February 24, 2010

Republica Dominicana Project #1

So one of the main projects of this trip was to build and install a water filtration system in the town of Baitoa. Two teams had already arrived and started on this before our arrival early Tuesday morning. (We were supposed to arrive late Monday night but that's another story.)

This is the church/school building. The water system was to be installed in a small building behind here.

All these parts have a specific purpose. It looks sort of like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle. I'm just glad that there were people who knew what they were doing. I asked Jim why the pipes go up and down in that pattern. The answer is that the ozone needs 30 feet of vertical pipe to rid the water of bacteria.

There was trench digging, pipe laying, trench filling in, pipe building, pipe installing, door and track building, and much cleaning and gluing and following of instructions.

This is Leo. He is married to my friend, Cheryl. Charro in Spanish. His full name is Juan Leonardo Perez Sanchez. Doesn't that sound cool? Well, he is cool. And he's the man in charge.
The cement thing in the background is the water cistern with regular water. The water is pumped up to the roof where there is a holding tank which is run through the filtration system. I was told the water will go through the system several times.

Micah, my brother, and Dave, the master builder, tested the weight holding abilities of the counter that they built before painting it. Test 1- Successful.

We called in more volunteers. Test 2- Successful. The counter will easily hold the big jugs of water.
Now for the finishing touches.

Tah dah! The water filtration system is complete!
These were the water tests. Each bag was filled with water then a chemical to make those pesky, invisible, deadly bacteria show up. The first bag of unfiltered water turned black within 24 hours. The second bag was partially filtered and turned yellow within 24 hours. The third bag was absolutely clear. Jim drank the water. And since Jim is still healthy... Success!

The last item of the water project was the installation of a small cross which Dave's neighbor had sent with him to leave on one of the projects. Little did we know that it would take some ingenuity to install it; small nails weren't readily available so Dave made staples do the job.
With this system in place, people will be able to purchase clean water for 70% less than the normal price allowing them to use clean water more often.
And more encouraging news: the mayor of Baitoa is excited about this project and wants to have ten more installed around the area!
Any questions? I may know the answer. If not, I know who to ask.


The Boob Nazi said...

That looks like a great project!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful project! My oldest son went to Uguanda a few years ago helping to set up solar oven in the war torn areas. He also worked with a medical crew. I think it was one of the most educational experiences of his life. I so want my other sons to do work like this.

BTW - I LOVE STAPLES. I don't use glue on the boys poster projects anymore. We staple! How easy is that! Art projects? Stapling!

Laura said...

Wow, that's so cool. You guys pretty much rock.

Marie said...

What a wonderful thing you have done. We so easily take clean water for granted.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

You are a saint here on earth! I used to go on service projects with my church when I was in high school, and I adored it. There really aren't those types of opportunities once you leave school... maybe I should volunteer as a group leader! (Even though my construction skills are NON existent!)

Confessions From A Working Mom

Kat @ www.TodaysCliche.com said...

This is absolutely amazing! I am such a "wanna be" missionary for projects like this. I love the pics! I traveled throughout 3rd world countries in the late 90s, and want to bring my kids back there... hubby has no desire. We shall see!!
I LOVE your blog (as you prob. already know!!)