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Tom Richardson

Tom Richardson was hot. The sun was hot. The metal on the rig was hot. The thin dogs laying the shade seemed hot.  The whole world seemed hot. The only shade was a small piece of tarp that hung weakly against the bright tropical sun.  There was no breeze. A few lazy clouds were motionless in the sky, but there was no chance they were headed toward them.  It was hot and was going to stay hot.

This was far cry from what Tom was usually doing in February.  He is the owner of H2O Well Service in Hayden Lake Idaho, and at this time of year he was usually in cold weather, keeping his business and his employees busy with pump service and drilling using his three Rotary drilling rigs.  This kind of drilling with a cable tool was also new to him.  The heat, the relentless pounding of the cable rig, and the daily progress that is usually measured in a few dozen feet at most, often less.  It was different, but he liked it.

Tom was helping Craig Gresham of Poulsbo Washington.  They were in the village of La’Esperanza in the savannah lands of rural NE Guatemala.  The work was going well enough, if two weeks to drill a hole 300 feet deep can be described as well enough, and he was enjoying himself.  The village people were very friendly.  Mostly they were happy to just sit and watch and listen to the relentless pounding of the old cable rig.

Craig had been watching the bull reel intently.  It seemed one side of the drum would move just a little sometimes and the other side would not. This drum should be one solid piece. Whatever was going on, Craig did not like it. He made a decision and acted quickly.  He shut down the drill.  He explained to Tom what he thought was going on and started to carefully withdraw the tools from the hole. If what ever was breaking on the drum gave way, it would send the tools and maybe the cable to the bottom of the hole with not very many ways to retrieve them.

Slowly and smoothly the cable came up and wound around the spool till the tools were out of the ground. Craig and Tom removed the tools, lowered the derrick and brought the rig back to the shop.

One day later the problem was plain. The main spool drum was cracked in two pieces, part of the reel had been badly worn in the center, and it had been repaired at least twice before.  Other material had been welded on top of the weak spool, but it was too weak underneath. There was nothing left to weld to. The crew decided it could not be fixed. This rig was done drilling without serious repair.

We had not realized how important it was at the time, but previously, Bob Perry of Spanish Fork Utah, had been impressed to send a new bull reel in the container.  With just a few modifications, it was exactly what was needed to make the repair.  We had what we needed before we needed it. The good book says,  “Before you call, I will answer.”  He did.

Two days hard work for Tom and Craig and the new reel and new bolts from Guatemala city it was installed and ready to go on beating holes into the earth to bring the blessing of clean water to folks who have none.

Please help us in this project, or better yet come and help us.  We can offer you a chance to chance to change someone’s life, and maybe your own.

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