Monday, January 24, 2011

Making Strides

So it turns out that all major and useful shops in Baffousam are closed on Saturdays. Remember this for future trips! We ended up getting a couple supplies (pvc, a few fittings, and some other odds and ends) from a second hand parts shop. At these kinds of shops everything is in piles and you have to sort through it all to find the pieces you want. We found most of what we wanted anyways so it worked out.

Yesterday (Sunday) morning we started to put together the racking system for the solar panels. We had to add another splice onto the longer legs to get them onto the plane, so we had a couple more holes to drill into the aluminum. The guys worked on drilling the holes for the splice and the solar panel connections while the girls worked on wiring the conduit. Some of the holes were a little too small so Dr. Steve was trying to make them a bit bigger by drilling a little on an angle. The drill bit bent and broke off! And that is why we are back in Baffousam for the day. No surprises, the girls fully succeeded in wiring the conduit. The picture below shows the drill bit in pieces!This picture shows Shannon and Amy rolling up some finished conduit.

The following picture shows Vince and Raoul working on drilling holes to mount the solar panels on the rack (prior to the drill bit shattering).
Sunday was also market day in Bamendjou! We went to the market to search for drill bits, fabric, baskets, and sugar cane. We left the market with a 50% success rate.

After the market we stopped by our construction site and marked out location of the wet well and control box so excavation could start bright and early this morning. Due to unforeseen circumstances (one of the tanks' supports being broken), we changed the location of the wet well to the left tank.

Then we headed to the chief's place for a water committee meeting. During the meeting we discussed all sorts of plans for this trip and future trips. The water committee seems to have been on their game lately. They elected new leaders, as is customary in Cameroon every 2 years. They gave us an overview of meetings for the past couple meetings, and their detailed budget plans for the upcoming year. We answered any questions and concerns they had about the system. Then we shared the memorandum of understanding with them and they liked the "official-ness" of the document. We took some sweet official agreement pictures of Dr. Steve and the chief of Bakang II. The first picture below shows the chief of Bakang II signing the memorandum of understanding and the second picture shows the whole team with the members of the water committee.


This morning, Nicole, Raoul and Amy worked on planning out the wet well and improved taps to the tanks in Bakang II. Shannon and Vince worked on figuring out the problems with the float switches in Bakang II and the reservoir. Dr. Steve dug a trench for the wire and pipe with the help of 21 hardworking volunteers from the community! It was fantastic to see such a great turnout. As of this afternoon, the beginnings of the wet well have been attached, the area for the foundation for the wet well and control box has been dug, the float switch in Bakang II was inspected and fixed, and the sand, gravel and cement have been delivered for foundation work tomorrow. Cement blocks will arrive tomorrow.

Currently, Nicole, Shannon and Dr. Steve are stuck in Bafoussam due to a flat tire on the SUV. However, we have found all of the parts we came for and the tire should be fixed soon.

We have a lot of work to get done over the next week, but we had pineapples with dinner last night so we are still in good spirits.

Sincerely,
Love forever,

The Implementation Team

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow - not a day goes by where there isn't another story to tell! The Zahradka's admire your perseverence and ablilty to find ways to stay positive. Keep up the good work and keep us updated as often as you can - we look forward to reading each of your posts - see you next Tues.!

Ramsey Hazbun said...

Same setbacks, but you guys are taking it in stride. I think you guys are making fantastic progress! Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see lots more pictures.

Taylor said...

You guys are awesome!! Way to keep rolling with the punches. Pineapple...

And MOU's!! We need an EWB stamp!

Dan said...

Keep it up gang. It sounds like ya'll are having a blast and working your tails off...just like it should be. Tell Guy I say hello and buy him a beer for all the car troubles. Keep the posts comin!

Also...I was thinking about joining the gobstopper study but thought it might be time to trust your research and send a stern letter straight to willy wonka with suggestions

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