Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Must...Have...Water...

Tuesday - Day 2 of Drilling


We got a lot done today. At the end of the day yesterday, we hit a layer of rock and it took us a few hours to get just a couple feet through it. But we started working at it again this morning and we finally made it through and were pleased to find that the next 30 feet or so were just small pebbles and gravel so our shifts of drilling in five feet intervals were pretty short. At about 70 feet down, we stopped for a delicious lunch of cold hot dogs (seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it?)...and after that I got up to go hold some PVC pipe so we could cut slits in it to make it into a filter to go in the bottom of the well. As I was holding the pipe, I felt a all the energy drain out of my body like a coke bottle turned upside down. It was the weirdest feeling. I went and sat down and it was all downhill from there.


My teammates came over to check on me, and Katie (The LWI-El Salvador Health & Hygiene Coordinator) insisted that Stan (also an LWI guy, but from Houston) take me to the van and let me recline in the front seat with the A/C on full blast. I sat there for an hour and a half or so and Stan basically poured a few gallons of water, Gatorade and delicious (read: horribly and utterly disgusting) oral recovery blah-blah-blah down my throat. (Oral recovery blah-blah-blah: can't remember the full name, but as Stan would say, "It's what Gatorade should be, but Americans pump it full of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial chemicals." So in essence it was tepid H2O with salt and sugar...mmm...yummy.) So there I sat, concentrating on not vomiting until they decided it was best for me to go back to our hotel.


Abel (and LWI-El Salvador guy) drove me back to the Oasis (our hotel) and Stan came too so he could make sure I was OK. It worked out well since he had some writing to do anyway, and I was grateful to have someone on site who could understand English in the event I uttered some very eloquent last words. Side note: On the way back to the hotel, Abel saw a HUGE iguana cross the road in front of him and decided that the American girl on her death-bed could probably make it long enough for him to try to catch it. He planned on catching the lizard, wrapping it up in a big blue tarp, and putting it in Estuardo's (an LWI- El Salvador guy - He's so cool, you just don't even know!) room as a wonderful prank that evening. But as luck would have it, the iguana escaped Abel's grasp and probably went on to live a very happy life with his iguana wife and babies. I didn't even remember this happening until the next day. I actually sat up in the van and took a photo of the iguana and didn't remember it at all. Come to find out, dehydration feels a little like intoxication...


I ended up not dying (which explains my being able to do this blog-post). I did however sleep until my teammates returned. They had gotten a lot done without me. Doug (a Jedi-knight from Denver, CO) proceeded to tell Stan and me all the glorious things they accomplished in my absence. "We got the hole drilled to 100 feet, and we dropped in all the casing (the PVC pipe.)" I kind of got a little teary-eyed, because my biggest prayer (other than actually hitting an aquifer) was that God would allow me to fully experience the whole process of drilling the well and to keep me from getting sick. After Doug got up, Stan did one of the most sensitive things a friend could do. He completely minimized the work of my teammates. He got a pen and a napkin and drew a diagram of the hole. He said, "All they did was go down 20 more feet...big deal! You did that all day. Then they glued together five plastic pipes and stuck 'em in a hole. Who cares?! All the important stuff will happen tomorrow and you'll be there to see it and do it." I know Stan was just trying to make me feel better, and we both knew that our team busted their butts to get all those things accomplished. But it was really just what I needed at that moment: a friend who cared about me and didn't mind taking the time to help me smile again. Thanks Stan.


This is Katie. She is one of the most amazing girls I've ever met. She's been working in El Salvador for almost a year now. She's the poster-girl for learning a language through immersion! I just love her so much!

Here's George (a teammate from Mosaic) and Stan (in the background with dark hair) showing off some cool yo-yo tricks to an eager audience.


If only Abel could have captured this beast...

what an interesting post this could have been...

1 snappy comebacks:

mccobbey said...

At first I thought Abel was gonna capture the iguana for a savory iguana stew or something.......but the prank would've been just as fun.

And no. I'm not being stereotypical in my comment. The stew would've been what a true-blooded Panamanian would've used the iguana for. I've been inoculized by good ol' fashioned Americanization so as a transplanted Panamanian, I was thankful that in actuality the iguana lived on happily ever after. The End.