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Fishing for Tools

On December 7,2005, a container was loaded at the Bartholomew’s in Spokane and began its trip to Guatemala. The expected transit time was 3 weeks but it took six. There were “paperwork” issues between the home office of the shipping company and the Guatemala terminal. After days of negotiation, many faxes back and forth and the payment of some “adjustments,” the container was released from the port and delivered. All cargo was intact.

Lynn Bartholomew and volunteers from Spokane immediately began to work erecting the steel reservoir forms on one of the two concrete pads which they had prepared. After 2 days of hard work, the rebar was tied, the forms in place and the materials gathered, but the weather was not cooperating. Rain every day disrupted the work. Working in the rain can be an inconvenience, but any rain in the Poptun area produces amazing clay. It is as slippery as greased ice, but it will stick to anything. Walking or even standing on it can be treacherous and working on it is simply dangerous. With time remaining on this trip getting short, Lynn decided the best course of action was to wait for his April visit for the pouring of the walls of the reservoir.

While Lynn was working hard on the reservoir construction, Gary Bartholomew and Brian Bot, a volunteer driller from Halifax, Nova Scotia, were pounding a hole through the familiar limestone with bands of clay at Los Pinos, the orphanage property. The drilling was going well, when at 280 ft, the cable broke without warning. Working without the benefit of down-hole video, but with the advantage of prayer to the master driller, they went “fishing.” The tools were extracted without difficulty. They found the cable had broken about 4 inches above the thimble. The cable was cut about 50 ft shorter, the end prepared and another thimble was reset with molten zinc. Back in Action! Shortly thereafter, the hole was declared finished. The water has not been tested but seems to have fewer minerals. The water tastes very good from this well.

Upon completion of this hole, the rig was driven to the maintenance shop for a little R and R. The chains were removed, the fluids checked, the carburetor adjusted and the brakes bled. After a thorough lubrication and little welding, the rig was ready for the 10 mile trip to Ixobel and another adventure in search of water in Guatemala.

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