Troy Wetherholt is one of our summer interns in Ixiamas, Bolivia. He arrived in Bolivia June 12 and will post to our blog about his experiences. Troy joins Becky and former intern Olivia (summer 2008), who returned for a month this summer.

Dahlia in the riverAfter a long sleepless overnight flight to La Paz and bumbling through customs and baggage claim, I was given a warm welcome to Bolivia from Angel. He showed me the city of La Paz as I tried to acclimate to the altitude and new culture. At noon I met Mateo at the airport and took the flight to Rurre. I was excited to see the jungle and be in the warmer climate. I met Rachel, her parents and Olivia, and the following morning, we were in a minivan on the bumpy road to Ixiamas. (Picture at left is the river in Puerto Ruso, the community’s main water source)
The school in Puerto  Ruso

My work in Bolivia for the two months I am here is to install wells in communities that need a clean water source. Bolivar taught me about the process of digging the well and how the pump works. My first week here we made parts of the pump from pvc pipe, leather and flipflop sandles. My training would be put into practice when members of the Puerto Russo, a jungle community, came to talk about installing a well next to their school. (Picture at right is the school in Puerto Ruso)

Bolivar and Troy  demonstrate the wellThe process of digging the well was hard work. The drill is picked up and dropped repeatedly by a team hauling on the rope it is attached to. Water brings the dirt up from the drill and through the pipe. After three days the drilling was complete. Bolivar and I came back to Ixiamas, and tomorrow we will go back to finish installing the well.(Picture at left is Troy and Bolivar demonstrating how to dig the well)