This the time of year when Water for Life International is gearing up for the coming drilling season in Guatemala. As I write this in October, the material that will be shipped in a container has been gathered together, weighed and inventoried. The yard around the Bartholomew shop is lined with pallets of material and supplies, all carefully tarped or wrapped in plastic for protection from the possibility that it might snow before we can get these precious supplies into a container and headed south.
This year we plan on 57,000 lbs in the container. A good portion of it is the weight of 500 feet of brand new steel casing for wells. This was a gift from Paul Anderson who had read about our need and wanted to help. We thank him for his gift. It will benefit many people for many years.
This year we are going to try to introduce the container through the office of the wife of the President of Guatemala. She is in charge of the importation of material and goods that charitable organizations send. She can waive the fees that are normally charged on the importation of goods into the country.
Last year we waited till the container was in the port to try to do this and learned that the process could take at least a couple of months. Because we would be charged a storage fee for the container, we decided to just pay the customs duty.
Prior to the start of our drilling season from January through March, two of our volunteers, Dave Rutledge and Monte Johnson are going to make an early trip. They have decided to go early and move the one of the drills from the tired old International chassis onto the chassis of the new truck which Bucky Mowery and Speedy Gonzales of Ohio sent down last year. When they finish, all our trucks and rig engines will have been upgraded to diesels.
This year we again have a lot of hospital equipment and supplies for the Government Hospital. We have received a lot of material from our friends at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane. The have supplied much needed medical equipment such as incubators, respirators, stretchers, electronic thermometers, linens and other things too numerous to list. Most of these things are outdated, but still in very serviceable condition. The Ministry of Heath which operates the Government Hospital will be thrilled with the new equipment and supplies.