Social Impact Design

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I got to see all my friends from Training!

So much has happened, where to start? This month went by super fast and the next month will as well. I will be traveling to Ayacucho for Semana Santa, which is supposed to be one of the best places in the world to celebrate holy week. I am very excited. Expect the next blog to have many beautiful pictures of processions and food. I may just devote the entire blog to food.

As for the past week, I was in Trujillo for “EIST” (Early In-Service Training). This was the first time that I got to see all of my friends from Pre-Service Training. It was SO MUCH FUN seeing everyone again. It was like no time has passed, but really its been about 4 months since we all swore in.

I do not have too much time to blog about it right now, as I am about to catch a bus back home. But the photos kinda speak for themselves. Click here for the whole album

We built some dry latrines (there is a tube that takes the urine outside). There are two compartments for the feces. Once one compartment is full, you switch to the empty one, and let the feces sit for 6 months. After six months, you open up the compartment and can use the stuff for fertilizer. This is a nice method because the other types of latrines become obsolete once they fill up. Plus, free fertilizer that can be sold!

The cocinas mejoradas are pretty great things too. I’ve uploaded a diagram that pretty much explains how it works: the hot air heats up the pots, not open flame. This way, less wood is used, and the smoke leaves the house by a chimney. Plans here and here

Much of our training revolved around the importance of correct maintenance of the systems. It is imperative for volunteers to provide adequate training so that families understand how the stoves and latrines work. There have been many many cases where families take out bricks to make a bigger flame for the stove, or who have not kept the dry bathrooms dry (Ill let you use your imagination as to how this happens). These alterations and incorrect usage ruin the projects, which can be very frustrating for the volunteers and families involved.

Peace Corps has a great advantage over other development agencies because we are here for two years. We have the chance, and responsibility, to perform regular inspections with the families to make sure that they are using the new facilities correctly.

But it really is tough for people to change their habits. They have been cooking one way their entire life, so it takes time and effort to learn another method. One volunteer thought of a great way to motivate the mothers to use their brand new improved cook stoves: a cook-off! This way, any issues can be addressed as a group, and at the end of the day, there is a feast J

I hope you found this interesting. Next theme: Food

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a cook-off!! That's a great way to get people to try out the new project and share in the experience together.
    Keep up the good work, Dave!