I am now done with my trip in El Salvador and writing this post from The Bagelry in Santa Cruz, CA. If you ever come here, toast a garlic bagel with egg salad. There are a lot of hippies, a diva in juicy pants, and a few hipsters hanging out here. Four mothers with infants have passed through. There is also one person working on her computer next to a table of douches. Its great! In addition to quality bagels, many social groups are represented. Alright, well here is what I came here to type:
I would like to start things off with another video. I am sharing this video to show off that i am all that represents manliness when preparing breakfast in the Salvadoran mountains with my machete, yet I still appreciate a good Kermit The Frog song from time to time.
I bought a legit machete and leather case from the hardware store in town, and finally began to fit in a little more with the community. Besides being able to cut firewood at any given moment, other machete bearers would salute me with more frequency. I used it for coconuts, unnecessary yardwork (aka practice), and sometimes a little trailblazing. Also, if i took it with me on a hike to the waterfalls all the naughty theives kept their distance. I have done some hedge trimming with it for my mom since arriving in California.
|Naptime at the Juayua market|
|Lindsey stuck it out after falling out of an orange tree|
|Bert receiving applause after giving a speech to the community of Santa Elenita|
We also visited a small community of 160 people from the same family who did not have any running water. The residents of Santa Elenita had to walk a half mile up a steep hill from the closest spigot with a fifty pound water canister on their heads multiple times a day during the dry season. We were a bit more passionate about this project because the correct solution is not quite so cut and dry. Awaiting responses from a few private landowners regarding permission (again!) to lay pipe crossing their land, we visited the community a bit more in depth to research the quality of life. A makeshift town meeting was in session within ten minutes of our arrival, and we explained to them how we work and what we'd like to do for them. They all gave us a tour of the area, realizing that few houses had flooring, one house I saw just had tarps for walls. The level of poverty there was grave, but the residents were all smiles and positivity was present whenever we saw them.
|Watching the Giants v. Phillies with Lindsey, Bert, and Jikke|
Bert took off after seven days with a lot of new and exciting information to share with the rest of the team in San Francisco. It was by far the most interesting and productive week I had while down there, and we both had a lot of fun getting it all done and talking about them Giants.
|Field engineering work|
|Celebration day as the pump house is completed|
On top of that, I was really excited about being back home after two months to visit Sonny and to go to Chicago.
A few days ago, I attend the West Coast Regional Workshop for Engineers Without Borders, it was really interesting. I learned a bit more about sustainable development in rural communities, focusing on clean water and renewable energy delivery. If you thought this project was cool, there are hundreds of others happening all over the world. It can be a very constructive way to help rural communities abroad and strengthen the bond between countries. You can be a pseudo-diplomat! Even if you're not trained as an engineer, there is a lot you can do! //endplug
- pa panamericano!
|Those startling horses!|