Bolivian Internship Report
Our Bolivian intern, Chayla Rowley, talks about her work in Bolivia this summer:
"I had the opportunity to examine relationships grow to fruitful outcomes in Potosí. EIA teamed up with a group from the University of Oklahoma to hold a course on Passive Water Treatment Systems. The course was held in the University of Potosí and was a joint effort on the parts of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Potosí."
"Students, me included, were taught of the devastating outcomes of mine contaminants on water and how to build and use Passive Water Treatment Systems for managing these contaminants."
"I also had the chance to accompany the Oklahoma University team in their field work outside of the classroom. As a Civil Engineering Major with a focus on Water and Sanitation Engineering I was most interested in the water contamination from the mines scattered throughout Potosí."
"I helped collect water samples, read pH, and learned the meaning of the different pH’s in respect to contamination in the water. In addition I gained a general knowledge of the affects of the contaminants on the land and in the crops, which explained a great deal about the communities’ health issues and sanitation problems."
"My experience in Bolivia gave me a greater comprehension of various aspects of civil engineering and a better grasp on the importance of collaboration. The work being done in Bolivia and those working on it are incredible testaments to growth, and the education and insights I received are information I will continue to pull from…"
(click here to read more of Chayla’s report…)
Listen to EWB on the radio! David Stephenson explains the incredible work of Engineers in Action for Results Radio in Tulsa.
Listen to the interview here: EWB on Results Radio
EWB MST replaced two of the three bridges on the campus with materials and plans left for them to complete the third. Our students went out into the community and in the classroom to teach about UV water purification methods that use the sun to disinfect water.
We got up to the second level with the self composting latrines with plans and materials left once again to complete it. The generator housing was completed, rewiring around the school, light instillation, and a new generator on the way. Last, about seven valves were put in the existing water lines.
We reached our first milestone. On Thursday June 20th, EIA opened its first international office on the the 11th floor of the Cosmos Building, which is located on the main boulevard of La Paz, the capitol of Bolivia. There were 20-30 persons present including, of course, our Bolivian team of Milton de la Cruz, Dr. Ruben Mamani, members of the Board of Directors in addtion to Dr. Mamani: Mike Keyse, Bishop Carlos Poma, and myself; representatives of the Skiatook First United Methodist Church who funded the pilot project for EIA, plus various members of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Bolivia who had partnered with us in the development of this organization.
Short speeches were presented by our EIA staff: Milton de la Cruz and Dr. Ruben Mamani. Dr. Rolando Yanapa, Secretary of Services for the Methodist Church (who was in Oklahoma in April), and the Medical Doctor who runs rural development for the Methodist Church also shared short speeches.
And then there was a long rambling speech by the Director of Operations —-ME; which inlcuded sharing some of our dreams and goals for the work of this office for the next 5 years. To avoid any jealousy or competition, the gifts to the office (GPS, camara and IP phone) were given in private at a later time. It was an important milestone for our organization and all went well; as we honored the Bolivian tradition of having formal meetings about EVERYTHING!