by Rich Aram | Kingsland Team Member | La Bolsa, Nicaragua

Today was supposed to be the easy day, the “mostly play with the village kids” day.

Frank had told us we would have to trip in and out of the hole with the full heavy drill pipe to flush out the water sand at the bottom. I think I told you Frank is a funny guy. He was just kidding. We ran in PVC pipe to the bottom, connected that to a large compressor, and blasted air down the bottom.  That blasted out water for most of the day. We needed to do that for an hour or so at the very bottom, pull up ten feet and go another hour or so, up another ten feet, then back down ten feet, and finish at the bottom. That should take most of the day but doesn’t require much work or mess.

Problem #1. We had some communication errors. One of our team members was told to open up the flow for the compressor but was not told how to do so. So they just flipped open the valve full. That blasted too much pressure, broke the PVC pipe down the well bore, and blew the cap off of the top (it was tied down securely with rope but it broke the rope). No one was hurt and there wasn’t really much danger of that. This was much lower pressure than oil and gas wells can have. But we had about 60 feet of PVC pipe inside of the well bore, about 40 feet down.

So we went fishing. We whittled a stick to a pointy end, jammed it in a PVC pipe and duct taped it well, and tried to stab that into the lost PVC pipe by screwing on additional 10 foot lengths.  Leo did most of the fishing.  He felt like he caught it a number of times, tried to pull it up, and lost it near the top. Many times. We decided unscrewing the 40 feet of PVC caused too much wiggling, so we tried leaving that on, but had to deal with 40 feet of PVC pipe flopping around. But we still kept losing it on the way up. So we tried fishing it, then pouring additional water down the hole to add some buoyancy. Almost but many failures. We finally figured we weren’t even stabbing it, we were actually hooking the top of the connection piece of our pipe with the bottom of a connection piece of the lost pipe, so we were catching it by a very narrow ledge, like holding on with our fingernails. But we got it, with a lot of tries and some prayer.

Problem #2: The air compressor stopped working. We needed to clean the hole, to pull out a lot of water that we introduced into the sand, so it would be clean. Otherwise we spend a lot more time lowering a bucket down to bail out a lot of water. But Frank and Leo are pretty smart and pretty handy, and they got it working. They found a belt that needed tightening

Problem #3: The clutch on their truck driving home while towing the drilling rig stopped working. Luckily it was close to home so the van that carried us could go back and tow them in.

So we did accomplish drilling the well successfully, but had lots of challenges and we thank you for praying for us.

And yes, we did have lots of time to play with the kids today. As Pastor Omar said, they can melt your heart. They continue to warm up to us today through throwing Frisbees, kicking soccer balls, blowing soap bubbles, and more.

I was throwing a Frisbee with one boy for a long time, another little boy handed us another Frisbee so we each tossed one at the same time. They occasionally collided in the middle. One of the young moms pulled him out (I don’t know if she was his mom) so she could play double-frisbee catch with me. She laughed a lot.

Nicaragua Kids Fun
By late morning, one of the boys got curious about the blast of water and air coming out our clean-out line, so he started playing in the water. The other boys instantly copied him, and then the girls did too.

The sand for the concrete pad was delivered by horse cart. The gravel for the concrete was delivered by oxen cart. I am teasing a friend at work who is a drilling engineer about the big differences in our operations.

Today’s health lesson was on dental health, so they taught them how to brush teeth properly and to avoid some food and drinks that are bad for teeth. Then the Living Water team celebrated finishing the well by drinking Pepsi and eating a Snickers bar. Silly Americans.

Driving home, we passed someone riding a horse and playing with their cell phone. We wondered if it is illegal in Nicaragua to text while riding a horse.

Jorge and family took us out for dinner at a nice Nicaraguan restaurant tonight. It was even safe to eat the salad.

Thank you for your prayers!