Tag Archives: hygiene

The Final Days


Saying Goodbye is always hard

I am sitting in the airport in Panama City, waiting to be called to board.

This last week and a half has been busy. Simon drilled another well and installed two hand pumps. I closed off a large sanitation project at Asilo (a home for the elderly/disabled on the main island).

I am excited to see my family and friends back in the States, but saying goodbye to my Panama-family and friends is still sad.

As usual (for me), I have a quick turn-around in the States. I arrive home this evening (Wednesday) and will be loading gear back in my dad’s car at 2am on Sunday morning. I am heading back to Haiti with the goat team.

I will be sure to update more on the project later this week, but for now – if anyone lives near me (Vineland), I am looking for twin sheets for the orphanages we partner with in Haiti.

Adios for now 🙂



Simon working on a well in Shark Hole


Simon with a family near their well in Isla Tigre


Maria Isabelle is one of the residents of Asilo. Maria is an elderly schizophrenia patient. On this particular day, she was in a good mood and gave me some drawings. I really like when she is in a good mood, but I also don’t mind when she is in a bad mood either because my Spanish isn’t good enough to figure out what she is yelling at me about 😉  



Filed under Hydromissions, Panama

My Next 4 (0r 5) Countries


South Sudan, 2011

In two weeks, I leave for an intense schedule of projects in Eastern Africa.

Am I ready?

Nope  😉    …but I will [have to] be in two weeks.

Uganda will be my first stop. I will be working with Washington, an awesome Ugandan national, who I trained with our drilling equipment in 2012. Washington has been drilling and managing latrine construction projects on behalf of Hydromissions for the past 4 years. We will be drilling two borehole wells – one in Butega village and one in Nyakadot village. At this moment I have funds for one latrine construction project for a school in Kiroza village, but if I raise more support, a primary school has been identified for another latrine project. The latrine projects require more material which makes them more expensive then the borehole wells.


Walking to town, Uganda 2012. Washington is on my left, wearing the green shirt. I am guessing he is around 6’7″ – a massive man with a quiet disposition.

In addition to working with Washington, I will have two volunteers from the States for part of the time. This will be so nice! Besides the Gift a Goat project team (where we need 4-6 people), I spend most of my time traveling alone for the projects.

My first week will be with Jessica, a civil engineer grad from Rowan who has worked with me in Panama and El Salvador. Jess will assist in training national volunteers and checking on the well drilled in 2012.


Patrick, Me & Jessica on our way home from our 2014 Panama project

When I drop Jess off at the airport, I will be meeting with John. John and I have worked together in Haiti on the “Gift a Goat” projects and he has worked on multiple bridge projects in Panama over the past couple of years. John will be working on borehole well drilling for two weeks.


John, left, en route to Haiti with the Gift a Goat team in 2015

Another part of my travels will be visiting missionary friends serving in different regions of Uganda. The Rosser and Craig families serve for different ministries in appropriate technologies, education, well-drilling and farming. Jennifer, an amazing nurse, treats illnesses, responds to emergencies and, most recently, assists in many many births. I learn as much as I can from these visits and apply it to the training I provide in other communities worldwide. I am really excited to visit some of the Water for All drilling clubs started by the Rossers. The manual drilling method they use is different from Hydromissions, but I think it will be quite useful to incorporate in some communities – especially areas with harder subsurfaces.

Traveling to all the locations I have planned in Uganda will not be easy. The long bumpy buses will take up many days during my 5-weeks in country, but ultimately,  I will enjoy being back in “The Pearl of Africa.”


Waiting for my bus/van to leave in 2012. Hawkers will sell you anything through the bus window – even a live chicken!

After Uganda (with a possible quick stop in Rwanda), I will be traveling to Ethiopia to train a team in drilling, pumps and hygiene education, Kenya to visit former projects and teach pumps and Malawi to train borehole well drilling, pumps and hygiene education. Total time will be about 2 months for all of these projects.


My 4 scheduled stops so far (with Rwanda as my possible 5th)

I will update you all as much as possible throughout the course of these projects!

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Filed under Hydromissions, Uganda

2015 Review

I am so excited to announce that WE REACHED OUR FUNDING GOAL for the “Gift a Goat & More” campaign! Thank you all for supporting and sharing the fundraiser with your friends and family!

As I am preparing for my 2016 projects, I realized that I almost forgot to highlight what we have accomplished together in 2015!

See the video below for a recap of some of my main projects.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support of these water, sanitation, hygiene and livestock programs.

I consider you all part of my team as I would not be able to be working in the field without you all supporting me in many different ways!

Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!


December 24, 2015 · 12:41 pm

9:00am (Part 2)

*to make it easier to share this update, I am going to call the community leader “John.” I had originally written it with “community leader” throughout, but it seemed difficult to read it that way.

The next morning (Wednesday), I started packing my tools at daybreak to head back to the village. I was still letting doubt and anxiety creep back into my mind, however I knew that we (myself, the Wood family here in Panama, my family and friends back in the States) were all praying for the community and for the project.

I went back to the pipes, alone, and started repairing all the spots that were cut. About 2 hours later, John came out and met with me. He was very pleased to see the water flowing full in the 2″ pipe. Suddenly, he was agreeing with everything I had told him and the other guys on Tuesday. Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, etc. That can be in something as simple as purchasing trends or as severe as a mob of people rioting. Since I had John alone on Wednesday, he was much more understanding because he didn’t have the other men all rallying with different ideas and hacking away at the pipe.

I was not cured of all my anxiety, however I felt that God was taking care of the community and me. Bursts of encouragement like the transformation of John on that morning and having Bobby Wood walk the pipeline and reassure me that the system looked sufficient gave me comfort. Continue reading


Filed under Hydromissions, Panama

Poco a Poco (little by little)

Digging the trench is going slowly, but little by little, we are making progress!

250′ of trench!

In order to maintain community involvement, we work when the community members are able to work with us. Last weekend, I worked with 3 guys on Saturday and 1 guy on Sunday.  Even though it is hard work, if I can get at least one guy to show up, we can keep progressing. This week, there have been a couple guys working in the mornings, but I haven’t been with them. I came down with a fever a couple nights ago and haven’t recovered yet. Raul and Chuck, from Hydromissions, are here to help this week. As I lay here in bed, typing this update, they are working hard on the trench (I feel so bad not being in the field with them because the conditions are rough, but I am too sick). I am really grateful for the timing of Raul and Chuck’s visit. No one wants to get sick in the field, but knowing that the project continues to progress makes it easier.

I have mentioned the trench for the water line will take us past the new school. Because it will bring water to the school, I am able to get more support from the whole community. Typically, the two main families do not get along or work together, but they have unified recently to build this small school for their children.  Working off the momentum of the school project and showing how the water line will benefit the school and the teacher is really helping me get support. Being a teacher here is not easy. There is one classroom with 20 students, ranging from grades 1st – 6th. Justa, the teacher, has to sleep in a small house near the school Monday – Friday because it is too expensive to travel back to town where she lives. Justa doesn’t have the same living conditions here as she has in town (electricity, running water, etc), but she doesn’t mind. She truly cares for the students. I really like her a lot. With the help of Shirlene and the kids, I taught a hygiene class one day and Justa was really excited and said she would keep reinforcing the hygiene practices with the kids. She has already been explaining worms and parasites to them and encouraging hand washing and now she has some material to help her lessons. I am so happy to be working with her 🙂

Justa, the school teacher at the new Ngobe school

Justa, the school teacher at the new Ngobe school 

Praises: After a long drought, we got some rain last night. Water tanks and creeks were drying up and the only good source of water came from the wells we drilled. Happy that the wells were producing consistent water, however, we needed the rain! 

Prayers: That my health improves and that no one else gets sick. Also, we could still use more rain – a lot more rain!


Filed under Hydromissions, Panama

Back to where it all began!

  We crossed the border into Guatemala successfully! We were sort of prepared for some minor hassling that you would expect at a border crossing, but ours was smooth. We walked over from El Salvador to Guatemala which really just means we took a truck to the El Salvador Frontier, got the stamps we needed and walked over two bridges. Once in Guatemala, we filled out our immigration papers and met my friend, Clarita, who picked us up. The funny part (to me) was walking alongside of all these tractor trailers parked on the road waiting to cross from Guatemala into El Salvador. We felt very small and a little odd to not be in a vehicle like everyone else. All in all, it went well! We met up with other mission teams that evening and participated in some activities with local teens. Over the past couple of days, we’ve taught some basic hygiene to missionaries so they can teach it to their communities. We went to San Antonio to see my former project from 2009. It was so awesome to be back in San Antonio and to see all the families I had become so close to during our project.   The kids are grown up, the parents look a little older (but so do I!) and the community has grown to 60 families. Two hours passed quickly.  I will be returning there again on Sunday so I wasn’t too sad leaving. We are working in Coyolate and I’ll be sending an update about the water filters at the end of the week!   To send a message to Caitlin, visit:https://share.delorme.com/Caitlinterry

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Where there is coffee, there is life!


All is well in La Cumbre, El Salvador. We have enjoyed spending time with the community. I checked the water tanks and pipes and the system is functioning but they are in the middle of a little drought and the water is coming out of the spring very slowly. Jen taught the kids a fun game to play during recess at the school up here.  I am not a coffee drinker at home, but it is rude to refuse anything presented (even if you don’t usually eat/drink it) in these communities. With that said, I really hope I don’t return to the States addicted to coffee, because I drank more here then anywhere else abroad or home.  😉 Jen and I taught a hygiene class to the women of the community. The class went really well and the next day, before lunch, the lady serving us went and washed her hands at the Tippy Tap before serving the food. She commented that she learned that from class!

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