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Anybody care for some road side chicken? aka Grupo Fenx – Part 2

24 January 2009 · No Comments

The next chapter of the of the Grupo Fenix experience has now begun – volunteering.

This week, the first of eight, was spent trying to figure out what we are exactly going to be doing here. In the original planning, I thought we would be learning how to build and then be installing solar panels in the community that we live in. However, this turns out not to be the case and we so we have spent the week researching various ideas of what we can do, what we are really interested in, what we can afford (we have no budget either), and trying to incorporate that into what the community needs.

Our first idea was to build a hybrid wind/solar battery charging station at the center. I was very excited about this idea for about exactly one day. After talking with a few people, it became very apparent this idea with not very feasible on a number of levels. I think that one of my biggest challenges in working here is overcoming my zero experience base to drawn upon. After doing a bit more research, I think we have a plan that will be pretty challenging. Our plan is to 1) build a cheap (hopefully around $150) wind generator that can be used by the community using parts readily available in the community (pvc pipes for blades, etc.); 2) define the wind resource using low budget method (homemade wind socks is a possibility); and 3) define the water resource on a low budget. The hope is that the wind and water resource projects will continue beyond the stay here by the new student research team that occassional shows up at the center. I am excited to really start working on all these projects early next week.

One pretty cool thing we did this week was help install a solar powered water pump in a nearby town. I really like learning and seeing the possibilities available. I have a number of ideas that I think would work well in Fairbanks.

This week has been a bit rough on me health wise. I have been here about 8-9 weeks now and I have been pretty paranoid about the foods I eat. However, on Sunday night I let my guard down. Not exactly road side chicken, but I ate a steak with a cream sauce. Tasting good, I forgot that refrigeration systems do not exist in many places here. Sunday night I was feeling it in the middle of the night and the process of the food exiting my system was not nearly as pleasant as when I was eating it. Having learned from the road side chicken experience (resulting in days of a bathroom that glowed a florescent lime green color in Manzanillo), I immediately took some drugs to stop the flow. So this experience was not nearly as bad as the last one. I also managed to catch a bit of a cold this week. Both pretty minor on the whole.

I am still having problems finding an internet cafe to post my pictures.  I have a few posted here – still about 20 that I want to post sometime, but painfully slow right now.   Hopefully soon.

UPDATE:  A couple weeks ago, Mareike struck gold and managed to get $150 from Grupo Fenix for our project.  We are at about $200 for the wind generator now, so this really is a big help to us.

Tags: Grupo Fenix · Nicaragua · Travel