Los Amates, El Salvador

The late Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture,” said something about brick walls that I have never forgotten. “The brick walls are not there to keep us out,” Pausch explained. “The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

KBC Men El Salvador 2014
The past two days in El Salvador have been brick wall days for our team of drillers. We have faced one challenge after another. Yesterday morning we encountered problems with our first drill site and had to move the entire rig to a new location. Within a few hours we encountered the same problems at the second site and then discovered a broken component on the rig. After repairing the rig we moved it yet again to a third location.

Night Drilling
The only way to make up the time we had lost was to drill into the night. Everyone was filthy and sopping wet but determined nevertheless to press on. One of the families in the community provided coffee and the local pastor showered us with encouragement. The folks in the caserÍo of Los Amates need this water well. They have been praying and hoping and waiting for a source of clean water for a long time. We don’t want to disappoint them.

Three Amigos
Knowing we have lots of work to do to complete this water well, we got an early start this morning. Our goal for today was to drill to a depth of 200 feet. We were making great progress until we hit another brick wall — another broken part. This meant shutting everything down until we could get the part fixed. The delay also meant another night of drilling until we hit our required depth. No problem. Every person on the team is determined to get the job done.

Jim Hughes
I am very proud of our team. Every one of the guys is a hard worker and takes initiative. No whining or complaining from these guys. I have watched them work to the point of exhaustion and then give a little more. Jennifer Frank, Gustavo’s wife, is the only woman on our team. She has been working with Agua Viva staffer Lorena Perez to teach hygiene lessons to moms and kids. These gals have also worked long hours each day without complaint. Sharing this adventure with this team is an enjoyable experience.

Gustavo and Jennifer
Having led several teams to drill water wells in partnership with our friends at Living Water International, I can honestly say that this team has hit more brick walls than usual. In addition to starting over three times, dealing with broken parts, and moving lots of equipment more than once, this team has had to do most of this in the rain. We have worked long hours soaked to the bone. But again, no problem. This team wants to bless the people of Los Amates with clean water and is not about to let any brick wall stop them.