Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting tools for the trip

I have been working  on a tool list for the trip to Guatemala.  I did order a cordless drill that comes with two batteries and a flashlight.  This should be a good one for us to us.  The extra battery will give us more power and the drill has a half inch chuck so it should be easy to use the hole saw we will need for the soda can solar collector. We have several tools that will be very important for this trip, the cordless drill, the hole saw drill attachments, a really good pair of tin snips,and the uni bit drills. These tools need to be good quality so they will provide enough service after we return.  We just need to show them how to made the solar soda can collector and they can build them.  We will need to make sure we have the aluminum caulking that we need to hold the soda cans together.  We need to make sure we can get that in Guatemala, because we can't pack that many tubes of caulk in our luggage.  Besides if they don't have the material in Guatemala, then we need to develop a back up plan and that may be aluminum tape.  We do need to make sure we think about what we are going to do and then have a back up plan so that if something goes wrong we can still work and accomplish something else.
We do need to think a lot about what need to take and how much everything will weigh.  You make a list starting with what is most important and then work down to what is not as important.  You take as much as you can and leave what won't fit in the suitcase.  The cordless drill, hole saw, uni-bits, and the heavy tin snips are very important.  We will need the caulk and we need to buy that in Guatemala.  If we work on the solar hot water heater we will need copper, solder, solder paste and copper fitttings.  If we can get a solar hot water heater built then we should be able to get one built for the school.  It is easier to do solar hot water because it will not freeze.  No cold weather makes that job easier to do.   A lot easier to do. 
I am also going to pack my father's brace and bit drill because we may need to work in an area we no power.  The old brace and bit does work and I have been working out at the ICC Cougarplex so I should be able to drill lots of holes and not get tired.  We can pack an extra bag for only 40 dollars so we can bring our tools at a decent price and we don't need a lot of clothes and besides we can do laundry.  You can wear a pair of pants more that one day.  We have a meeting on Monday to talk more about the trip. 
Did I mention the soda can solar collector was discharging 180 degree air on Wednesday.  I have seen it produce 154 but not 180 degrees.  It was sunny.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Travel paperwork for Guatemala

We have been going about the process for getting the funding for the Guatemala trip.  The paperwork has been signed and turned in for a mini-grant and we have turned in the paperwork to get the travel funding for the trip.  I have worked at the college for 30 years but have never had a reason to go about this process. I have traveled but was sent on work trips.  This is the first time I have actually requested money for a trip.  As  staff member that punches the time clock I always hear that the college has money and they can spend it what ever they want, blah, blah, blah.  The college does have money and it can be spent but you should do have to have a lot of people sign off on the expense and the process does take some time and many different meetings.  I have found the whole thing to be interesting.  You have to write up your request, submit it, have the committee members review it, have the committee meet and vote to approve or reject your request.   If it is approved then you have to go through the process of getting the money and documenting how you spent it.  It is not easy but then I guess it really shouldn't be.  It is an interesting process.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cat bench more pictures

We hope to sell this cat bench for 150 dollars and use the money to buy supplies for the Guatemala Coffee project.  It is made of heavy steel and has redwood on the seats and back.  It should supply years of service in any ones garden area.  We have several projects to work on in Guatemala.  We are going to develop the soda can solar heater, try and build a solar hot water heater, install some indoor lighting that will help save electricity during the day, and see if we can burn used vegetable oil in the coffee furnace.  There are a lot of things to try and do in a short time.  I am still trying to find an old fuel oil heater so we can experiment on the vegetable oil and how well it will burn in a 50/50 mix, half vegetable oil and half fuel oil.  If that will work OK we can cut the fuel cost in half and then have money to do other things.  I have some funding that I will use to buy tools so we have what we need to do the work we need to do when we get to Guatemala.  I have to see how much the stuff we weigh and then see what we can pack in our suitcases.