It was clear and cold on Wednesday the 4th of December when the truck and empty container pulled up to the door of Bartholomew’s shop in Spokane to be loaded for shipment to Guatemala. We had decided to load from inside the shop this year rather than facing the sometimes brutal out door conditions. We have the use of David Morrill’s forklift and Gary had worked hard to palletize most of the material we are sending.
This year there was a great deal of medical equipment that was donated by Deaconess Hospital that was being sent to the local Government Hospital in Poptun. We have shipped items before to the hospital, but this was by far the most we have been able to send. This material consisted of bedside monitors, examination tables, stainless steel racks, bedding, a manual operating room table, other operating room equipment, patient care items and other things that I cannot describe. This will make the hospital probably the best-equipped facility in all of Peten. I would like to be there when Dr. Lopez of the Ministry of Health receives these items.
The things we are sending for the drilling efforts consisted of steel casing, galvanized pipe to replace some of the poor plastic pipe we have used in some wells, pallets of Bentonite for well seals, a fuel tank for the well-service truck, (This tank has been boiled out and the inside coated so we should not have problems when we put it in service.) solar panels for solar pumps, a pallet of hand pumps, several spools of wire, and boxes and boxes of things to support our drilling projects. We also have a pallet of Bibles for distribution to villagers. The items we send have been collected over the course of an entire year.
After everything was loaded and the doors shut, we gathered about the container and with the driver asked the Good Lord to protect the container as it travels to our shop in Guatemala. The trip will take about one month. It will be loaded on a ship in Seattle, off-loaded in Panama, loaded again on a smaller ship and then unloaded at the port of Quetzal in Guatemala. From there it will clear customs and then go by guarded truck to our shop.
We want to thank all our donors and volunteers who have given money, time and effort to our project over the years. This year is our tenth year. We are growing, but we still need help. We especially need well casing, a down-hole camera, volunteers and financial assistance. We are serving 40 villages and nearly 20,000 people with clean water. Villages constantly call Berny Leonardo and ask when we can come and help them. Please help us say yes, we will be there soon.