Ben Hosinski via Crowdrise
June 17, 2011
BENEFITING: CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH
So I’m going to El Salvador this July. I’m going with Scott and Genny. Scott is a principal for a school in Westfield, and we go way back (no, he wasn’t MY principal). Genny is well traveled and knows a bunch of languages, Spanish included. Anyway, we are going down there because we want to help give some people electricity.
Why? Well, because they are people, cool people, and they have a need for it. I like having light so I can read at night. I like having lights in my apartment’s parking lot to deter crime. I like using the internet, and being able to charge my cell phone. There are all kinds of things I like that don’t work very well without electricity, so I want to share it with everyone.
The community where we want to share is called Puente Azul. I think that means “Blue Bridge” in Spanish, but my Spanish isn’t that great, and I don’t remember seeing any blue bridges in Scott’s pictures. I’ll leave the translating to Genny for now.
Scott has been to Puente Azul before, three times. He’s been working with Dale, the pastor at my church back in Lebanon, and team of other people from Indiana and Virginia. They’ve been getting to know the community, handing out food with our local friend Marco and his friends, and have been able to dispense medicine with the help of LuAnn the pharmacist. Before Scott and the team came back home last time, they asked the people in Puente Azul what they needed.
EVERYONE said that they needed light, and for a lot of the same reasons I like light.
So here’s what we want to do. There is no electricity in Puente Azul. Their government has no plan to bring electricity there. So, let’s do it anyway. It’s hot down there, and bright, and solar panels can provide for some basic electrical needs like lights and cell phone chargers, maybe even a blender.
We talked to Ricardo the architect. He lives in San Salvador and sizes and installs solar home systems. He’s given us a design for a solar home system to use for the homes in Puente Azul and how much it’s all going to cost to get and install. This is how I got involved. I’m here to help the principals, linguists, pastors, and pharmacists of the world interpret some of the sciency-architect stuff involved. I’m an engineer, and, well, I should know about stuff like that.
But really why I’m involved is because I want to help some people get some electricity. It’s pretty useful stuff. I want to meet the people down in Puente Azul and be their friend. It’s what I like to do, and I think other people like it, too. I want to learn their stories, and tell them to other people. Scott believes that’s important, and so do I.
So to all you techy-minded people out there, PLEASE feel free to ask me about the nitty gritty of the solar home systems. As techy people, I value your techy insight. And hey if you are a non-techy person, fire away with the questions and suggestions anyway. I value your insight, too. I’m fairly new to this technology and could use all the help I can get. I’m eager to learn the in’s and out’s, what works and what works not so much, tips and tricks, anything you have. Pick my brain so we can all come up with a fantastic result together.
If anyone out there who wants to help out with money, you can do that here on this page apparently. Anything you can give will be directly used for the solar project, and any amount you can give will help a lot. I think it’s a good project.
We’re not done in July either. We’re going back in November, probably to go full scale with the solar home systems. We’re going to try a few out in July and see how they work. When we go down the first time, we’ll get all the details on exactly how many we’re going to need and how we’re going to install them so they work well. Then in November it’s on. Big time. And who knows, there are lots of places out there that need lights and electricity. Maybe we can help them and tell their stories, too. There is no ceiling to this.
So thank you for taking the time to work your way through all this. It means a lot to me that you read it. If you are able to give money, that is really cool and I thank you a lot for that, too. Remember, ask me lots of questions! Thanks again!