There is light!
Wednesday and Thursday were beautiful days on the mountain. Following a night of heavy rain, the sun came out very early Wednesday and helped dry everything out. Wednesday night the team watched a very bright thunderstorm across the mountain ridge to the west of the village. However, that storm didn’t bring any rain to Pena Roja that night.
Half of the village homes had electricity turned on Wednesday and the other half were turned on Thursday. This includes the widow who lives near the end of the line and the very hard-working older gentleman who has been heating water each day for the project team to take showers with. When the crew came down at the end of the day and informed him his dirt-floor home had power, he could not control his emotions.
There is still some work to do at the school to get that area back on. Friday, they plan to visit the Monumento area near the Mexican border to complete maintenance on a three-pole section. They will be taking a pole with them to that location. The views from this region are breathtaking. We expect Friday’s photos to be even more amazing.
Fortunately, rain has not impacted the crew’s progress to this point. The mountain roads in this area are rarely paved and are mostly dirt roads. When rainfall is significant, it makes not only the roads treacherous, it also makes the terrain difficult to navigate on foot. A couple of additional days were included in the trip’s schedule to accommodate rain delays.
There remain four homes that need the inside wiring completed. The team will also strive to get that project done before they leave the village.
The project team also noticed the villagers moving a chest freezer into one of the homes at which power had been turned on. The villagers have been anticipating this time for so very long and they were anxious to begin using modern appliances. This freezer will enable them to preserve things like meat so they can have a regular protein in their diets.
The project team is holding up well. They anticipated the terrain and elevation of at least 11,000 ft. to make this project challenging. Sore knees, backs and blisters have been a part of the adjustment, but the crew is taking it in stride like linemen do – they adapt and overcome!