Hard to believe, right?
It feels like yesterday we arrived in Peru, overwhelmed from Staging in Miami, anxious to begin training, and exhausted from our travels. And yet, here we are, three months later, already getting to work in our sites and finding ourselves planning for the months ahead. It’s already flying by!
Since our last post, we’ve had quite a few schedule changes and surprise events come our way. We have been able to conduct water system inspections in three more rural communities, and we joined staff from the local hospital to take part in a hand-washing seminar at two local schools.
The water system inspections involve us going with members of the Subgerencia de Saneamiento Ambiental to conduct these inspections on-site. Using a survey/inspection document, we analyze the source of the water, the reservoir, and the household connections. It’s important for us to analyze all the different aspects of each of these parts of the system that are points of risk. Using these inspection data, we can then put together an official report and provide recommendations for improvement and risk mitigation. It’s a crucial first step in our work in these communities!
The hand-washing event at the primary schools was really awesome. The nurses and health technicians from the hospital demonstrated the proper hand-washing techniques to the kids, and then they each stepped up to our makeshift bucket sinks and washed their hands. We helped them with a pump of soap, and then gave them a small and colorful towel as their reward for good hand-washing techniques. It was really fun to spend the morning with all the kids, especially the littlest ones at the second school we went to!
Peep below for lots of pics!
We’ve also had our first true “Volunteer experience” in that our city is currently on day #3 without water. The main pump at the water treatment plant broke several days ago, and wouldn’t you know, there isn’t any backup or standby pump! You love to see it. Fortunately, we still have about 1,000 liters (250 gallons) stored in a tank at our house, but that can only last for so long. We also had some reserve emergency water kept in barrels in the backyard, but we’ve used that up after a construction project outside our property cut our water supply line (twice) earlier last week. It’s all part of the experience! How soon will the tank supply run out? When will the pump be fixed, and will a standby pump finally be installed? Stay tuned, sports fans.
The water issue couldn’t have come at a better time, though, because we are looking forward to visiting our regional capital, Trujillo, this weekend. There are some more household things we are looking to purchase, and we’ll be spending some time with other friends in the region. We’ve all had our own unique experiences and challenges adjusting to our first three weeks in site, so it’ll be nice to decompress for a day or two.
We’ve had the awesome opportunity over the last week to catch up with lots of family and friends, be it via email, text, or video call. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to us – trust us when we say we miss you tons and we feel very blessed to have you in our lives! Hearing from you and talking with you is one of the biggest things that helps us through the rough days 😊
That’s it for now! If there is anything you guys would like to know, or if you have specific questions for us, perhaps we can put together a post about what our readers would like to know! Our FAQ page is a great resource for more general questions, but please drop us a line if there is something else you would like to learn about. We’d be happy to share!
Thank you, friends, for following along with us. Sending lots of love back to the States! Cheers 😊