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Archive for 2008

Change of Plans

By Tim Rasmussen , Friday, December 5th, 2008

Change of Plans
This past fall we had intended to send a container as usual, but the last few weeks before December as the economic situation ground down we began to be concerned about the wisdom of that decision. We had two items to get to Guatemala. One was a donated Ford F250 truck and the other was a heavy duty trailer capable of carrying drill casing and heavy equipment. Our board made a decision to try to find someone to drive the truck and trailer to Guatemala and save the cost of the container. Our quote on for shipping the 40 ft container was nearly $12,000. All we had to do was find someone to make the nearly 6,000 mile journey.

Enter Jim Bechtel and his faithful wife Vonny. Jim is in his seventies and a veteran of over 50 trips to Guatemala in support of the International Children’s Care facilities. Over the years he has brought trucks, busses, tractors, endless amounts of tools, machinery and just about anything imaginable to the ICC school and orphanage there. Over the years he has established a small shop there in one of the bays of a garage where he keeps his tools secure and where he would make special repairs for the campus. He is fluent in Spanish and over the years has developed unique skills at the delicate negotiations necessary to get loads of material into Guatemala

Jim told me that the main difficulty was often getting the load into and out of Mexico. To accomplish that, a careful inventory is made at the border of what comes in and it must match the inventory of what is leaving at the other end of the country. Sometimes Jim has simply been refused entry. His technique for these issues is simple. He will turn around at the border and drive back a few miles, find a place to stay, and he and Vonny will fast and pray until he feels the time is right. Then he will come back to the border and try again. It may take more than one try, but he will usually find a border guard that will simply wave him on into the country with out a hassle.

We hope and pray that he makes it safely through Mexico because that country is especially dangerous now.

Off the Grid

By Tim Rasmussen , Friday, August 8th, 2008

In June, My wife Annette and I went to Guatemala to visit with the orphanage children and to try to make some assessment of the priorities for next year’s drilling season. We had never been there in the middle of summer and now I understand why. It was hot and very humid. It rained a little each day and seemed like it was raining hot water.

We visited the villages where we had worked last January through March. The first village, Tan Hoc, was a village without grid power, so we installed a (more…)

Spring 2008 Update

By admin , Friday, May 2nd, 2008

In 2008, three wells were completed in the villages of Saboneta, Tanhoc, and La Canoa.

Completing the well at Saboneta was particularly satisfying since a previous attempt in 2007 resulted in a dry hole at over 500 feet deep. However, after working with the local government to obtain aerial photos and consulting a hydro geologist, Chuck Gruenenfelder, from Spokane, Washington we were able to choose a different site which resulted in water at 250 feet. Bob Perry of Utah was the driller and Ernie Parkins also of Utah along with Dave Klomp of California assisted in completing this well. (more…)

Not Enough was Too Much

By Tim Rasmussen , Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Last February when I was in Guatemala for the drilling season, I spent a couple of days with Lynn and Gary Bartholomew on the drilling site in Sabonetta. I mainly sat in the shade with a couple of children for company and watched the drilling process. I am handicapped due to childhood polio, so I am not much use around the machinery but I like to watch and take pictures and visit with the villagers as much as my poor Spanish will allow.

The remainder of the time we were there, my wife Annette and I spent time at the place I like the best; the orphanage campus of Los Pinos. We are the adopted parents of several children. I think the count is now 8 or 9 depending on how you count, but we love to visit with them and try to let them know how much we love them. There is a common language that children and adults who love them share. It needs no translator. (more…)

Lubrication by prayer

By Tim Rasmussen , Monday, April 14th, 2008

The Guatemala Well Project began as an endeavor of volunteers working in conjunction with the established charity; International Children’s Care. Its purpose was the drilling of water wells on the campus of the charities school and orphanage near Poptun in northeast Guatemala. The facilities there had long depended on water from the local river which became seriously contaminated over time. After successfully drilling on the school and orphanage grounds our work has expanded to the local villages there.

In the early days of our project we were encouraged and blessed by the generous gift to our efforts of a 22-W Bucyrus Erie cable drill mounted on a 1946 Military 6×6 vehicle. It was the gift of R. Stadeli and Sons of Silverton, Oregon. The rig was in good condition and just needed to get to Guatemala to begin its work of bringing water to the people of the northeast highlands.

Gary and Lynn Bartholomew were excited at the prospects that the rig presented and they made arrangements to get the rig to Spokane and then shipped to Guatemala. They borrowed a low boy and started on the trip to Oregon to get the rig. They had not gone far when they made a disturbing discovery. One of the axles on the (more…)

Magneto Expert

By Tim Rasmussen , Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Lee Davis operates a small shop out of his garage in Rathdrum Idaho. He is not on the main road and he does not advertise his services. He knows as much about magnetos as any living person and has forgotten more about them than most people will ever know. He has a collection of old magnetos and runs an exchange service in order to keep old engines running. One of his magnetos is on one of our rigs in Guatemala. This is the story of how he helped us.

A customer came by one day and needed a part for a lawn mower and mentioned that he had an old magneto and asked if Lee wanted it. Being interested in old magneto, Lee said sure and a few days later, there was an old magneto wrapped in a cloth outside his shop door one morning. There was no note or information with it. Lee waited a couple of weeks but did not hear from anyone about it. Finally he decided to open it up and see what was wrong with it. He had never seen one quite like it, but he was able to (more…)

Timing is Everything

By Tim Rasmussen , Sunday, March 16th, 2008

For months Annette and I had planned to go to Guatemala on Jan 3, 2006. It was to be our second trip in support of the drilling project. Tickets had long ago been purchased and we had told many people we were going on that day and to expect us at the orphanage campus on the evening of the 4th. But then reality intervened in the form of serious illness of her father in California. For a short time we debated whether or not we should cancel altogether or whether I should make the journey alone. I decided I did not want to go alone and that we would postpone the trip for three weeks to see how her father progressed. It was a difficult decision but we made it and cancelled with the airlines on Jan 3, rebooking for the 21st.

On Jan 4, I went to work and felt a little sick and had a mysterious pain in the right upper portion of my abdomen. It got worse and about 2:00 went to the doctor to ask his opinion. He examined me and told me (more…)

Trucking for the Project

By admin , Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Willis and Sharon Robinson of Spangle, Washington own and operate a truck and trailer as Lost Pine Trucking Inc. They offered to haul the second rig to Houston for shipment to Guatemala without pay. This is their story:

Dec 13 – It was cold in Spokane. The drive into the yard is down hill and glare ice. Willis believes we may have to use chains to get back to the road. After loading by Gary and Rod Bartholomew and Steve Lingenfelter, we head back up the drive. No chains were required, but as we pulled onto the road, we lost the brakes to the trailer! This required immediate repair. Willis called his friend Terry French at Western Peterbilt on Broadway in Spokane and asked for help. Although they were covered up with work, they made the repair and we were on the road in 15 minutes! Into Missoula with 15 minutes to spare before the deadline, the generator (more…)

Just in Time

By Tim Rasmussen , Monday, January 7th, 2008

When the rig first arrived in Guatemala, our priority was to get wells drilled at the International Children’s Care orphanage and school. Their dependence on river water was unhealthful and dangerous. Three wells were drilled in close proximity to each other between the two campuses. Rod Bartholomew was inclined to finish in the morning because the day had been hot and long and he was tired. He had finished the third well by installing the pump and completing the plumbing connections. All that remained to be done was some electrical controllers needed to be hooked up and tested. It was about 4:00 and he debated whether he should finish in the morning but decided he should go ahead and take the time to finish now. It took about an hour and a half and then was done. When some switches were thrown and valves opened, water would flow from the wells into the water system of both campuses. He closed up the rig, cleaned up and with Jen went to the home of a sponsored child for supper.

Rod had not yet sat down at the table and there was a knock at the door. The director of the school was there and after apologizing, asked Rod how (more…)