Sometimes when you decide to give up…

…you get really good news.


A while back I attended a stove training. That was awesome. I came back with my newly trained mason and we were fired up and ready to go. Then I found out that Stove pieces were not available until later this year. I will remind you that I leave the country later this year as well. So that was a downer. Then my grant was on a stand-still with continually bad news about approval dates being pushed back, grant formats changing and just a whole lot of uncertainty. THEN, my trained mason was caught in a house fire when his mattress burst into flame from a lit cigarette. He no longer lives in La Culata. I was just about ready to throw my hands in the air and say some inappropriate words before kicking the dirt and eating my way through a jar of peanut butter.


I remembered that I could utilize a mason trained by an old volunteer who left the country last year…if I got the money.


After my 100th phone call to the Peace Corps office I was told that my grant was approved and that I’d be receiving a deposit of the money by the end of the month.


What does this mean for me and, more importantly, for La Culata?

In February, we will begin construction of 40 clean-cook stoves that burn wood at a more economic pace and spew the hazardous smoke out of a chimney rather than into the face of the person cooking. The best part? I just need to buy the supplies at the beginning of the project, collect the materials and down payments from the receiving families and then I’m done. The mason will take over the rest. It’s a quality project…and maybe some people will stop asking me when I’m going to start doing actual work…


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