Wednesday, January 19, 2011

River Monster Wrangling

Hello bloggers! Its lunes today and we finally arrived in the community of San Jose Pentacalapa. At 10am we had a meeting with the members of the comite to discuss the status of the bridge project and alternative solutions to problems within the community. We spoke at length about our expectations as well as their expectations and how we could work together to solve problems within the community. We defined our goals for the trip and began work immediately. We went down the Vivora River to begin our surveying of the site. We had to get shots up the river up to 50 feet from the proposed bridge. At first glance it looked like the river would be about waist deep. Of course, I was the one person who brought a bathing suit so I had to go into the river to hold the philly rod so we could get measurements. I soon found out that the water got deep really quickly and bada bing I am now chest deep in the Vivora River which I later found out meant snake river and was evidently….filled with snakes! Luckily, I did not encounter any critters in my adventure through the river and I made it out alive and with all of my limbs intact. Our team was working well together and we were able to get all of our shots pretty quickly. And everyone including the local men seemed to enjoy laughing at me struggling in the river. All in all it was a very successful day for Team Guat.

-Matt “Snake River Conqueror” Klepacki

Newark to Newark to Guatemala

After gathering and figuring out how to pack up all the surveying equipment, we, the Guatemala travel team, left Newark, DE on a cold snowy night. We drove up to Newark, NJ and after a few hours of sleep finally got to the airport to leave for Guatemala. From there we hopped a 6 AM flight down to Atlanta. Five of us were all stuck in the very pack row of the airplane. We quickly moved to our next gate only to have our next flight be delayed. But at the gate, we did finally meet our trusty professional engineer, Guillermo. The flight from Atlanta to Guatemala City was really smooth and I think most of us took the opportunity to catch up on some missed sleep from the night before. When we finally landed, we were all excited to be in Guatemala (and that all our equipment arrived in one place!). We passed through customs just fine and moved on to find our rental car and the trip finally began!