Thursday, March 28

– Curt Nelson

alpaca

Peruvian Alpaca being auctioned off at market.

Exit, stage left

Most of you are aware that the purpose of our trip to Peru was to do an assessment of potential EWB development projects. Myself, and an engineering student Bryce Hill, have spent the last four days visiting six communities talking to villagers, a couple of mayors, school teachers and administrators, and workers for ADRA Peru.

After five rewarding years in Honduras, we are wrapping up our work there this coming September. The security situation has become more tenuous causing extra justification for continued work, and requiring increased security precautions.

We heard of these potential projects in Peru through Jennifer Carter, a native Peruvian, and wife of Glenn Carter, associate VP for Finance at Walla Walla University. She put is in touch with Wilfredo Escobar, an employee of ADRA Peru. Willy, as we call him, arranged for the logistics of our stay. After a few days of acclimatization in Cusco, we traveled to the ADRA Training Center in Checacupe, a 90 minute drive south and east of Cusco toward the town of Puno and Lake Titticaca. We stayed at the training center during our assessment of needs in villages in the surrounding area.

Unlike Honduras, Checacupe is located at an altitude of 11,200ft. The elevation only affects us when we move and breathe. There are no mosquitoes, I haven’t sweated a drop, and the air is clean and crisp with birds trilling like a church pipe organ. The beds have a sheet, down comforter, and two heavy wool blankets. That is almost enough to keep warm. I just have to wear a wool shirt and pajamas and I am comfortable for the night.

The food here is fantastic. They grow most of it in nearby fields and two large greenhouses. There are new facilities that have been built with money donated from groups in Canada and Norway. The training center is bordered on one side by a river from which they pump water to irrigate their crops. We have collected enough data to make a good senior project that would replace their 15hp pump with a solar powered pump.

As Bryce mentioned yesterday, there are two projects that really stand out among the many needs here in this area. We have been blessed to experience this part of the world and hopefully in the future make a difference to a rural community.

Thank you to all who help us help others. Your gifts, thoughts, and prayers are appreciated as we move forward.