Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Merge Team Visit!

Last week we had a super busy week hosting a Merge team from Wisconsin. They were a great group, 12 in all. They stayed in host homes in Tome their first night and the rest in an emergency shelter camp that is in Dichato, the nearby town that was destroyed after the earthquake.

Team on their day off exploring Dichato

They spent the week really working hard to bring running water to 28, that's right, 28 houses! Jordan and I weren't sure they'd be able to do it all in a week, but they were super motivated and a very encouraging sight to the people living in camp. They were able to dig trenches to each house, put in all of the pipes, and install sinks and showers outside of every home. (For just about a year, the homes have had no water to them, and so the people of the camp share 6 port-a-potties and 4 showers built shortly after the earthquake. They get their potable water from 2 large cisterns at the entrance to the camp and use that to cook and clean with. The showers are connected to a non-potable water source that comes from the hill nearby.) After finishing the installation at each of the houses, the team built a new tower for 2 more water cisterns, to bring more water from the hill to supply each house water to wash and cook with. It isn't technically potable, but it can be boiled.

Team with members of our church and people from Dichato

The team left with only the connection in the hill left to finish. The people are so close to having water in their homes, the contractor we were working with is finishing it up this week – so hopefully we can get a video up of some homes with running water soon!

Team with finished water tower

Jordan and I each had roles on the Merge staff, I was in charge of meals and he was in charge of the translating for the construction project. Cool right? It was really fun being part of the Merge experience, and Jordan did an AMAZING job translating. We had a great week, and made some great friends, from both Dichato and from Wisconsin. Thanks guys for all the hard work you did!!

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