Friday, January 25, 2008

Light to the Darkness

This photo very well could represent the first day of the rest of my life . This is the first solar installation I have done as of yet and it brings me great joy . These girls were doing there homework under the light of a candle which is quite dangerous when young children are present . There have been many instances of families being burned alive in there own homes as ninos scamper underneath beds , candle in hand searching for a ball or lost toy. What I feel put on my heart is to bring solar to Guatemala and possibly Africa as well . Electricity if your off the grid costs about 700 US on up to have a wire ran to your house then a monthly fee that most families alone in similar situations cant afford. Above photo shows Mario doing tests on the battery as we connect the wires and install the panel onto the roof , installing the new light in a central location in the house . There are many families like this one that could benefit greatly from solar energy . After I arrive home I plan on raising around 500 US and doing a test shipment to receive solar panels from Shanghai direct to Guatemala as a test for future shipments (larger) . Currently China and Guatemala are discussing free trade between the countries that will lower the overhead . 10 watt panels in guatemala run around 105 US to 120 .... A price that is staggering to the family that barely makes that a month . Currently I have found I can get the panels for 37 to 42 US , before shipping and possible taxes . My other partner in Shenzhen has the low draw L.e.d s used to light the houses with a cheap and bright light . Pray for all of these things : direction , that shipping is affordable as tariffs are lifted between countries , taxes and distribution for the near future . I don't plan on doing this full time for another 2 years until Im living in Beijing and done with school , but I will be conducting small tests and your prayers would be greatly appreciated as I learn the ropes of exporting .

Above: Simple roof installation , Guatemala is normally very sunny and solar is a cheap ideal way to power a house

Monday, January 21, 2008

Out of night comes day and out of Day comes Light . This photo was taken at 6.31 am this morning from myself and Bennies campsite , the sun came up over Volcano Agua and was quite spectacular . His creation is beautiful . Today I experienced real joy after seeing my favorite girl Helen at the orphanages cleft palet fixed by loving doctors from the United States . She is more beautiful than ever and I got to feed her today without her struggling for air. How neat to see that , I was overcome with Joy as I had been praying for her and those prayers were heard. Enclosed in this post are pictures of the wheelchair distribution and the backpacks I got to help bring to the kids on the coast that get to go to school now for the first time.

As my time runs out here very shortly I have more and more reasons to stay . I have a family here that will be difficult to let go of as well as amazing friends and an incredible church . This sunday at church I felt God speak to me very directly and I broke down and cried in the service while singing . Im so grateful for these three months . This Sunday I leave for Honduras to visit my awesome friend and youth pastor Maiko in the capital city . I might stop over in El Salvador to help with construction if I can figure out Gordons impossible to keep up with schedule . Pray for safety on the road . Thanks to my loving mother I have a flight home after I shared with her my awesome plans to hitch hike through Mexico that Im very grateful for . She didn´t find them very awesome . I will be in Sandiego California visiting my uncle on Feb 6th and home shortly thereafter . Thanks for reading -Dave

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Life is good .

The last few days have been great , as they always seem to be . Learning , growing being challenged in my faith and experiencing new things . Dick , Carlos , Fernando , Carline and I traveled to a smaller town to discuss possible building sites for the family in the picture above . The materials where shipped in on election day so we had to wait for quite a time for the concrete and gravel to arrive.

It was really fun playing with the kids . One of them , my friend Geronimo is 14 and worked his but off in Chimaltenago at an arcade so his family could buy more groceries . Alot of the older boys in that area of central park give ¨free drugs¨to the younger kids that work there to get them hooked . Angers me to no end . Geronimo would come over to my house daily and tell me about his struggles there when all his friends were doing it and he was pressured . I always made sure I took him out to lunch on breaks when I could to keep him away from the atmosphere . Its real neat now how we are building his family a new house in the near future . They are wonderful Christians . There family supports itself through the sale of traditional mayan dresses which are beautiful and intricate. They net a healthy profit of about 70 dollars for 8 hours a day and a month and a half plus time spent for each dress . Its very hard to make a living on that because the competition is stiff from others just like themselves . It was very good experience for me to see how the brick is made , if your familiar with the hollywood version of Moses ... picture that with the people mixing straw and clay to make the bricks . As you can see they start working very young mostly out of necessity .

They extract the clay from a well they are building . Its a very efficient process . Over time the foundations of the houses settle because there really is no foundation and one good earthquake around here would probably kill many people being crushed by there own roofs . I got to get a little dirty .

We played with the kids and discussed locations for the new house , the dry bags of cement arrived and we unloaded them and went back to Chimal for lunch at Martas on our way out of town . It was a great trip . The day after we made a trip to the coast to bring Abuela back to her family . She was in Antigua getting her blood taken for the 5th time . The family was so happy upon our arrival they gave us a huge amount of fresh coconuts from that days harvest . We delivered school supplies to another family that was previously unable to afford pencils and other necessities to go to school . Here in Guatemala the schools wont let the kids in at all unprepared , you can only get an education if you have the proper clothes and paper etc . Interesting . It was fun seeing the smiles as the faces lit up after they got there new backpacks . I helped them custom fit the packs to there individual needs and you could really sense the joy . There was one girl who was nearly 10? and had never been to school a day in her life because the family couldn´t buy paper or pens . This monday she will be going to school , praise God . Include those families in your prayer . This last photo is of me sitting next to my buddy Geronimo on my right in the red shirt . He is such a mature guy for his age , pray he continues to walk with the lord and stays away from drugs . Thanks for reading , Im off to a very large birthday party of sorts . I was invited to by my landlord for one of there 3 going on 4 year old cousins .... I think somehow I will end up providing the entertainment . Allow God to bless you , Adios .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Distribution of wealth

This week has been very busy . I ment to update some time ago but..... Today there was a large distribution of wheelchairs in Chimaltenango , what that means in plain english is that many people that originally didn´t have wheelchairs were outfitted with the means of mobility . Some of them with CP making the process more complicated . I have rebounded health wise and spiritually never better . I have an oppurtunity to serve in Afghanistan that I will start praying over and I would ask you as well . Updates within one or two days . I started putting up photos of my travels and more will be on the way in the link to the right of my page . Have you read John 3.16 lately ? It´s pretty neat.

Monday, January 14, 2008


As I continue grow and experience new things , I want to keep everyone informed , this is mostly just a test run and the site will most likely mature rapidly over the next few days as I figure this thing out.... here it goes my experiment inserting pictures.....

This very first one on the left is one of me playing with kids at the HIV clinic , they are positive through birth from there parents and in most cases there parents are dead or just unable to care for them . I have been somewhat of an apprentice to Dick , learning how to fix complicated chairs and fit the kids into the chair that fits best for them . Its a real challenge for CP kids and can take hours .

We worked on 2 chairs that day . This is one of them . This orphanage is much different than other I have been to . There is alot of love from the staff , they are truly one big family... the kids arnt starved for attention they love it , but they dont cry when you leave which is a great thing.

This post is abit sloppy Im learning about how it works . I want to take a second to thank Phil Kemp an amazing brother of mine that is tech-savvy and helped me get this site up and running . Thank you Phil.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Im on the internet .