthful that is the Engineers Without Borders-USA Rutgers's Guatemala Project Committee Travel Team's Second Implementation Trip. Disclaimer: despite the strong engineering interest of this blog, forgive any writing fails in my posts; writing content isn't something which I practice often enough.

This is the first and maybe only pre-trip update because we leave this Saturday, July 30.  The trip itinerary is set (tentatively), my bags are packed (almost), and I'm stoked (completely) to be on my way!

Over the past few weeks, the Guatemala team has been in close contact with Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, while simultaneously making our travel arrangements, all in preparation for the project-culminating Second Implementation Trip. The travel team and the community of NSCI are both ready to see this project complete and supply water to NSCI. However, our main concerns include tasks such as pipeline repair, supply payments and transportation, and other unfinished preparations that may delay implementation or detract from our success...

Nevertheless, we have chosen to travel. The purpose of this trip is to complete improvements to and commence start-up of the water supply system in NSCI. Sustainability is at the forefront of this project as well, so we will emphasize our operation and maintenance plan for the long term. We will be giving educational and general presentations in the schools and to the community.

The travel team includes three students and our two pro mentors:

  • Natalie Wright, Project Student Lead
  • Herbert Silva, Project Member and Translator
  • Julian Modesto, Project Member
  • Sandra Kutzing, P.E., Profesional Mentor (CDM)
  • David Tanzi, P.E., Profesional Mentor (CDM)

Hopefully I've provided you with a solid introduction into what we're up to and whet your appetite for more to come, so feel free to ask or even give suggestions in our open comments. Is your appetite whet? Are you excited? What would you do? What should we do? What do you want to know about implementation or our education program?