Every time we cover up our boreholes for the night, we repeat to the locals (especially kids) “no poo poo, no pee pee” which seems to be universal even though the Ngobe people speak a dialect very different from Spanish (and English!). The people always giggle about it, but it is a very reasonable request considering the best source of water (an existing spring close to the surface) on the property has been used by some of the Ngobe families as a “potty.”
We currently have three boreholes. The one we stopped yesterday at 31′; one we drilled this morning to about 12′; finally one we drilled above the “potty” spring at 22.5′. We tapped into the spring above the contamination point (the “potty”) and it is most definitely our most promising borehole. We have a great column of water at this point (yeah!), but we have not cased the well yet. We do not have access to many options for the filter pack that we need to place between the well casing and the borehole wall. We have been getting a lot of help from Kyle (via email) from Equip International because these soil conditions (and now filter pack issues) have been different from my previous projects.
We do feel encouraged by the amount of water we have found in this third borehole, but I think we all need a good night sleep before we try to resolve our filter pack problems. This work in the heat and humidity is brutal. I am a wee bit of an “anxious mom” team leader because I am constantly reminding everyone to drink water and electrolytes, but even though we all seem to be consuming a ton of liquids, dehydration and heat exhaustion symptoms hit us all at various times.
With all that said, this trip has been one of my favorites. My team is fantastic! Our hosts (Wood family) are amazing! The food is so yummy! The island is beautiful! We have lovely beds, water, electricity and NO RATS 😉
Below is a shot of all the students working in the third borehole (Brittany, Jessica, Eric, Pat & Jimmie)