Day Five – FoUrth Work Day

From Sam Flint – Well we are done officially.

This was our last faucet installation of the trip

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We spent the day filling in the last few trenches and scraping together whatever pipe we could find to finish the last few yards of work. In the end we finished 46 houses, 4 short of our goal of fifty. It we had the resources we would have exceeded that easily.

In the afternoon the community held a celebration in honor of the water project. There was dancing, music and lots of laughing.

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Three fourth grade girls performed a traditional Nicaraguan dance for us.

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The community was so thankful and it was emotional for all of us.

Tomorrow we head out at 7 am to catch a ferry and spend the night in Managua before our early morning flight back to the states.

Life goes on from here but it won’t be the same.

 
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Day Four-Third Work Day

From Sam Flint – Today we were split into two groups and were sent to two big projects. Each line was connecting multiple houses to the main water line. It got hot early and our materials began to dwindle.

We began the trip with 1800 meters of water pipe to lay and accomplished this in only three days. We are still calculating the official number but we are almost positive we came in just under our goal of 50 houses.

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This is bitter sweet for me. Yes we did great work and helped provide water for almost 50 families but there are still hundreds more in the area without the resources to get water.

Water is a mandatory need for a human body. We can not survive without it, yet the rest of the world can somehow stand by and watch others struggle to fill that need. This is a world wide issue with billions being effected. Having consumable water is not a privilege but a human need and should have no monetary cost attached.

How many of you wake up wondering where you will get enough water to shower or wash your clothes? Do you ever worry the water you give your family will make them sick?

This has been an eye opening and empowering experience. And it’s not over yet.

Day Four – Second Work Day

From Sam Flint – In the morning we busted out 8 houses. The first three were very tricky because they were on the opposite side of the road from the main water pipe. Because of this we had to dig the trench through the road. The roads here are a mixture of cement, gravel and rock.

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We first use the pick axes to loosen the dirt in the line from the main water pipe to the faucet end. Then the dirt is removed with a shovel. This process is repeated until the trench is 6 to 8 inches deep. The trenches must be deeper when we plan to run the pipe under the road. We also have breaking bars to use for large rocks and cement.

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Then the pipe is laid in the trenches male to female end.

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The pipes are than glued together.

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Once the pipes are glued we cover them back up a install the water faucet. Then we cut a connector into the main water pipe and glue the two together.

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This afternoon we got 12 more houses done which gives a total of 20 for the day and 31 for our over all total. Awesome!

At this point we are at risk of running out of materials before our time here is over.

Oh and while walking back after work we ran into Willem Lange from VPR on the street! Small world!

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Day Three-First Work Day

From Sam Flint – Today was our first day of work and we started at 6:30 AM. We carried our tools and the piping to the outskirts of the town to a section of houses that the main water line runs by but has no outlet to the houses.

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We dug trenches, layed pipe and covered them back up. By connectIng the new piping to the main line on the road we were able to connect 4 separate house to the water supply. The water does not run directly into the house, instead we installed water faucets outside each house.

While working a 7 year old boy, Carlos began helping us. He has 9 brothers and sisters and wanted to be part of helping his family get water. He worked so hard and used a pick axe better than anyone.

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By the end of the day we managed to finish eleven houses which leaves us with 39 more to do in the next three days. The work is hard and extremely hot but very satisfying. 

Day Two – Volcano Hike

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From Sam Flint – Today we were up bright and early for our 5 hour hike up and down the volcano. The water committee here wanted to show us their water supply and the current system they have. The hike was the most strenuous activity I have ever done.

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It’s was pretty much 5 hours of crazy cardio up and down rock cliffs.

The water is carried down the mountain with simple 2 or 4 inch piping. Because of the extreme heat the pipes have to be replaced every 15 years.

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The above repair job is leaking water and has been for sometime. The village relies on this water successfully traveling down the mountain. The work we are doing this week will supply an additional 50 families with water.

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We finished our hike around noon and headed for lunch at village festival. The place was packed full of locals eating, drinking and watching bull fights. Some may not agree with it, but it’s part of their culture and an honored tradition.

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We made the decision today to begin our work days at 6:30am and work until 11, break until 1 and then work until 5pm. This allows us to avoid the hottest part of the day.

To Ometepe

What an amazing day!

Shortly after breakfast, we loaded up the van and headed for the ferry at San Jorge, about a 2.5 hour drive. Along the way we had the opportunity to see the beautiful Nicaraguan countryside.

There was a bit of wind on Lake Nicaragua, which helped to keep everyone cool for the ride.

Upon our arrival on the island we were greeted by Jamie and travelled to a beachside resort for lunch, hike around a lagoon, visited Eye of Water to swim in a spring fed lagoon, and then to a park to see 4500 year old petroglyphs before getting to Hotel la Omaja.

After settling into our cabanas we enjoyed a candlelit dinner as the power went out. It provided the group with a wonderful opportunity to chat about the day. Of course, the power outage here isn’t quite the same as Vermont in the middle of winter! It’s still had to believe that it is the middle of February.

As group members depart one by one, we are all looking forward to a good nights sleep.