So I'll be down here for 27 months. I have lots of wall space and would love to receive some postcards from you back home. If you send me a postcard:

1) I'll be very happy, 2) I'll show it to everyone that comes to my apartment, 3) I'll send you a postcard, 4) You can be 100% sure that I won't forget who you are during my time here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Been a While...

I haven’t written a blog post for a long time, just the pics and the PCV Challenge (which did anyone do by the way??). I’ve been writing quite a bit but haven’t had ganas to blog. But now it’s time to start back up.

Some of you may have heard of Engineers Without Borders. It’s an organization with student and professional chapters throughout the US and they do a variety of projects in developing countries. A mixed group (both students and professionals) of EWB came here from Akron, Ohio back in August, but I’m not sure if they’re still working on the project. It’s too bad: someone shows up to a community, tells them they want to work in certain projects (in this case, it was a system to purify their water), and then never comes back again. Then you wonder why communities have no hope or trust and don’t want to work when a NGO or PCV shows up and wants to do projects. Can you really blame them? It’s possible this group is still working on the project, I just haven’t heard from them in a long time.

On another note, I’ve been in communication with a professional EWB Chapter from Orange County (Orange County EWB's Facebook Page) since late last year and they came down here for their assessment trip in June. Four Engineers from the group came here for a week. The project they wanted to look at was making a well/pump/elevated tank water system for a community called Barrio Lempira, which is just a few minutes from Juticalpa. During the week, we had several meetings with community leaders and people from several government offices; a drill rig came from Tegucigalpa to take samples of the soil; and we did a short topographic study. For a better description of the project and more on what we did all week check out Gary’s blogpost about it at Honduras Assessment Trip, which is complete with details and pictures. All in all, it was a successful week and I had a great time hanging out with the four guys from the group (not to mention, thank you for all the food and beer!). I have all confidence that the group will be successful in the project.

Gary, Nick, Bobby, and Darren from EWB and me

Work wise, up until this week I have been very busy. My office contracted 3 people for a month to be my helpers for doing topographic surveys. For so long, I have been saying that I don’t want to do more topographic surveys but I just haven’t seemed to be able to escape them, yet. I’ve been focusing most of my time on working with urbano aka doing studies that will be used to improve the water system of Juticalpa (this is compared to working with rural communities before).  Juticalpa, a city of 60,000 people has huge water issues. Everyone I meet on the street has their opinion of why there are water issues (some of which are pretty funny), but the reality is that most people in my office couldn’t care less to improve it and also millions and millions of dollars are needed to adequately improve the water situation for the future. Two large problems. In my opinion, the only person who is putting any effort to develop a plan on how to improve the water situation here is my recently new counterpart Ing. Morales. He is also from SANAA and has been working at this for a while and the studies I’ve recently worked on in coordination with him, when built, should greatly improve the water situation for A LOT of people in the city. The sad, and a bit ironic, part is that even though he is the only person in our office who is trying to improve the situation, there is talk that he may get politically removed from the office before any construction starts. That would be a shame, but asi es la cosa.

After a hard, half-day (we finished early) of topography under the hot Juticalpan sun

Even with work being busy, I’ve still had lots of free time as well which has been nice. I’ve been reading quite a bit and two books that I just finished, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and its sequel Lila: An Enquiry Into Morals by Robert Pirsig, I highly recommend if you’re looking for something interesting.

One thing that has hit me lately is the travel bug. It’s been quite a while since I went on a trip so hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to hit up El Salvador, Belize, and Guatemala for some quality beach time and partying and relaxing. If anyone is interested, then let me know. My 2-year mark in Juticalpa is in less than 10 months so keep that in mind if you plan on visiting me down here. Another option would be New Years in Utila, one of the bay islands that are famous for diving. Check it out:

Well hope that all my friends and family (and I guess anyone else reading this) is doing well wherever you may be.

1 comment:

  1. You've been away for forever! Congrats on the 2 year mark! It sounds like your work is truckin' as always!