Building Foundations in Nicaragua: Day Two


Today was another productive day working with the community in Pedro Aruz.  We woke up bright and early and after a quick breakfast we were on site and ready to go.  Since it was Sunday and many of the community members were in church, we had limited help in the morning.  Fortunately, we had done the majority of the heavy work on day 1 and only had one more foundation hole to dig.  Our refined digging technique and the few community member hands we did have helping us made this work go faster than the previous holes.  Luckily, we had the hole prepared before the mid-day heat moved in.

We took a break during the heat of the day for lunch and a visit to the neighbouring community of El Papayal to do some more background research.   The neighhbouring community had two wind pumps that had been built with the help of World Vision back in 2005.  The pumps were still working with repairs being done by community members.  However, they had encountered many of the same challenges we had heard about in our previous research trip of premature rope failure, the rope coming off the transmission wheel, and difficulty repairing damaged components.  These are all items which we’ve taken into account during the design process and hope our new concepts will help address.

We returned to the site after lunch with our sights set on welding up the windmill attachment plates and pouring the concrete foundation.  We had more community members in to help and the work progressed really quickly.  Just as it looked like we may get all the work wrapped up today, the skies opened up and there was a long heavy downpour.  This halted our foundation work for the day, but the kids didn’t seem to mind and were happily playing in the rain.  It also gave us a chance to interview community members and start making test pieces of the new windmill transmission we’ve designed.

Even with the rain today, I’m really happy with the progress.  We shouldn’t have any trouble wrapping up the foundation construction tomorrow before our town hall meeting, as long as we don’t have continuous rain.  I’m really excited to finish up this first step and can’t wait till we implement the full design in the fall!