Sunday, August 2, 2009

Off to Peru

(Stunning Machu Pichu)

A lot of people have been asking me what I'm going to be doing in Peru, and Grandma Helen suggested that it would be a good idea to post a blog about my trip before I go. So here it is. The long anticipated itinerary and explanation of my Peru trip (including pictures! Aren't you excited?)

I'm going to Peru with the BYU chapter of Engineers Without Borders. As a class we have been working on a few projects that we hope will improve the living conditions in a few villages in Peru. Here is a brief summary of the projects:

  • Windmill project - The team in charge of this project created a windmill that will take wind power and convert it into electricity through an alternator (low-cost). The energy will be stored in a car battery to be used for lighting and other needs.

  • Solar water purification project - This team made a system to heat water to a certain temperature and keep it there long enough to kill the bacteria. They are using a parabolic mirror to focus sunlight to heat the water.

  • Water heating project - This team designed a once through water heating system. The water goes through a copper coil that is heated by the cooking fire and then goes back out in to a separate hot water tank.

  • Bio-filter toilet project (my team) - This team did testing and modification to a bio-fliter toilet system that was designed by an engineer in Ghana named Kweku Ano. The system breaks down and filters solid waste through layers of soil and porous concrete. The filtered water that comes out is then clean enough to be used for irrigating farm land.

Here are some pictures of last summer's EWB group in Salkantay.

My plane leaves from the Salt Lake City airport at 6:20am and we should be arriving in Lima around 10:35pm. We will be staying in Lima just long enough to rest and catch our next flight to Cusco the next day (Tuesday) at 12:15pm. Wednesday through Saturday we will be staying in Cusco and taking a bus every morning to the village of Salkantay where we will implement all of the projects except for the windmill. In the evenings we will be able to visit Cuzco taking in the sights.

At the end of the week, we will go to church in Cusco and then take a bus/train to Agua Caliente where we will spend the night. Bright and early the next morning we head to Machu Pichu to see the ruins (photo at the top.)
Then on Tuesday, August 11, it's back to Cuzco and Salkantay for one more day to finish up the projects there. On Wednesday we'll head to Puno and Lake Titicaca and we'll be seeing the ruins at Sacsayhuaman. Theses ruins are so amazing. The Incans were able to cut these enormous stones so that they fit perfectly together. No mortar was used to fit these blocks together. They just fit exactly. Amazing.

At Lake Titicaca we will be implementing the Windmill project, so Thursday and Friday will be spent working there. I guess it is very windy during the nights and evenings on Lake Titicaca so it will be the perfect place to build windmills.

Saturday the fifteenth will be spent in Lima and if everything works out we will get to do a session in the Lima temple. How cool will that be? Sunday we will have church in Lima, see a few more sites and then have a closing devotional before heading to the airport to catch a 11:45pm flight home.

I'm excited to experience a part of the world I've never been to before, to get a jump start on my Spanish, and to help the people in Peru in some small way. It will be a rewarding experience to finally see the projects, that we've been working on for so long, built and working to make life a little easier for a few people. See ya'll in two weeks.


Ardently said...

bahhhhhh don't goooooooooo i won't get to see you until the twenty-thiiiiiiiiiiiiiird.

loser. (jk. you're going to have an incredible time and i'm so happy for you)

but we better get some quality time in before you leave for, COUNT THEM, 18 MONTHS.


Amy said...

What an amazing thing Michelle! You will have some great experiences, I'm sure!!

Croslands said...

Totally awesome! I had no idea that was what you would be doing. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Linae said...

oh michelle my dear,
that just sounds wonderful! i'm sure you will have an amazing time.
take care. i love you!
all the best from italy.