Getting the mud rotary through customs took a month but some of the
longer time was expected because of the holidays around Christmas and
New Years. Our volunteer cable driller from Ohio had offered to haul
the rotary from Iowa to the port in Florida but had some heart issues
which postponed the transport. We're hoping he can come drill but he
still doesn't have the Doctor's clearance. Another driller has leukemia
but is in Guatemala. He will be here Tuesday to help with some pump
work then cut the box end off a drill stem and weld on a new box end.
Another driller just had hiatyl hernia surgery and he's hoping he can
still come. The devil has been jabbing us and we appreciate your
We have met our goal of getting the rotary here and determining the best
approach for it's continued work here. An air compressor will be
necessary and a system to drill a larger surface hole to enable us to
install a temporary 6" pvc or steel casing. In 3 of the wells the
drilling fluid came up the hole to usually between 6' and 15' then then
fluid and cuttings went horizontally. We were able to clean the hole
sufficiently to go deeper and not get stuck. The pdc bit is awesome and
really makes hole rapidly in this limestone.
4 of the wells were in very remote villages where the crew sometimes
stayed overnight, 1 well was at a health clinic at the edge of a larger
town, and the last one was in a little barrio with no water source at
the edge of Poptun. The wells were 60' - 140' with plenty of water.
This 8 working days represent 8 weeks of cable tool drilling. We're now
in the process of cleaning the wells by pumping, then we'll set hand
pumps in all except the clinic well which will get a submersible.
We appreciate your support and we're accomplishing things we could not
have otherwise done: The diesel tender truck with 20' flatbed is on
it's way from Tacoma presently. We're able to hire two local men to
learn pumps and drilling. We believe we have 2 Godly men and we are
blessed by that. We are able to replace all 6 tires on the drill one by
one. They didn't look too bad but are so old they're really checked and
weak. The first one blew as we drove through the river going to the
first village. We've put steel shelving in the North storage container
which will prevent those termites from eating our shelving. We've
leveled a spot for another container and it may be here this week. We
purchased some new equipment for producing bushings for the hand pumps
and Larry is doing an excellent job there. We purchased 1,000' of 250
psi, 4" pvc and that's really saved a lot of time and hassle. Usually
we buy 5 or 10 pieces at a time. I know there's more but that's what I
We appreciate you!
Gary, Angie, & WFL
October 19 dawned clear and bright and cool. The temperature is was really warm for this time of year in Spokane. This was the day Water for Life loaded the container for shipment to Guatemala. There had been a slight mix-up as to the date, but we had our volunteers ready on the Friday morning. The truck driver had been instructed to go to Lincoln Blvd in the valley, but he got in contact with us and we corrected the instructions to come to Lincoln road. He arrived about 10:15 am.
Without any delay, the workers began loading the pallets of materials for shipment. Over the years, we have gotten better about having things packed in pallets and staged for the loading, and all went smoothly. There were no glitches or problems. Rod Bartholomew operated the forklift and several men inside the container with a pallet jack made fairly quick work of the first part of the loading.
Our driver this year, Terry Ottman of Moses Lake Washington, was interested in what we are doing and I talked to him awhile about our project and gave him some details and insight into the varied mix of material being placed in the container. He was happy to be helping to do something for folks who do not have access to clean water. Being able to converse with the driver is a treat for us. Often the drivers are from other countries and speak very little, if any English. Also, we have had concerns about the driver’s ability to drive as we have watched them try repeatedly to position the truck at the loading dock or the gate to the shop. Not this year. Terry was obviously very skilled with the truck and had no issue following our directions and placing the trailer precisely where we needed it to be.
The loading took about 3 hours. The shipping company allows two hours, but three hours is about the usual time it takes. Handling the casing pipe and the thousands of feet of galvanized and plastic pipe takes a little while because each pipe must be handled by hand and placed securely in the container.
Finally, all was completed and the doors closed and the seal attached. Terry was confident he could make it to the dock in Seattle by Saturday and we would not miss the in-gate deadline for making the ship. The ship, MSC ANZU, was at that moment, heading for Oakland harbor for loading containers bound for Seattle. There was plenty of time, but there was also time for things to go wrong. Ships get delayed. Trucks can be delayed. Things happen. Once the cargo is out of our hands, issues can occur which can throw our plans completely askew.
We trust the Good Lord as our shipping agent and we all bowed our heads and sent up a prayer for safety for Terry and for our precious cargo, bound for the highland jungle of Guatemala. Thank you to all our donors and friends.
I visited with Wes who owns a truck and equipment dealership in Lind, WA
when we decided to shop for a diesel truck with air brakes and 20'
flatbed. He was especially interested that WFL is a faith based
ministry. Yesterday he told me they have a very good truck (mechanical,
not electronic) that has a 16' flatbed. They will lengthen the frame and
put a 20' on it after the Fall planting rush. He wants to gift it to
us. With all he's doing he may need a little money.
God is to be praised,