I’ve mentioned before that for manual drilling, Haiti is extremely difficult. Even though it is hard (and has a history of blocking my efforts with the rocks that make up most of the country’s subsurface), it doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying different methods and supporting different teams with drilling here in Haiti.
This time, the team is mostly volunteers from Trinidad and two from the US. This team of 13 people have really worked well together. Prior to my arrival, I only had email contact with the leader, Natasha, and didn’t know anything about the others. It didn’t take long for us all to connect as a family. Perhaps it was 13 people sharing two rooms and one bathroom that helped us connect quickly 😉
(Update: we now have TWO bathrooms)
We had soil information from an existing well that indicated the first 20 feet would be OK for the Hydromissions exp-50 auger. We drilled 18′ on day #1 and were pretty excited. We had some issues with the borehole wall collapsing a little, but it wasn’t bad. We moved into a mixture of percussion tools (hammer and bailer) and the auger on the second day (I only brought enough extensions for 24′ since the soil logs showed rock after 20′). We progressed, however we had more collapsing in certain layers.
The days that followed were basically: drill deeper, wall collapses, lose ground, drill again, make up lost ground by end of the day, repeat the next day. We have been hovering around 27′ for a few days now. We tried auguring deeper (had longer extension rods fabricated in-country), hammering dry, hammering with drilling mud, etc. We got stuck on a large rock two days ago (or three days…it’s all running together) and we have been hammering at it, but not making progress. Our tools are breaking down instead of the rock in the borehole. The soil logs have been pretty spot on, so we know we have to break passed rock to reach sandy soils again and the water layer. We aren’t quitting. We don’t leave until Wednesday afternoon so we will continue hammering away every day. This video clip shows our slow process of manual percussion drilling.
In addition to drilling, we had two days where some of my teammates engaged a few ladies and children in hygiene education. The community learned about germs and how important it was to wash their hands. The lessons also incorporated how Jesus cleansed us of sin when he died on the cross on our behalf. At the end of the lesson, the group built a hand washing station near the community latrine. We have been happy to see a couple men and women walk over and wash their hands during the day.
We have had plenty of challenges, but remain hopeful!
Please pray for –
The team (long hard days, very little sleep)
The community (heavily involved in voodoo – we have seen 5 voodoo priest homes just around the area we are working. One of the young men that plays soccer with us aspires to be a voodoo priest but only for financial gain).
The borehole (we really really want to break through this rock)