Thursday, July 2, 2009

1 well drillled!!!!!! woooo finally Engineers WITH a WELL

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Here is a summary, in order of increasing importance:

I ate cookies for breakfast this morning because the donut (aka benyay ...sp?) place across the street was closed.

The other day, I used a machete for the first time. I cut all of the tall grasses in Nura's garden to clear the way for new plants, while alternatively cursing and talking to them. Yes, the weeds are anglophone, and yes I am going crazy. The grass grew back before we had the chance to fully pull it up and plant.

I ate meat for the first time in two weeks the other day. We killed a chicken in the yard. And by we, I mean that I took no part in it whatsoever, but I did eat it. Rather guiltily. I hope I'm not becoming a vegetarian (sorry Dr. Steve).

On Sunday, the technician from Baffoussam gave his final word that the drill rig had been fixed and left. On Monday, FORAX finished drilling at the first site. They had hit water at 28 meters, drilled to 51 meters, and cased or screen down to 46 meters. On Tuesday, they finished developing the well with the air lift compressor. After 14 days and probably about 6 broken parts, they finished the work they had promised us in the beginning would only take 3 days. 

And so, yesterday they went to move the rig to the second drill site and (I would say this should have been fairly predictable by now) it wouldn't start. It was a problem completely unrelated to the air hammer pump fiasco - the truck battery had died. I'm generally not a superstitious person, but at this point, I was wondering if perhaps we were drilling on sacred land, maybe I had done something in a past life, used up all my good luck on other ewb trips. I took out my frustration by trying to dig the trenches to lay the piping with a pick ax. Its a lot harder than it looks, and Janvier decided I was doing it wrong anyway and took over. The mason came and laid the concrete foundation around the well to set the pump base, all the while the drill group was waiting for yet another technician to fix their truck. 

Well, I like technicians. The drill rig is now set up at the second site, ready to drill this well is 3 days, as I am assured by the still-optimistic drilling team...barring any technical problems, of course. In the highly unlikely scenario that they finish drilling by Friday (oh my gosh, that's tomorrow!), I will owe Guy a drink...but I have a feeling I am going to win this bet. 

With all the piping and foundations laid, and trenches dug at the first site, today we lowered the pump and finished wiring. The sun was shining and for the first time in 2 weeks, something went absolutely and perfectly right...the pump turned on powered by the solar panels and filled the tank. I love solar power. I understand that problems are inevitable, and learning from them is invaluable. Such is engineering, such is life. But it is wonderful when something just works and you don't have to fight for it. 

I am still looking forward to tomorrow, but not because I'll be one day closer to leaving.

much love,
Sarah

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOOOO HOOOO!!!!! Way to go Sarey!!!! One well down and one to go!

- Sam

Anonymous said...

INCROYABLE (incredible) !!
I had to pinch myself!
Congrats on your work getting the pump and connections all set and working! Fantastic!
I hope Janvier and others got a good idea what was involved. Worst case scenario is that Balatsit is not drilled before you have to leave! (see, I have stopped announcing best case scenarios, even knocking on wood)
Courage!
Dr. Steve

Anonymous said...

Quick anecdote -
My wife Carol waited a long time at the Newark Airport when our first crew was due back. Matt and Taylor were the first to finally came out. They looked a bit like EWB but she didn't recognize them. Then they opened up their bags and pulled out a roll of duct tape. There was no doubt then!
Dr. Steve

Jim said...

Engineers with Beignets-yummy

Engineers with machettes-look out body parts

Enginers chasing chickens-watch your feathers UDee

Engineers without Wells-heart breaking

Engineers with pick axes-dangerous

Engineers with dead
batteries-stuff happens

Engineers on sacred ground-Oh my!

In all-the villagers are thankful for this new source of sustainable potable water in their lives!

"Well" done!

Taylor said...

As my little brother would say, "That's number one!"

Glad the install went smoothly. Hope those guys take Nura up on her offer lol..

Taylor

Julie said...

Well done Sarah!!! I love the updates ... and especially the good news in this one. You're a rock star. Keep up the good work. EWB love, Julie

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Glad to hear that the solar panels, once again ran the pump without problems.

-Andrew

Ramsey Hazbun said...

A+ Sarah. Way to make it happen! This may not be the place, but any idea about what kind of yield the well has? Either way, look forward to hearing from you on your final return.

Meanwhile, back at home, I've been messing around with "Chop Fayner" with marginal success. I think I'm going to start using the "substitutions" just for fun.