Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week Two Roundup

Hola, Julian here. Things that have happened:
  • Lucas's birthday was Sunday! Natalie and I bought a cake from Xela.
  • None of us really went on or finished the hike up Volcan Tajumulco for various reasons.
  • We visited the Puwalkox site on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: the holes for pipe between chambers are drilled in the Lower Pump Station and almost completed (by hand) at the Upper Pump Station; Hidasa, our pump supplier and contractor, is now on site; we collected water samples from Springs 1, 2, & 3 and conducted water quality tests; and the community is doing great work and progressing towards start-up.
  • The educational program continued this week. This included presentations, drawing activities for the kids, and Herbert and Natalie co-presenting some very popular water-testing demonstrations.
  • Herbert gave a community presentation at the fiesta that the Water Committee threw for us in the Salon. Everyone was very grateful for the work we were doing and presented us with awesome tokens of appreciation that I definitely did not feel deserving of as it was my first time there.
  • Herbert is boss, gave great presentations and was an effective voice. Our community relations would not be so strong without him. This is why he will continue to be a primary EWB-USA Rutgers contact for the community.
  • We paid Max, the pump supplier, who we are extremely satisfied with. The last payment will be given to him when start-up occurs. Max also gave us a 2-week maximum for the completion of the manual for operation and maintenance of the system for the fontaneros who will service the system.
  • We said goodbye to the family(!) and exchanged some gifts with various people, including Water Committee members. Sandy and Dave also exchanged their goodbyes with us! They left for Tikal in the afternoon on Thursday, while our ride came later, after a final educational presentation.
  • We're now in San Pedro and have had a relaxing, toasty weekend. It's 12 AM here, and our ride arrives at 6 AM. I'm writing this solely because we won't be in Guatemala for long tomorrow :(
A bunch more happened, but we will tell you more personally and you can also look out for the Post-Implementation Report in the near future. It's a work in progress and encompasses both the first and second implementation trips in March and August, respectively. There's also plenty of photo documentation incoming...

Although we left without seeing start-up or the water flowing, we all agreed that this was an effective trip and our presence was essential in GTD. Instead of concluding this post, here are some photo albums to pick through that will be updated as pictures are edited:

Antigua, Chichicatzeltanengo, and 1st Day in NSCI
Guatemala: Week 1
Upper Pump Station
Lower Pump Station

So visit the comments thread!


  1. Welcome back, team! It looks like very productive trip. I enjoyed browsing through the pictures as well. What is the estimated start-up date?

  2. Great work! I'm so proud of you guys for dedicating part of your summer to travel and the rest of your summer in preparation and documentation :)

    Good about the manual for O&M getting to the fontaneros soon. Glad to see you guys satisfied with ITT.

    Julian, as for you being deserving or not, there is no question. It doesn't matter if this is your first trip or your only trip or even if you had not traveled, the fact that you put in efforts for the project always counts, and everyone always starts off inexperienced. Anyway you're the future of EWB-USA Rutgers, so think of the gifts as tokens on the work you will do as well haha.

    Why is the second bullet so small?

    What did you guys give the water committee members?

  3. Thanks Eileen and Nam!

    We have a feeling that start-up will occur in about a month. Natalie probably has a better estimate.

    Yes, ITT is really great, and was an especially good presence at the meeting with the WC and Muni.

    Lol, thanks Nam. The second bullet is small because it was a pretty pathetic hiking attempt.

    We gave the WC members shirts and bags, and we got a few cool weaved articles from them.

  4. It's ok you hiked Puwalkox like everyday right? lol