Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Brief Visit to Pueblo Nuevo

We spent most of the day around the town buying things that we needed like extra cell phones, and so on. I looked for a replacement pair of sunglasses, but didn't find any that were polarized and had UV protection.

Jason and Ryan had sheet problems. Jason brought sheets in his luggage, but they were twin size, and their bed was a full size. Last night, Ryan slept rolled up in the top sheet, and Jason slept in the fitted sheet. He said he liked the way the elastic held the sheet around his feet because it was freezing in their room! And Ryan forgot to bring a towel. Soooo...

When I went to the market to buy things we needed, I picked up some sheets and a towel for the guys. I got these flowery sheets for them that look like they were made for an eight year old girl. And I got Ryan a flowered pink towel as a weird, passive-aggressive punishment for forgetting his. But don't think me a genius for this, it's just a trick I picked up in "How to Lead Small Teams for Dummies".

Then, in the afternoon, we went out to Pueblo Nuevo and met up with our friend, the man we call Micro Santos. He is, among other things, the pastor of the little church there. He is not to be confused with Macro Santos, who plays the role of an overseer of several village churches. They are both named Santos; we added the micro/macro part.
This is the hike we take to get to the generator in the river. It's beautiful, lush, humid, and steep. I'm usually the last one to make it back up the hill. I try not to be alone, however, on account of velociraptors.
This is Nicole.
This is a dude on a horse with a machete.

Then we were able to take a look at the hydro generator we installed last year. We plan to do some repair/maintenance/training there in the coming weeks. Here we are just making some measurements of the wooden canal the villagers built. We were pleased that they constructed it. When we last saw it, the frame was there, but the canal was made from corrugated roofing material bent into a half pipe. They built a larger wooden canal because they could tell it needed more water flow. Seeing them adapt and expand the system is a great sign of ownership and acceptance, or at least that's what it says in my books.

We created a job description of sorts to solicit applicants for the village level business in Danta Uno. We intend to go there tomorrow and pass them out, take GPS measurements of the houses in order to lay out the little distribution grid, and to just talk to the people.

I own a book, parts of which I have read, called "Out of Poverty" by Paul Polak. One of the things he says is most important in working with rural poor in developing countries is that development workers (am I a development worker now?) need to talk to lots of people in the areas in which they work. So we plan to spend several hours just talking to people, taking notes, and building relationships. We arranged to take Sergio with us as a translator and technical resource. He is an electrician from Humberto's church who speaks more gooder English than most.

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