Better late then never

Apparently August is the coldest month of the year here. So we have made it through the worst of it. Nothing but summer weather to come. In reality I don’t think that it has dropped below 60 degree Fahrenheit even on the coldest night.

I am actually writing this post from a village about 2 hours walk from San Francisco. Last time we were in the city I completely space and neglected to post a blog. Anyway the connection here is pretty slow so please understand that I was not able to upload any pictures. If interested please check out my personal blog for some recent photos:


Things are coming along great. We have been focusing our energy on facilitating filming educational videos about health that will be shared with the community as well as getting the ball rolling for the Cocinas Mejoradas project. We have also had a lot of interest from some of the younger kids in the village to have classes similar to what last years volunteers presented. Monica and I have been meeting with the younger kids once a week following the curriculum from last year.

So far youth have completed the filming of a video about nutrition and a video about first aid. We have been trying to get the youth team to do as much of the video planning, filming and even editing as possible. For most of them this is the first time that they have every had the opportunity operate a media device of any kind. I’m looking forward to this upcoming month as we will be filming another educational video about the environment.

We have installed a pilot kitchen in order to learn the process and have a model for the community to see how it works.  The pilot kitchen was a big success and the homeowners report to be quite happy with the improvement. We have established step-by-step process that homeowners will have to go through in order to have an improved stove installed in their homes. The process involves watching two health education videos that the youth have produced, they also must meet with the youth representative in order to make sure funds and materials are acquired, to sign a contract and participate in a pre-installation evaluation.

The other night at about 11:00pm I awoke to a bit of a rumble. Not quite sure what was going on I turned on my light and noticed the clothes that I had hanging on a hook were swaying back and forth. Then the entire tin roof started rattling loudly then small chunks of dirt from my adobe room started falling from the walls. Never having experienced this before it took me a few seconds to realize it was an earthquake. After a few more seconds of the movement growing even stronger I figured it would be a good idea to go outside. In the street there were a number of people outside there homes (normally at that hour the streets are completely quiet). Throughout the night there were a number of other small quakes. I learned that earthquakes are common here but that one was unusually strong, to my knowledge there was no major damage in the village.

The following video is what the youth have come up with to spread knowledge and awareness about the project. This is an edited version of the original.

Thanks so much for your interest and support,

Brent James


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