Saturday, June 20, 2009

Progress...and my unappreciative community.

We have made alot of physical progress with our projects.  

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this blog, I am in the city, after flipping out on my neighbors and leaving the community.  I awoke today to people talking badly about me and about the project rules involved with my aqueduct, right in front of my house, at around 6:45 AM.  The rules say that until you have paid everything(1 dollar a month, 15 dollars for the right to your faucet) and worked all the work days(one day per week for the duration of the construction, or 7 dollars for each missed day of work) your faucet stays locked up.  Yesterday we put up around 20 faucets and 18 had locks on them.  What can i say.  People don't pay the 1 dollar a month, people don't come to work, in general everyone wants an aqueduct given to them for free.  They think me doing this work is what they deserve.  It is not that they cannot afford these fees.  They decide to spend their money on the lottery, beer, new clothes almost every month, and many other non-essentials.  Where do these fees go?  To my pocket?  Nope, all those fees go to the water committee bank account that is there as a fund to employ a community member as plumber and any materials he may need to maintain and repair the aqueduct.  Who trained this plumber and organized this whole system?  Roberto.  How much did Roberto get paid for this?  $0  And now that the day has come to pay up, what do they do?  Talk shit about Roberto.  So what did I do-although not proud of it?  I flipped out, told them off, threw some PVC pipe pieces i had in my house outside, and walked out of town.  With that said, I am not in the most verbose of moods, so here is a quick summary of the things we have done recently, with some pictures.  If you think that this is cool or worthwhile, feel free to post a comment.  Give me strength to finish this, when everywhere I look there are reasons to stop.  No one seems to really care about the work I have done here.  They are pissed off at the fact that they owe $2 to their water committee or that all of those weeks missing work-days is coming back to bite them in the butt.  

-Finished 1000 gallon ferrocement water tank
-Finished 500 gallon concrete block tank
-Constructed 45 foot suspended cable bridge for pipeline
-Constructed 82 foot suspended cable bridge for pipeline
-Constructed 167 foot suspended cable bridge for pipeline
-Constructed 170 foot suspended cable bridge for pipeline
-Installed 4-55 Watt solar panels and solar water pump
-Pumped water up to upper community and filled 1000 gallon tank
-Installed 3-55 Watt solar panels and 4 6 Volt deep-cycle batteries in newly constructed community center

1 comment:

Dsmith said...

Well compay, you've learned the first big lesson of community development; it's easy to build stuff for a community, it is a lot harder to help the community build it for themselves. When I was a volunteer in the DR, I ran into the same experiences in the beginning. The trick is to get community involvement at every step of the project. If they are not invested physically, emotionally and financially, the aquaduct won't last the first pinchado.

As for the chisme, don't blame the entire community for the pendejadas for a few people. And when in doubt read Rudyard Kipling's If.