Web link

www. WaterForHumans.Org

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

This is our last full day in Oaxaca.  Tomorrow we take a bus to Mexico City and Wednesday we leave Mexico City:  Stan back to Seattle; Rick, Jude and cousin Peter to a week’s vacation in La Manzanillo.

At 1 o’clock we met with Lic. Rosa Elena Manzano Mendez, a representative of the State Institute of Ecology (IEE). She had attended the Oaxaca Water Forum on Friday and, therefore, was familiar with who we were and what we were doing there. Prior to the Forum, we had asked Juan Jose if we could meet with any of the organizations that we want to collaborate our efforts with and he was able to arrange this meeting on short notice. The meeting took place at the INSO office.

Mendez explained that the State Institute of Ecology had no jurisdiction over the waste water (sewage) situation in SDBB. Since the waste water flows into a river, it is the responsibility of CONAGUA, the National Water Commission. Her department, however, does have responsibility with the illegal dump and is vigorously pursuing a resolution to that problem They have set up a meeting with both Etla and SDBB for February 25th to discuss the matter. Her concern is that they have no authority to impose a fine on Etla (ultimate responsibility), if they do not follow their advice and recommendations. If Etla does not, then they will fine Etla, but if Etla does not pay the fine, they cannot do anything about it.

Water for Humans explained to her that, if a constructed wetland is proposed for the site, then in all likelihood, the area where the dump is now located will be needed for the wetland. She said that, in general, they are supportive of our project and will work with us to implement whatever is proposed. She did say, however, that the soil would have to be tested to make sure that it is useable with whatever is proposed.

To bring CONAQUA into the picture, she suggested that INSO write a letter (for documentation), to the director of IEE, explaining the situation and requesting that CONAQUA get involved to ultimately resolve this issue. In that way, IEE and CONAQUA can work together on this. INSO’s letter to IEE will be instigated by a letter from Water for Humans to INSO.

Later in the afternoon, we met with Juan Jose and Nelly. This was our last meeting to talk about upcoming strategy to move our project forward and the role that Nelly will fill. A formal contract is due from Water for Humans to officially bring Nelly on board as an associate.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today is the day of INSO’s 25th Oaxaca Water Forum.  The venue for the event is the Botanical Gardens of the Santo Domingo Church, about three blocks from the INSO office.  Water for Humans is on the agenda for a presentation to introduce ourselves to the water interests in Oaxaca and to introduce our project to them.  Maria Gonzalez and Camerino Santiago came from SDBB for this important meeting.

We went to INSO at our normal time to help transport equipment to the Botanical Gardens.  We them helped set up the room and participants starting arriving before the room was completely set up.  The first thing on the agenda was a tour of the gardens.  This was done to make sure that late arrivals would not miss any of the session itself.

The Gardens were beautiful with many varieties of native plants throughout.  There was also a section with a vegetable garden.  Since the tour was in Spanish, we missed out on a lot of the discussion, but the gardens were very nice and tranquil place to reflect.

The first item on the agenda was El Pedegal, set up and run by INSO.  Don Pedro, who donated the land to set up the demonstration site, was in attendance.  Many of the permaculture features that have been put in place were explained and the impact that they have had on the property discussed.

Water for Humans was next.  Nelly spoke for the team, since it was in Spanish for a Mexican audience.  She introduced us, as well as herself, and explained our mission and how we ended up in SDBB with this particular project.  She then went on and explained the situation that we are dealing with and where we are in the project.  At the completion, a question was raised about our affiliation with the constructed wetland at UABJO and Humboldt State University and the Arcata Wetland.  Those who knew about the demonstration wetland at UABJO were glad to know that we are associated with that team (through one of our board members).  A second question/comment came from someone who seemed to be associated with the original treatment plant at SDBB.  She said a lot that never was translated to us.  But after Nelly addressed her concerns, Maria Gonzalez took the microphone and explained to the audience what the community is presently facing.  When she finished, the entire Forum clapped and seemed to like what she said.  There was a lot of support for what we are doing.

When we left the room to allow the forum to continue, all three of us (Nelly, Rick and Stan) were asked questions and given support for the project.  One person who was very interested in constructed wetlands and asking a lot of questions found out that his organization has a meeting set up with us on Monday.  Nelly was interview by two or three reporters and the forum continued and ended about 2 PM.

We helped clean the facility and transport the equipment back to INSO.  This ended a full week for us and we looked forward to a restful weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We spent the morning at INSO and sent Nelly feedback (electronically) on the presentation for tomorrow’s Water Forum.  We didn’t see Nelly in the morning because she went to El Pedegal with plans to meet us at UABJO in the afternoon to talk to Erik Torres.

When we all met up in the afternoon at UABJO, we covered a number of topics with Erik.  He explained how to get a complex water sample from SDBB, if our team needs more water analysis data for the design specs.  A complex sample will require taking a one liter sample six times throughout the day, mixing the six samples together and analyzing one liter of the mixed water.  Hopefully we will not have to do that.

We then talked about the one piece of missing data:  the flow rate.  Erik has a broken flow meter that he has been trying to fix for over a year now.  He will send us the details on the flow meter model and we will try to expedite a fix or replacement.  Care will be taken to make sure the flow rate is measured before the sewage stream breaks up into multiple streams.  He also mentioned a ‘rule of thumb’ estimate that is used (170 l/person/day) when the actual rate is not known.

Erik will introduce the Water for Humans team to another professor at UABJO and to one of his students, Pablo.  Both have been involved with wetlands and our project.  This will broaden our ties with UABJO, so that we will have more contacts than Erik.

The last topic was about future water testing and the possibility of some of his students setting up a certified lab in Oaxaca as a business.  As far as we know, there are no certified labs in the entire state of Oaxaca.  We would like to see a lab set up so that SDBB and other communities can have the effluent from their waste water treatment plants tested.  Erik will provide us with a list of lab equipment that would be needed for such an enterprise and Water for Humans will try to find used equipment in the US for them (we hope as donations).  We will also introduce Erik to UMA (Universidad del Medio Ambiente-BGI’s sister school in Mexico), so that an interested entrepreneur can get the proper business training for such a lab.  Erik thinks that Pablo may be a good candidate.

Meanwhile, UABJO will be glad to support us in our efforts at SDBB, as long as we can help with the cost of the reagents needed for the testing.  We were more than happy to oblige.

When we left UABJO, we had to hurry across town to the INSO office for a creativity session with the staff.  The session covered two topics:

1.    How can we ensure that operations and maintenance are seriously planned and executed after a waste water treatment system is put in place?

2.    How can we get the different organizations in Oaxaca, interested in water, health and the environment, working together for a common goal in SDBB?

Once the staff understood the process, a lot of ideas were put forth.  Some were discussed and all of them were written down (we hope).  We kept emphasizing that all ideas needed to be written down.  We have all of them and will translate, organize and evaluate them when we get back to Seattle

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Susan flies home to the US

Monday Feb 8th
This was Susan’s last day in Oaxaca for this trip.  We had what we would call a typical day at the office.  Stan and Nelly started working on our presentation for the Water Forum (on Friday), and I helped Susan write a few letters and post our last blog entry.  We all broke for lunch about 2:30 and it was “Susan’s choice.”  The place she wanted to go was closed, however Nelly directed us to a great place we had not been to yet.  Stan, Susan, and I returned to our casa for a short siesta then some afternoon work. Susan went for a long walk about Oaxaca to enjoy her last afternoon here. Susan has as always been very helpful in getting us around and translating for us.  Stan and I would not go hungry but we would surly not eat as well, and get lost a lot more often.  Every trip her skills improve.

Tuesday Feb 9th
Susan caught a cab at about 7am for her flight back to the states on Tuesday morning.  I know she will be happy to be home, as she has been away from home since the beginning of January. Prior to meeting up with Stan and I, she spent several weeks in New Orleans LA, working on building some houses and came directly from there to Oaxaca to join us.  Stan and I had a typical work day and awaited the arrival of Judith (my wife) and her cousin Peter.  They arrived about 10:30pm after a long day of travel.

Wednesday 10 Feb
Stan was off to INSO a little before 9am after his normal morning run.  I worked from the casa as I was waiting for Peter and Jude to rise.  Once Jude and Peter were up and going we had a quick breakfast and then off to the office.  We stopped by the Mango lady for formal introductions and our daily load of fresh fruit.  Peter and Jude went exploring Oaxaca while Stan, Nelly and I worked.  We are having a busy (good kind of busy) last full week in Oaxaca with several meetings scheduled for Thursday and the water forum on Friday.  We will travel back to Mexico City on the 16 via the bus to catch our flights out to the US on the 17th.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 7, 2010, Sunday—Breakfast at the SD Market
This morning we made our way via bus and taxi to Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla for a fabulous breakfast at the Sunday market. 

The townspeople set up a weekly market in a field adjacent to a soccer field.  It was a great morning with the sun out and not too hot.  There were several kinds of tamales (green, sweet, and mole), memelitas with chorizo and chicharron, salsas, fruit, vegetables, tacos, café and hot chocolate oaxaqueno, a drink made from corn, and pan dulce.  Needless to say, none of us were hungry after that.  Maria set up a table & chairs for us to enjoy the sitting and talk. We sat around the table for awhile and talked about our two cultures, our presidents, where we live, etc. After a while 2 sisters, Ittai and Karla Perez, about 11-13 years old came and wanted to practice English with us.  They learned English in school, starting in kindergarten, and spoke without accents.  In the group setting they were very shy and we tried to make small talk with them.  They were great!

The group broke up when Maria invited us back to the municipio for a meeting. She and two council members sat at the table to discuss a meeting she had with an engineer last Friday (February 5) who had presented a plan for a treatment plant (that we all think is totally inadequate), and go over some of our agreements and discussion from Thursday night.  It quickly became apparent we needed more help with translation.  The 2 girls were called.  These girls did a fantastic job of interpreting the conversation and once they got going they brought themselves into the discussion with their own perspectives and ideas.  It was a truly amazing thing to see these young girls using their fledgling English skills and describing the situation in their community.  At the meeting we discussed the need for a solution to treat 100% of the waste-water with a plant that is easy and inexpensive to maintain.  This is an alternative to that which the engineer proposed which treats 50% of the water. The meeting ended with everyone looking forwarded to the Water Forum (sponsored by INSO) on Friday the 12th.

Camerino Santiago gave us a ride to the taxi stand in Etla where we said “hasta la vista” and not good-bye.  We caught a community taxi back to Oaxaca with the typical capacity of 6 passengers and the driver.

It was such a lovely day I (Susan) decided to take a long walk in search of streets without construction.  I followed Pino Suarez to the end.  The street name changes when crossing the highway to San Felipe.  It was a very pleasant way to spend an hour.  I (Susan) went to church and got lost in the ritual associated with communion.  I was about a half a step behind but did get to say good-bye. I came home to find Rick and Stan gone to dinner.  Francine and I went for gelato down at the Zocalo.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our first DAY without an agenda!

February 6, 2010, Saturday

This marks our first DAY without an agenda!  We decided to go to Mitla.  We hopped a city bus to the second-class bus station where we thought we could get a taxi to Mitla.  It never occurred to us (gringos) that one doesn’t catch a southbound taxi from the northbound taxi stand!  We caught a second-class bus instead. The north bound taxi station is right next to the second class bus station.  As soon as we walked into the station a driver was calling out “Mitla-Tlacolula,” we hopped on the bus and it promptly left the station with only 6 folks on it.  We could not figure this out. Why would the bus leave with only a few folks on it?  Well it became clear as we worked out of town.  The bus stopped at all the local bus stops as it made its way to the main highway to the south.  As it turns out we could have walked about five blocks from our pension to the stadium and hopped the bus there. Such is learning a bus system when there are no transit maps! The bus took just about as long as a taxi with a tour around Tlacolula thrown in, and was much more comfortable we each had a seat. In the “community taxi’s” that go to the outlying communities there are typically 3-4 in the back seat and 3 in the front (2 seats).  The taxis are small 4 door Toyota sedans, so the bus ride was much more comfortable and it only cost 14 Pesos each!

We arrived in Mitla and searched for the weaver I had seen when last in Mitla with friends two weeks ago.

  Mitla is known for producing many of the textiles sold in the greater valley.

We found them and bargained for some of their wares.  We found a very nice place to eat.  The mole was excellent.  Again when we walked up to the bus stop, a bus was ready to leave back to Oaxaca, we hopped on and it left promptly. We then reversed our steps back home in plenty of time for a siesta and Stan to attend an engagement.

Rick and I had a great dinner at one of the places Nelly suggested.  I had never had stuffed Pumpkin flowers before.  They were stuffed with Oaxacan cheese, lightly breaded and fried.  They appeared as thick potato chips.  They were quite tasty. It was still early.  Rick and I went to the Zocalo for gelato and looked at a very tame clown act.  Since the audience was four people deep, I couldn’t see anything.  We didn’t stay long.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 5, 2010, Friday

February 5, 2010, Friday
Today we debriefed after our meeting with the Council of Elders of Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla and discussed peacemaking with Etla.  Later on this morning we met with Carlos Placensia (INSO) who is in charge of health concerns with water.  He gave us a brief outline and agenda for the Water Forum at which Stan, Rick, and Nelly will present on Friday, February 12th.  The forum is structured in a way that everyone has a voice.  It meets approximately every two months.  This one commemorates the 25th forum.  It has continued and survived many administrative changes in government, unlike many institutions in Mexico (or the US for that matter).

 In addition to the Forum, there will be a guided tour of the Botanical Garden, the venue for the Forum, associated with the Santo Domingo Church.  In this garden, there is a nursery for the rescue of endangered plants especially orchids of Oaxaca.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wednesday- Firday update

Link fixed to our water testing You Tube.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A day of meetings first with Juan Jose of INSO.  He gave us a crash course in Oaxacan politics 101.  It was an intense time but helpful for understanding how and where we need to go from here. The second was with Erik Martinez Torres from UABJO in which he gave us some preliminary results of the water-testing.  The third was a lunch meeting with Kaki Kamman and Augustin of ProMexico, a volunteer organization which plugs Americans into various work projects and seeks out opportunities for indigenous women to sell products. 

We had dinner at a place around the corner from Rosalinda’s and invited Francine (from Nova Scotia via New Westminster B.C.) to accompany us.  She gave us the lowdown on how well the Canadian health care system works compared with that of the US. We then walked home to bed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We spent the morning at the “office.”  Yesterday and today we were “lucky” to get “fresh” mango from the local fruit lady.  Tonight we meet with the town council of elders from Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla to ask their ideas for Operations and Maintenance of whatever sewage treatment plant is built, and to let them know that we (WFH) and INSO are here to help them navigate the political landscape.  We have a unique opportunity to implement a project from grassroots (bottom up) support.  One of our near term goals is to formally engage State and Federal agencies such that this example can be shown to work in situations where the local municipal politics are in-effective at moving things forward.

The Council of Elders Meeting

The meeting with the town elders was very encouraging.  There were 9 members present.  The discussion covered many aspects off of implementing a solution to the defunct treatment plant.  After listening to them we focused on how to provide ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M).  This is one of many aspects that have to be considered as part of the package, whatever plan is adopted.
Maria started the meeting by doing a great introduction of WFH, how we “landed in Santo Domingo,” and the ongoing communications we have had over the past few months.

The council is hungry for an answer to the defunct treatment plant. For some background of how things normally work down here, when a city has an idea or requirement for a treatment system, a long line of consultants and engineering firms come and “sell” there product as it will solve all their problems.  From what we can determine these are just “sales pitches” in that the proposals do not appear to be designed for the specific community.  The proposals do not have the proper background engineering data to design a solution or determine the proper technology.  Given this, in the beginning of the meeting the council wanted to “see” our proposal (technology, schedule and cost).  We stressed that in order to define a scope of work the proper background engineering must be completed, as without good effluent data (volume, chemical makeup and nominal and peak flow) one can’t properly design a system that will work.  We stressed that with Maria’s help we now have a site survey (topographic map). We have just completed a 5-day water testing process in which we hope to have the results of the 5 basic chemical properties needed to define the effluent. In addition we need to better understand the nominal and peak flow of the effluent. Once the council members understood this, they were excited to know that whatever we propose as a technology solution will actually work!  They also stressed they did not want to “be an experiment,” i.e. they want a solution that has a track record of working.

The meeting then changed focus to discuss the difficult task of both stressing the importance of O&M and how it can be implemented.  Everyone agreed that a solution for the O&M is a key part of any solution, as they have seen (way too many times) that systems get built, break, and stop functioning due to the lack of O&M.  We discussed ways to generate revenue including: taxing municipal water used, “selling” the system output water, Hydroponics, Aquaculture, and “humanure” as compost.  Everyone was impressed that we followed through and are committed to helping Santo Domingo come up with a sustainable solution to this issue.  From this meeting Maria will be setting up a follow-up meeting with and some Etla Government officials early next week to introduce ourselves and our project ideas.  The meeting ended around 10 pm. In the local style, the elders formally invited us to a breakfast and to peruse the weekly Sunday market day in Santo Domingo.   Nelly drove us back to Rosalinda’s in a torrential downpour.

February 5, 2010, Friday
We met together to debrief after the meeting last night and came up with some strategies to come along side the community to support them in this project.  We met with Carlos Placencia to get organized for the Oaxaca Water Forum that Stan, Rick, and Nelly will present the project at next Friday.  The forum is a collaboration between Federal, State and local agencies along with communities in the state of Oaxaca.  This is a place of great exchange of ideas and information.  There will also be a guided tour of the Botanical Garden.  The forum has continued even with many changes in administrative governments and gives everyone a voice.   After a quick lunch we inte3rviewed a potential Civil Engineer who is interested in our project.

Finally, it is the WEEKEND and Saturday is a full day off :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010, Tuesday

February 1, 2010, Monday

It was a holiday (Constitution Day) so INSO was closed.  The morning was relatively at our leisure.  We  decided to visit the Textile Museum.  They have a great exhibit of Guatemalan Textiles and embroidery.  The women weave the cloth by hand with a back-strap loom or a large loom with foot pedals.   The back-strap loom is used to make long narrow pieces which the artist can then embroider on.  Many of the pieces incorporate symbols and tell stories of their culture.

A part of the exhibit was a movie (in Spanish) of 10 women who had immigrated to the US in hopes of a better life.  Most of them missed their life in Oaxaca and returned after a period of time.
In another part of the museum, a women’s cooperative had taken over one room to tell their stories.  The women formed the cooperative to sell and market their work in the US and provide income for their families.  At the same time, they wanted to get an education and learn to read and write Spanish.  In return the older women would teach the younger women their native language and pass on their needlework skills. Their embroidery reminds me of the story quilts the Hmong women make.

Lunch was almost a misadventure at a place near the big produce/ artisan near the Zocalo.  We looked at the menu ordered what we thought was bean soup for Rick.  Stan and I (Susan) ordered Garbanzo Bean Soup.  We got the Garbanzo Bean Soup, but I switched with Rick when his Mac and Cheese came.  The main course was, I (Susan) thought, Chicken with Yellow Mole sauce.  It was Chicken and Vegetable Stew.  It was very good and very filling.  Stan had chicken with grilled onions and peppers and refried beans.  Dessert was a guayaba (guava).

We then returned to Rosalinda’s and rested.

Francine, a woman from Nova Scotia, now living in New Westminster, BC, returned and needed to look for sunglasses.  We directed her to the shopping area down by the large market.  I (Susan) decided to walk with her. We found some sunglasses and then walked about a mile or so to find a building she needed to write about for her class.  The building is a Catholic church which was connected to a convent at one time.  Now the convent is an art gallery and cultural center.  We then walked back to the pension.
Dinner was again at the “hole-in-the-wall” around We all had excellent Pozole.  Pozole is a soup of pork, cabbage, and hominy with spices making it rojo.  Without spices, it is blanco and bland.  We also had a pitcher of Jamiaca juice.  Rick said it is the best Pozole he’s had in years.  I translated that for the lady.  She said Pozole is a very old popular dish.  Rick also had a couple of tacos.  The television was blaring again, but the food was great.
February 2, 2010, Tuesday
Morning was spent at INSO.  I looked at several sites on the computer pertaining to sustainability and reuse of waste-water. On the way to INSO, we made our usual stop at the “Mango Lady” and found out her name is Elena.  I told her we know her as the “Mango Lady”, and she said or the “Fruit Lady”.  She was very concerned about Rick paying more for his pineapple than Stan and I paid for our papaya and watermelon.  From a morning of phone calls our week is filling up with important meetings.  Nelly is working hard to contact several cities that have functioning wetlands to determine how they cover the O&M costs. We are exploring many opportunities with respect to the O&M issue and some of our leads are panning out as potential solutions.  However, we still have lots of work left to do.

January 29-31, 2010

January 29, 2010 –Friday
Our fourth collection day.  Today’s collection will be a morning one.  I finished translating some copies of letters, Maria had given us.  Now, I have to make sense of them.

We stopped briefly at INSO and left to make our way to Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo, Etla.  We collected the samples by 11:30 and made our way to the taxi stand in Etla.  We must be famous as one of the drivers recognized Rick and greeted him warmly.   You would have thought they were long-lost cousins! However, they weren’t family enough for him to want to drive us back to Oaxaca.  Another one was happy to accommodate us for 33 pesos.  Our taxi rides cost us anywhere between 55 and 35 pesos, depending on the number of passengers and the driver.  We always ask and bargen with the drivers before piling in to any taxi. We arrived at UABJO early in the afternoon and dropped off the samples in exchange for our last set of collection bottles. The collection process only takes about 30 minutes, however the entire process (door to door) takes about 3-4 hours with 3 buses, 2 taxis, and one Took-took ride.

Friday night we dined at La Biznaga along with quite a few Americans.  We decided to look for a new place that Americans don’t frequent.

January 30, 2010-Saturday

Our 5th and final collection day.  Please see our You-Tube video of the collection process. We were up bright and early at 6 am and left at 7.  We walked to the Mango Lady and arrived just as she did.  Rick and I (Susan) got fruit and then hustled to the bus in the rain.  The usual transportation process took about half the usual time with very little traffic on a wet early Saturday morning. The bus was almost empty.  We all got on and went to the back.  The driver zoomed down the street at a pretty fast clip.  Rick and I were in the very back and suddenly found ourselves airborne as we hit a bump.  Just as suddenly, we hit the seat hard!  Now thoroughly awake, we got off and walked under every raindrop to catch a taxi to the dump between Etla and Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo, Etla (I say this in Spanish to the driver).  We got in the taxi with 2 people already in it (we were really packed) and rode to Etla.  The driver dropped the other 2 off and took us to the dump.

Rick and Stan started dressing and setting up the equipment when Maria Soledad Gonzalez (the Municipal Administrator of Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo) walked through the gate and greeted us.  She was very excited when she saw us collecting water samples and commented about the rain mixing with the effluent.  We clarified our meeting date and time with the town council for Thursday at 8:00 pm this coming week. We finished collecting the samples, cleaned up, packed up and said good bye. We caught our last Took-took for this trip to the town center of Etla.  At this point, we were still an hour early.  We got a cab back to the second-class bus station in Oaxaca and bussed to UABJO.  On arriving, Erik was not in the lab but in another part of the campus.  He was not expecting us at 10.  One of his students took the samples and started analyzing them.  We left the university exhausted but feeling great to be done.

Saturday afternoon after showering and a siesta, we walked down to the big super Mercado in search of 100-peso Levis for Rick.  We walked a very long way in the rain in vain. We found refuge from the deluge in the large market for an hour.  The three of us walked back to the pension for a marvelous discussion with Sheila from CT and Francine from Nova Scotia now living in New Westminster, Canada.

January 31, 2010-Sunday
I (Susan) went to church and came back to find Rick and Stan “computering”.   We went to lunch at a tiny place with great food and slow service.   Rick went back to Rosalinda’s for another siesta.  Stan and I went to the museum connected to Santo Domingo Church in Oaxaca.  What a place!  It used to be a monastery.  One could easily spend several days there.  My understanding of and appreciation for the history and culture of the indigenous people of Oaxaca deepened after touring this magnificent museum.

February 1, 2010 Monday
Monday was a holiday in Mexico so INSO was closed for the day.  I (Rick) continued to do lots of resting and I think I have finally kicked my cold that has been hanging around since the first part of December!  It was truly a day off for all of us. We just hung out and did a very little work and lots of resting.  This coming week will be more “normal” in that we are arranging meetings, researching, and translating documents and presentations.  The weather is still cool with some scattered cloud we will probably have a thunder storm this afternoon-evening.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Black Water Cowboys in action

Over the past week we have been collecting black water samples from the defunct sewage treatment plant at Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo in Oaxaca MX for a taste of the action please see our You Tube video

The water sampling process only took about 30 minutes.  However, getting to and from the site and the University UABJO and back home took about 3-4 hours total.  Look for a good story about our adventures to be posted soon.