Yet another week has passed, however this one was very eventful! In short, the project is nearly done! As of Thursday afternoon, we had two of the three spring sources ready to fill the system, with just a couple connections to get the third one ready, and fixing one tapstand that had a slight malfunction.

To get to that point required a hard-working week, but everyone kept pushing to make sure we made it. At the beginning of this week, we had one tank foundation and the springbox foundation poured, roughly half the pipeline laid out, and even less of it fully connected. Over the week, we poured the second tank foundation, springbox and valve box walls, two catchments to collect water from three springs, and five tapstands. This was in addition to laying out the rest of the pipeline, making sure all the connections were tight, and testing what we could. Needless to say the community contributed a lot, including pouring all the concrete and transporting the bulkier and heavier materials up the hill. Our team focused on the pipeline and connections, as that was our relative expertise. Both parts had their headaches, and they constantly required working together in order to succeed. Many of the pipe sections had to be prepared before pouring could occur, and they system was often used, in whatever state it was in, to provide water for mixing concrete. Every night consisted of a planning session to figure out what exactly we could accomplish the next day, and what was needed at that particular location in order to finish it. Add on to all this that we had sickness spreading among a few of us because of extra elevation, exertion, and labor, and it made for very busy week. However, as I mentioned before, the work has paid off and we are so very near done. With any luck, the last couple things were finished Friday afternoon by a few of us, and we will have a completed and working system for our inauguration ceremony on Monday afternoon.

While this trip has been a conclusion of sorts for all of us after having spent a year working on this project in some way, this trip also marks a beginning for a few of us. A few of us spent some of our time here taking surveys and gathering data for our next project here, a micro-hydro project to provide power to one small region that is too far removed from the country’s power grid. With Chris and Kathrin leading the way assisted by our outstanding faculty and professional mentors, I am sure that this micro-hydro project will progress even better than our nearly completed water project.

While we still have the last couple parts of the project and the inauguration ceremony remaining, some of us unfortunately have to return early for previous responsibilities and plans. This weekend yet, two of our team, Noe and Alexa, and our professional mentor, Joel, are all flying home. The rest of us have a few days remaining, with the last of us flying out Wednesday afternoon. Until then, we are spending our little remaining time absorbing what we can of the country that has become our temporary home. Some of us headed to see Machu Pichu yet this weekend, and for all our sakes, hopefully we won’t be rained out like Noe and I were when we visited earlier this summer.

There may yet be a couple posts, and more than anything, hopefully a video of various aspects of our project. Regardless, all of us in EWB-WWU owe a humongous thank you to all of you for supporting our efforts to help these people. Without your support, in whatever form it takes, none of this would have been possible. Thank you!

Until next time!

-Kendall Heinrich