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Living Water International Trip 2017- Guatemala

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Sun afternoon  - Monday:
Well, La Maquina is hot!  Feels a little bit like home (just not AS humid).  We made it to Hotel 6 in La Maquina around 5:30 pm Sunday.  We got unloaded, turned on the small A/C wall units in our room, and then gathered to meet at 6:30 pm.  We had a brief team meeting, but then the local pastor of the church we are drilling at came by to welcome us.  Him, his wife, and 3 church members - they were too excited to wait until the next day to welcome us!  The pastor and his wife have a connection with a medical mission group from Mobile, AL, who come annually in June every year to help those in the community.  Awhile back the pastor was very sick.  He had a small tumor on his pancreas and traveled to Mobile, AL paid by the mission group to have the surgery to remove it.  It was a success and he says he is forever grateful for America and her missionaries that come and take time and money to help others.  They also let us know they have been praying for our president, for Trump, and for there to be peace again instead of chaos.

Dinner was nice and was accompanied by a nice evening rain storm.  After dinner, we finished our team meetings, both for the drilling team and hygiene team.  We wrapped up about 8 pm.  Some of us headed to our rooms to prep for the next day while others stayed up longer to play a few rounds of chicken foot.  We were all pretty tired after a long car ride.  
This morning breakfast started at 5:05 am and ran till 5:45 am.  We loaded up at 6 am and headed out by 6:20 am.  It took us 1:40 hrs to get to the community of Monterey.  The church we are drilling at is next to a small school and some local homes.  We were welcomed by many from the community and had a little ceremony to kick things off.  The community of Monterey has about 7,000 people, and this is the first well for them.  They had a water well several years ago, but it broke and even after another team from the US tried to come down to fix it, they couldn't.
It took us til about 11:30 am to get everything setup to drill.  The community did a great job putting up tarps and a small canopy for us to have some shade around the drilling rig.  If not for that, I'd think we'd all have fallen out with the sun!  We are thankful.  While we were mixing the synthetic mud for drilling, Mandy and I had a young girl (early teenager) who was watching us mix the mud come and help us.  She was eager and excited.  Usually, girls aren't permitted to do manual labor, but i think it was ok since she was helping us women work, and she was asked to join.  The strong gender roles can be very hard to see in these countries, as they often go beyond expectations, and into dictating life choices, of which usually denies young women from even having an education beyond 6th grade.  I think it's good for them to see other women working and give them hope and encouragement to follow their dreams and God's calling.  
We drilled the first 40 ft no issues today.  We then ran into some issues getting down to 50 ft - started hitting rock.  We took lunch at 12:30 pm.  After lunch, we continued on the rock area.  We got to 50 ft and then hit more rock.  We spent several hours trying to get thru the next 10 ft, not only though the rock, but every time we pulled up some to clear the rock, some of the walls of the hole would collapse around the drill head, so we keep fighting that to unstick the drill.  We finally made it to 60ft, but it took over 1:45 hrs to go from 55 ft to 60 ft!
The goal is to drill the pilot hole (4" bit) past 230 ft, then ream it out with a larger drill head (~7") down to the well depth of 230 ft.  We didn't get to 70 ft yet.  We stayed late trying but finally headed out at 6 pm. Was a late night dinner, and straight to showers and then bed!
Unfortunately, one of the ladies here the teach hygiene got overheated and sick. She wasn't able to get cooled down, so she was taken to the nearest clinic the next town down.  She ended up having to go from the clinic to the nearest hospital to get IV fluids.  The hospital is close physically to the clinic (3 km), but the road is bad, so it was another 2 hrs drive.  She is being kept overnight.  Prayers for her.
Tomorrow we try again.  This time we plan to start with the reamer drill bit (7") to try to get past the rock and hole wall collapses and make up some time.  Please pray for our safety, health in the heat, and that we can make up for the drilling delays, and if not, then for God's will to be done!!
Follow more of their journey at #ubcLWI

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