The rainy season has held off and, thank goodness! The window of unexpected weather allowed the technician and community work teams of Quebrada Mina to construct the foundations of the new water system. We had 4 weeks of relatively rain-free weather and now there are 2 spring boxes and a beautiful 3,000 gal tank to boast about. Mixing concrete in the shade - maybe the better task to have! The massive tarp we bought to protect our work from "aguaceros" served better as it offered the shadiest and coolest place to be during the hot afternoons. Better to mix than to pour!
Of the 23 households, workers cycled through the week to be sure that each day there were at least 4 assistants available to help the technician with construction. Nicolas pours the marginal base of the water tank - a multi-step project that later involved much rebar and cement blocks.
And the springboxes? For our purposes, "box" is a misnomer. With water seeping out of the friable clay soil from "qualquier lado," a concrete box would do little to protect the spring quality and natural flow. Our technician has devised a way to channel and cap springs that seep and often wander - the result is a concrete-and-rock mosaic with snorkels.
The Before: Miguel Mora looks on as I point out: "Here, here, and here are places where water is trying to flow - this is good! Our mud has a lot of water in it!"
The After:A professional springbox model: note the paucity of mud. The next few weeks will be busy with water line connections and trenches to dig. Give us a few more weeks and we'll be "pau hana," "ya listo," "done and dusted," and "all set" to celebrate the end of the grand water system project. More photos will follow!
This blog is created and maintained by a private party. In no way do the views, statements or opinions expressed in this blog reflect those of the U.S. Peace Corps, the United States government, or Michigan Tech University.
Welcome! The inspiration behind this Blog comes largely from peer pressure. How can I possibly avoid maintaining some kind of online explanation of my PC Panama experience with so many other Volunteers here to cheer me on?
This particular Blog exists to follow the notable events beginning with my days on campus at Michigan Tech University, September 2006. I am serving as both a Peace Corps Volunteer and a student in the Master's International Program for the Mitigation of Natural Geological Hazards. Despite how much I love letter-writing and webpage tinkering, I believe this Blog will be the best way to keep track and share the "best of" my days.
I had a chance to visit this Harpie in Panama City. He is living a comfortable life in captivity and aids conservation programs when visitors, like Peace Corps Volunteers, stop by to learn about Panama´s endangered raptors.
New address as of December 2009:
COS'd and left the country in October 2009!
Note for interested parties: Boxes and large envelopes can´t be sent to San Felix, Panama - so the David address is needed for anything bigger than an envelope. It is also handy to put religious stickers or messages like: Dios está con usted. Often curious mail-handlers like to tear into packages but a general respect is held for materials sent to missionaries. Also, it is often best to send postcards within envelopes - due to wear-and-tear but also because they are enticing to snitch as well.