Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hot Water

This past week, my parents have been visiting me from the States. After 4 years in Peru, the timing was finally right for them to make a trip "down south". We spent a few days in the city of Arequipa, where I studied Spanish when I first came to Peru. The family I lived with during that time has a son that is my age. It was a pleasure to attend his wedding while we were there as I know the grooms parents and the bride is a friend of mine as well.

Upon returning to Pucallpa, dad and I got busy installing a hot water heater for my shower. Until this time I have not had any hot water in the house. In typical Peruvian ingenuity, we used a towel drying rack, mounted to the ceiling, to support the shower head as it would sag under the weight of the water in the head unit.

This type of water heater is not like the kind you find in the USA, it is a glorified shower head that takes the place of a "normal" shower head. There is a metal coil or resistor inside of the head which, when connected to 220 volts of electricity, heats up and glows cherry red. Water is then passed over the coil and the heat is transfered to the water making it warm instead of cold. Due to the fact that water is a conductor of electricity and the coil/heater is electrically energized there is the potential for getting an electric shock. Thus the term "widow maker" is affectionately used to describe this kind of water heater.

I still have to clean up some of the wiring and install a grounding rod, but I did take my first warm shower at the house last night. Something I have not been able to do since I moved in two years ago! Now if worse does come to worse, at least it wont be a cold demise...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bolivia Visa and other things.

As many of you know, I have been asked by my mission to leave Peru, and work in Bolivia for one year while the only pilot there goes on furlough. As part of this process I went to Lima, Peru to begin working on a Missionary Visa for Bolivia. I spend the whole week gathering paperwork, police reports, and passport pictures to turn into the Bolivia Consulate for my Visa application. After 4 additional days I was told by the Consulate that my request was denied because my mission was not up to date on some government reporting from 2008 and 2009.
What that meant for me was a return trip to Pucallpa while I wait for the folks in Bolivia to get things squared away. At the moment it is any bodies guess how long that could take. We are, after all, in South America. For the time being I will continue to work at SAMAIR here in Pucallpa and hang out in a state of "limbo" until I receive further information.

A silver lining was seeing some nice sunsets while in Lima.

I hope to be posting some rebuilt project pictures soon of the Cessna 206. This past week we painted the airplane! That was a big moral boost as it looks "new" once again.

On the home front, I have been trying to solve a power steering problem on my vehicle. The mechanic shop in town told me the problem was the pump, but after taking it off and sending it to a repair shop in Lima, they told me that there was no problem with the pump! So now I am back to chasing down the issue again. If there is no obstruction in the lines then I am afraid it might be the rack and pinion. Pray for wisdom in finding the solution. Thankfully the motorcycle is running well right now. It has become the daily driver as of late.