Social Impact Design

Monday, June 25, 2012

The times they are a-changing. May update

Water & Sanitation vest, looking professional 

My room: Organized Chaos 

Where am I? Hope this map helps

Luis Lee- Coordinator and all around awesome guy
Well, it has been some time since I have written! For those of you in a rush, I will give a brief look at what I have been up to in May:

- Project Design and Management workshop with Peace Corps:
 We talked about how to formulate clear objectives, goals, and create activities that allow us to accomplish those goals. We also created a project time-line and budget. 

Peace Corps Volunteers with their Community Partners

 This workshop was a HUGE help because it made the idea of implementing a project seem very simple and provided tools on how to get the job done. My counterpart (Victor) was from the Health Post and did a great job. We have been working hard on your project.
Tasty Cake

May was also Mothers Day and my host mom's (Sra. Lucha) and host sister's (Daniella) birthdays! So the whole extended family came over for a big dinner and cake.

I bought my sister a hat from Ayacucho and my host mother a small piece of pottery that is covered with different types of seeds. It is meant to bring good luck and prosperity to the household.

I bought baby Lucas a hat too

15 Kilos of 65% powdered Chlorine. Don't breath in! 

I convinced our Mayor that we needed to clean out the town reservoir. Normally, a reservoir is cleaned twice a year, but ours had not been disinfected for over 4 years! There is sediment in the water that slowly sinks to the bottom of the water tank and over the years has built up into quite a large amount of sludge. 

So we calculated the amount of Chlorine we would need to use for the disinfection, and the Municipality paid for it and told us to be careful, because the roof could collapse at any minute... 

Interior of Tank

It turns out they haven't been cleaning it because it was built in 1959 and it may or may not be structurally safe to clean. 

Once we emptied out the tank (which is 135 cubic meters, so that took some time), we discovered a large amount of brick that has fallen from the ceiling into the towns drinking water. But the most gross and time consuming part was emptying out the sludge that accumulated in the tank.

We emptied this stuff, bucket by bucket for about 3 hours. It was pretty smelly work. I stayed on the roof and helped haul up the muck, but there were three other guys who were in the tank shoveling the stuff up for quite some time.

I took a video of the process and have shown the mayor what happens if you do not clean out the reservoir regularly. I hope it will lead to a discussion about building a new tank, which they are in much need of.  

The dream team at the end of the days disinfection
That was the month of May in a nutshell. June has been just as busy, but I will write about that in the next post. 

¡Hasta Luego!


  1. Wow - Good job Dave!! Especially informative video you made.

  2. Nice work. Always so hard to convey what the "normal" day to day live is somewhere else in the world. I am so happy to see what you are doing. I bet a lot of small steps are the norm.

  3. Oh, nice touch that the Dylan song has German subtitles.