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You are currently browsing the Engineers Without Borders at Boston University blog archives for August, 2009.

Aug

6

Day 40

By elissam

We fly back to the states within the next couple of days. Charlie and I flew out this morning from Lima at 7AM. Richard leaves later this evening, and Jeremy and Paolo both missed their flights because the bus from Chiclayo got in to Lima late, so they will be leaving as soon as they can.

Aug

5

Day 39

By elissam

We  caught the busses last night from Pedro Ruiz, and are now stopped in Chiclayo. Jeremy and Paolo’s bus has left- they have a direct ride to Lima and had only stopped for about half an hour. Charlie, Richard, and I spent the day in Chiclayo because we missed our 8:30 AM bus connection, and there are no other busses leaving for Lima until 7PM- too late to make all of our flights back to the states. We spent the day trying to find all of the bus information to work out that there were no earlier busses, and that we would have to fly back to Lima. We took a cab to the travel agency to book tickets for a 6PM flight, and got all of our baggage stored in Movil tours while we went out to find lunch and an internet cafe.

Aug

4

Day 38

By elissam

We spent the morning going over the preliminary project report that one of the government engineers had made earlier this year and finding the President of the University in Chachapoyas to sign the agreement from yesterday. Now that we have all of the signatures, we are officially collaborating on the filtration project with the government and university, and we are going to be receiving funding from the regional government. We had agreed earlier in the year that the regional government would fund 80% of the project if we collaborated on it with them. Now we have their approval to start the project, and will need to present all of our designs to the government to ensure their continued approval, but much of the project is funded and the filters will be built much more quickly.  We will also be working with the engineer who wrote up the preliminary report to revise his report, which did not originally include filters- just a new piping system, and design the new system. 

When we returned to the hotel, we found out that our flights back to Lima from Mendoza had been cancelled. We spent the rest of the afternoon arranging for someone to pick Charlie and Richard up in Chirimoto and drive them to Chachapoyas this evening so that we can catch a bus overnight to Lima, and hopefully arrive in time to catch our flights back to the states. We went to Movil Tours and bought bus tickets on two separate busses that would be leaving from the neighbring town of Pedro Ruiz- there were not 5 seats open on any one bus. Richard and Charlie arrived around 8:30 this evening, and we drove to Pedro Ruiz  to catch the bus to Lima.

Aug

3

Day 37

By elissam

We split up this morning. Jeremy, Paolo, Lucho and I left with a couple members of the water board for Chachapoyas to sign the collaboration agreement for the filter construction. Chalie and Richard stayed in Chirimoto to take the other soil sample and flow rate at Lambras and help clean up after the festival.

Somehow I managed to sleep on the way to Mendoza; I can’t imagine how because the gravel roads are in terrible condition, but I woke up and we were minutes outside the city. We stopped to change taxis, and were on our way. When we arrived in Chachapoyas, we found a hostal, and had lunch before meeting with the regional government to revise the documents, and go over details of our agreement with them and the University in Chachapoyas.

Aug

2

Day 36

By elissam

Today was our last day in Chirimoto. We drove Achamal to see the quarry in the morning. There were several sizes of rock and sand that look to be the right sizes for a couple of the filter layers. We are not sure if we will be buying the sand from this or another quarry, or using sand from the Shocol River. We came back for lunch, and then spent the afternoon helping around the Hummingbird House and out at the festival events. The band was playing again in the Municipality, and after dinner we went to dance and talk with everyone one more time before leaving. I ended up staying until the band stopped at 3AM, and then stayed out with the group I had been dancing and talking with for another hour until we had to go back to the Hummingbird House to finish packing.

Aug

1

Day 35

By elissam

We finished the last of the surveying this morning!

The road to Milpuc forks and we surveyed the branch that loops around to meet up with the other road from Chirimoto that passes the medical post and the old water system and filter.

We got back to the Hummingbird House a little after noon, ate lunch outside again with Panchito and his family, and then went to set up for the presentation we had planned for this afternoon. The other day we had prepared a power point that addressed several of the major development issues in the town, including the water project, kitchens, etc, so now we set up benches, the projector, and Lucho’s computer in the main room of the Hummingbird House and waited as much of the town filed in. It is encouraging to see such turn out and interest in community issues, although it is mainly the older men that come to these meetings, which are open to everyone.

After our presentation, the band moved back in, and we hosted a party for the younger children. We set out treats and invited all of the children, who are normally not invited to hear the band play as the dances are held for adults, and ended the party with a piñata. The place was crowded, and all the kids seemed to have a great time. Their party lasted about an hour, after which the adults came back in to dance and socialize themselves. The tournaments were also being held again, and I caught a little of the volleyball match. A couple of the girls on our team are really good.  After dinner, the orchestra played all night outside on the new dance floor that had been set up in the courtyard of the municipality.  I left around 1:00, and they were still playing. Each night the dancing starts at 10:00 and lasts until 3:00. The orchestra was much like the band- both are vocal groups with instrumental backup. The band is the more traditional cumbia, while the orchestra has more of a variety of music.