This morning started with an early breakfast and a drive up to Pitumarca. We dropped Wesly, Bryce, Chris, and Dr. Nelson at the Muni for yet another meeting with the Alcalde. They had to meet with representatives from Pampa Chiri to nail down some specifics on the signed Memorandum of Understanding and to figure out how we were going to transport the largest materials we ordered: eleven rolls of 100 meter HDPE pipe and two 2500-liter tanks to Pucutuni. Unfortunately, the representatives from Pampa Chiri didn’t show up to the meeting. Because Pucutuni is located 14,000 feet above sea level, one of the most challenging aspects of this project is getting all our materials transported up to the project site. There is a dirt road that reaches Pucutuni, however, there is currently a large trench at Huatabamba, a small town about one thousand feet below Pucutuni, that has prevented cars from driving all the way up to our project site. In the past, we had dump trucks deliver our materials to Huatabamba, and then the Pucutuni community members would carry them across the large trench and load them into the motor-carga. However, the motor-carga was returned yesterday, as it could not transport our large materials because it was too small.
Jim, Braden, Leighton, and Josue headed up to Pucutuni, but made a short stop at Huatabamba to cut the delivered rebar to our desired lengths. With the help of our trusty driver, Yuri, we were able to find a home that would let us borrow an outlet to plug in our power-saw to cut the rebar. Some of the community members arrived and helped with cutting and moving the rebar across the large trench. While we were cutting the rebar, we saw a black truck driving up the other side of the trench with Chris and Wesly in it. We later found out that Wesly was able to move the Municipality to provide a 4X4 truck that would be used to carry our large materials to Pucutuni. The community workers started loading the truck with gravel, sand, and rebar. In a few hours, all of the HDPE pipe and the two tanks would be dropped off along with Bryce and Dr. Nelson. Meanwhile, the community members began carrying 50-pound sacks of gravel up a large hill to the reservoir foundation site, which has been completely dug. The oldest person carrying those sacks was 64 years old! Yesterday, we decided to race them across the large trench while carrying 50-pound sacks of gravel. Needless to say, they kicked our butts. They ran up the trench like it was nothing, while we arrived at the finish line dropping to the ground and panting heavily—in our defense, they had altitude on their side. As soon as the materials were dropped off, the community members started loading the pipes and tanks into the truck across the trench. After nine trips, we eventually managed to move all the supplies up to Pucutuni, thus ending our busy day.