Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lomaleita y Agua

Loma Leita is a small village on a "hill" above the town of Amatitlan.  I put quotes around "hill" because Loma Leita literally translates "cute hill," but this is no hill.  It is a mountain.  This village does not have access to clean water.  In fact, they do not really have access to water at all.  There was once a well that serviced them.  The pump in this well would be turned on once every eight days allowing the people to fill their personal water reservoirs with water that would have to last them until the pump was turned back on.  Unfortunately, the well caved in due a mud slide caused by tropical storm Agatha.  During the rainy season they were able to collect rain water that they ran through a UV light to kill any bacteria that might have gotten in, but now that the rainy season is over they need another source of water.  Thursday Bob and I took a 300 gallon load of water to them.  Monday we took another.  The water is stored at the school and school was in session, so I did not take any pictures of the delivery operation, but I did get a few pictures of the purification process at the house as well as some scenic pictures on the way there and back.

                                  300 Gallons

                                  The water comes unclean from the yard hose.

This apparatus takes salt water and converts it to chlorine gas and Sodium Hydroxy (NaOH).  The chlorine gas is added to the water up to 5 parts per million.  This kills any bacteria and parasites in the water.

                                  These are houses that these villagers live in.

            This picture was taken from the road going down the mountain.

                                  The local Assemblies of God church.

Today we went to Pastores, another village.  These people lost there homes to a mud slide caused by Agatha.  Bob and Georgette's church, Iglesia del Camino, is now building some small metal houses for the villagers.  Bob and I helped put in some drainage piping and then helped fill in the ditches.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Past Week

Thursday and Friday we continued painting the house at Casa Shalom.  Saturday Bob and I went grocery shopping while Georgette cleaned the house.  Sunday was church.  We had lunch at an Indian restaurant.  It was my first taste of Curry.  Ironic that Guatemala should be my first taste of Indian food.  It was quite tasty.  Monday we finished painting the house.  Bob talked with a couple of the guys at the orphanage who are interested in learning how to weld.  We took a look at one of the buildings there  today and decided it would be a good place for a welding class.  Bob installed a connection for a 220v plug that we will be giving power to tomorrow.  The cistern for the clean water is right under this building and it overflows when they forget to turn off the water pump, so that will be our next task.  Bob purchased a float switch that will automatically turn off the pump when the cistern is full.  The problem is that the pump is pretty far away from the cistern, so we would need to run a signal cable halfway through the orphanage to get the kill signal to the pump.  An alternative that I will need to look into is setting up a radio signal.  I think that would be a lot cheaper and a lot easier if I can figure it out.

The Proposed Welding Shop

Spike the Dog.  El Perro de Casa Shalom

A VW van.  I have never seen a VW van in such good condition.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week Two to Date

Monday we did a little more painting at Casa Shalom.  Here are some pics from the orphanage:

                          This is the house we have been painting

                          A closer look

                          I did not think to smile until after the picture was taken.       

                          Georgette cleaning the windows 


The School at Shalom.  A guy came out recently and did these air brush paintings.

                          This is the auditorium

This is the baby house at Casa Shalom.  It houses the infants to 6 years old.  The infant in the bouncy think is named Minor.  Minor was found in a ditch with the afterbirth still on him.  He stayed in a hospital for three days and then came to Casa Shalom.  They say if had been there just a few more hours then he would not have survived.

                          This is Bob Painting the stairwell at the house


Tuesday Georgette went back to Shalom while Bob and I went to the market to purchase food for Rio Bravo.

                          Loading the truck

                          This is where Bob purchases the bulk of the food for Rio Bravo

This is just a random photo of the market area, but the truck there is a Toyota Hilux.  You won't see one of those in the States, but it is apparently a really good pick-up.  The police use these.  They are four door and have a pretty powerful diesel engine.  They are about the same size as the Ford Ranger.

                          This is the truck after we got it home

Today we took all the food to Rio Bravo.

                         This is a little girl that lives next to the church.

                          The little girl with her brother
The guy on the left is Freddy, the pastor at the church in Rio Bravo.  On the right is Mike.  Mike is from Atlanta, GA, but now lives in Guatemala and does dental work.

The guy between Freddy and me is Freddy's nephew, Darwin.  Freddy and Darwin are from Nicaragua.  Freddy has lived in Guatemala for about 15 years.  Darwin moved to Washington, D.C. when he was 13.  He moved to Guatemala sometime in the past couple of years and helps his uncle at the church.

These are some children from the school in the village we visited.  They came out and followed us when we got there.


                          This is a class room at the school.

                          The school is just a few walls, open air and a tin roof.

This is at the church in the village.  These are Otto's children.  Otto is the pastor of this church.  After we delivered the food we went to Otto's church to do some maintenance and modification on his water purification system.

I have more pictures to put up, but they are more random pictures and don't really have anything to do with this post.  I will try to get them up pretty soon.

Hasta Luego!