Sunday, July 22, 2012

A day without water

It all started Thursday night.  I was eating ice cream in Shell while having a "man" talk with two of the 17 interns that were in Shell for a nearly two weeks helping in many areas....When a truck drove by announcing that the City of Shell would be turning off the entire city water supply Friday at 7:00 for an unknown period of time.

Now, this normally is not a big deal, but for the last 24 hours our office had been measuring the water intake of the hospital and for reasons that are messy to explain, we had to lower the reserve water in the hospitals reserve tank to half the normal level to complete our task.  Needless to say, the hospital did not have much water in the large reserve tank when I heard the news.  I was thinking to myself, why of all days did they have to turn the water off ........ you know how things stack up against you, its seldom just one thing.

So I went to the hospital and turned on all the city water lines to fill the tank (we have more than one) and low and behold, very little water came out.  The citizens of the town were all the process of doing the same thing and although the water was still functioning, virtually no water was entering the tanks.

So began Friday morning.  Rafael the head maintenance man, was more than a little irritated about the water situation, but still in a decent humor about the whole thing.  You have to love the "it will all work out" attitude of Ecuador sometimes.

About 1:00 pm water levels were getting a bit critical and the decision was made to turn off all the water to the homes behind the hospital to conserve water (we share the hospital water source), needless to say, with the lack of notification to the other missionaries I ruffled a few feathers.

Don't panic though, the story gets better.  About 3:00 pm Friday the water from Shell returned, praise the Lord, much sooner than anyone thought.  So....... we went to turn on all the homes and repressurize the system only to find the pumps of the hospital would not work.

Two men from maintenance. Wim and myself spent the next 6 hours analyzing, disassembling and reassembling the water pumps.  We had an air leak on the vacuum side of the pumps and we could not find it.  We ended up making a new temporary system and after the third attempt to get it to work, it finally did!  Turns out we had a bad pump and an air leak.  The combination of which was a bugger.

We were all wet, dirty, tired and ready for bed by the time we were blessed by God with a working system.  It gave lots of time to think about how critical water is to our lives and how important the work through community development can be.  I am thankful for the dedicated men who would not quit until the problem was solved and water was restored to the hospital.

Just one guy doing my part,


1 comment:

  1. Found you through twitter and I'm glad I did! I struggle with trusting God in trying times, no matter how often He proves Himself faithful. Slow learner, I guess.


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