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Published: August 29th 2016
sunset on the road
I am finally writing about this final august week, the exciting installation week. It has been so great and I cannot wait to live more of this in the next two months.
We took the bus with all or our gear on monday, we had 4 hours of bus to chiclayo then another 2 hours on a mini van to Playa Blanca, it was a beautiful drive through the desert and we got an amazing sunset along the way. We arrived just before sundown which was good to settle. Recently, Windaid has built a little house which just has 4 walls and a roof, the floor is sand so that is where we slept during that week. I was first impressed when I saw all these turbines rotating, our turbine is number 17 out of 45 planned so there is still at least 2 years worth of work there. When the night came and the houses turned on their lights, I felt so impressed to think that this only came from natural energy, it was breathtaking. Some houses also have solar panels but these are provided by the government so I asked how come you still bring wind
WindAid home at Playa Blanca
turbines to the village. It was explained that before Windaid showed up, there was no electricity at all. When Windaid started bringing wind turbines in the area, certain villagers did not understand why only certain houses were getting these turbines ( the answer is that it takes a while to make them for everyone) so they complained to the government about it and were offered a few solar panels. Then you may ask how do they decide who gets the turbine first? There is some sort of lottery, whoever shows interest will be put in a list and names are picked randomly by a commity in the community.
On tuesday, we actually went to an oyster farm nearby to fix a bigger turbine. They actually have one of the first turbines ever built by Windaid there 10 years ago and it is thanks to them that Windaid heard of the Playa Blanca community. This was the bigger model soit has three blades that are longer and put on a higher post with tension cables. So we had to take the pole down with the farm owner's car so we could change the stator ( that's the part with the
inside the home, litterally walls and roof
copper coils rolled). We then changed the batteries in the house and reconnected them. It took us the whole day cause you have to deal with issues coming up and not always having the proper tools so finding alternatives. Ross the team leader was very good at thinking of alternatives, very relaxed everytime there was a problem so it was all done a good mood.
To answer one of my mum's questions, yes we did go in the sea cause it was our only way to shower. Although I was scared of the rays, the crabs and the jellyfish but I survived haha. In the evenings we mainly played cards and had some incredible stars to view since there is no light pollution (or very little). We also played football with the kids, they are tiny but wow they are incredible at football. At first I was holding back because they are kids but they were so good that I had to start playing as good as I can (which is not as good as them ).
Wednesday was installation day, very exciting day. The first thing we did was to drill holes in the big wooden post
Playa Blanca community
so we could attach our metal structure to it. We then went to the house and dug a hole 1.2m deep which took us most of the morning, we had to take turns cause the sand is full of shells which makes it hard to dig. When the sun got hotter, we went inside the house and did all the wiring (that was my favourite part). We had to install the switches and the LED lights and plug in all the cables and try to hide them along the wall. After lunch, once we were done with the wiring, we installed the blade, rotor and stator onto the structure and pushed the pole upright. threw some rocks in the hole to keep the pole in place and started mixing the cement. That was the hardest part cause it was a lot of cement to mix so we had to take turns for that too. The little kids kept playing around us and getting in the way but they were cute and it melted my heart when they thanked us for their 'Mariposa' which means butterfly. Of course this was translated to me, they apparently were very excited about it. Once
the cement was done, we played with the kids a bit, they like to get in the pictures and be shown the pictures afterwards that is why I have so many pictures and videos of them now haha.
In the evening, we made a bonfire for them, we had brought some marshmallows from Trujillo so they got very excited and me too cause i love bonfires especially when it is in the middle of nowhere. That was our last night there.
On thusday, we went to see the kids in the school, Sebastian, one of the volunteers I worked with taught the kids about where we come from, drew a map of the world on the board because all 4 of us came from 4 different continents. Sebastian is from Colombia, Daniel from Australia and Liwan from China. It was so good to work with these guys cause eventhough we came from completely different places, we got along really well. This is where I want to give a very special thanks to Guida, a friend of my mum's for all the pens, books and toys she gave me to bring to the kids. They were excited to see
Oyster farm, removing the blades to access the stator
a plastic bag in my hands and curious about what was in there. I gave the bag to the teacher so she could distribute the pens evenly to those who need it most. Guida, merci beaucoup pour ton intension et ta generosite.
We then went to turn on the turbine from last month's group as it takes about a month for the cement to set. Which means our turbine will be turned on in a month. However the battery is fully charged to stat with when we install it so they can already turn on the lights. They will have to wait a month before being able to recharge the battery using the wind energy.
We then took a van and bus back to Trujillo and I have been saying to goodbye to all three boys I worked with this last month this weekend so it is a sad weekend. It has been an amazing month, cannot wait to continue.
Thank you my darling friends and family for the messages you send me, it makes me feel a little closer to you.
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