I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
A 23 year old guy who decided to join the Peace Corps in search of a way to use his engineering degree in a more meaningful way. I was a "Water" volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Now I am a Grad Student in Sustainable Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
The government actually followed through on its promise to make a new block schoolhouse next to my host-families house. In my most recent call to the community it was just missing some things on the roof. Now the school will be on the same side of the river as the children who go there-makes sense rigth?! Pictures soon-when the PCV sends me some! And they are still giving daily literacy classes in the community solar center!
Update:The spring box started leaking and water was only filling the tank once every three days. A fellow PCV, our trainer, funds from the water committee, and my plumber went up there, fixed the problem, and they all have tons of water again! The system worked!
A gravity-fed potable water aqueduct that services 39 homes and a small solar water pump aqueduct that services 8houses higher up in the hills. Construction took about 9 months to complete. 3.2 miles of PVC was utilized in the project.
Community Solar Center
We have constructed a small solar-powered community center. This is the only place with constant electricity, the only publicly-owned place where community meetings(i.e. Water Comittee) can be held, and the only place where kids can work together on their homework at night. The center is currently home to a daily literacy course in spanish and a weekly english class given free by a Dominican youth living in a nearby pueblo.
Solar Lightbulb Project
We have implemented a community wide project to put one lightbulb in every house(that wants one and is willing to comply with the required family monetary contribution)! Now even the 50 year-old men are completing their homework from the daily literacy class!
Library/Computer Center in Local High School
In a joint project with another PCV we installed a library/computer center in the local high school, a 2.5 hour walk from my community. Their are four large bookshelfs stocked with books, tables for research/creativity, a computer bank with eight laptops that receive constant power from a backup battery system, small blackboards and a map of the world.
Ventilation-Improved Pit latrines
2 VIP Pit latrines were constructed to replace the worst and most grave cases of the community.
"Home Sweet Home"
-nicely painted thanks to my Uncle John. Thanks for coming down!