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I got the full download tonight from Jim, the other professional mentor on the trip, who has built many water systems around the world and has gotten this system off to a great start. My de-oxygenated brain is now full of catchment walls, galvanized-to-HDPE fittings, springbox design, concrete forming techniques, and a long list of things to “not forget.” This week will likely be short on engineering and long on general contracting: finding, organizing, and delivering materials to where they’re needed, negotiating the division of labor between us and local workers, and streamlining work as much as possible to meet the short remaining timeline. All of this has to happen at a site 1.5 hrs and 1,500 vertical feet of hiking above our base camp, with any trips to a store costing someone a full day. Basically, this is the part of the trip where most people would lose interest, while the eyes of the engineer light up at the challenge. 

I will have four and a half days on the project site this week, and the goal is to test the system and turn it on before I leave. It sounds like I’ll miss the celebratory dinner, which is ok with me since last year’s celebration included the much-loved delicacy of llama eyeball soup. What a treat.

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