Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun in the Dirt

This past Wednesday and Thursday Kemmel and I took off to Montellano to spend time with the University of Tennessee group working in the little town of La Fortuna. Unlike its name, this town is not so fortunate and lacks basic resources like water and electricity. In the past they have gotten their water from the river, a community well (not well kept) and various springs. One particular spring was 5 Km away and they lost a lot of tubing due to hurricane damage and theft.
But, in the last few years, they have had a school built and a water cistern project put in. This year, thanks to the UT team returning, a spring was dammed up to secure it and provide protection of the water source and also re-tubed to the existing cistern that will serve the school and one sector of the town. They also put in a series of raised bed vegetable gardens for the school kids to take care of and provided four families with smokeless stoves. Each day a group of men from the community was assigned to help out. It is encouraging to look at children and many pregnant mothers who are obviously suffering the effects of malnutrition, lack of education and poverty and think about how these projects will go a long way to help improve the situation in the long run.

Hmmm.... Now what?

Who's got the duct tape?

Picking out seeds--decisions, decisions.

Wood-burning, smokeless stove--saves large amounts of firewood and limits the chronic smoke inhalation by the families (especially the women).

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