Saturday, May 26, 2012


Upon arrival to Cuiaba we were a pack of 13 people who are trying to make our way somewhat deep into the Pantanal Wetlands.  This proved to be a challenge.  The Combie (VW bus) broke down on multiple occasions, including one incident when Ethan and I repaired a rear strut with the removable housing on a multi tip screwdriver.  We repaired the strut twice on our way to the site.  The dirt road and its bridges are in poor condition which makes the trek that much more destructive.

This year I have arrived a month earlier than in 2010 and it is a bit wetter with much more mosquitoes. A dry summer has left the area with water sources that have larger amounts of iron in it, turning it a brownish color.  It has become clear that the lodge, school, and house, have had little upkeep over the summer and now are showing the signs of this environment leaving them somewhat beat down.   

It is clear during week one that the build team is roaring and ready to go and by weeks end it is clear that this crew is competent as well.  We moved fast through the excavation, cage build and the form build and stood our cages by weeks end.

As has historically been the case some site conditions and decisions have arisen that have led us to choose a different site and program for the prospective water tower.  We will be design building on the fly with some schematic engineering notes that Julie worked up prior to our arrival. We are currently working on one water tower that houses two supply tanks that will receive water through a filtration system that includes, a settling tank, gravel + sand + charcoal filters, and a holding tank.  Water will be supplied from a near by well that is pumped up via solar power and will gravity feed through the system in two stages. To my dismay but not surprise my design will not be built and we will in turn focus on a simple quick build and give some more attention to the school/research facility that we constructed in 2010.

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