Hey UVMers,

I just wanted to let you know how things were going here in Nicaragua and give you an update on where things stand on the potential for EWB UVM to work down here in the future.  
The short story is that things are going really well so far.  The people here are really amazing.  They have a lot of great projects going on in the surrounding farming communities.  What's really interesting is the level of expertise within ASDENIC (our partner NGO).  And when I mentioned to Raul that you were interested in working on a project within our program, he was very excited.  Tomorrow I am going to spend some more time with him talking about specifics of a project for UVM and how to grow our program in general

The long story is that we got here on Sunday night.  ASDENIC is a large organization that works in four sectors:  Rural development, IT, tourism and education.  The rural development is focused on food security and water.  This is where we will be working.

We spent the first day at the offices in Esteli meeting with the ASDENIC team in the morning and the university in the afternoon.  Yesterday morning was spent in Venecia meeting the members f the community that are involved in operating and maintaining the current water system.  The university students traveled with us and we were all impressed by their thoughtful questions and comments.  We spent yesterday afternoon back at ASDENIC going over the design that their engineers were considering for the Venecia water system.  (I have all of those files and will upload them to the shared space as soon as I have a better internet connection).  Today was spent back in Venecia testing the water for contaminants.  It turns out their water is quite clean.  They are very good about maintain the system and treating the water once a month.  Their main problem is that they cannot get enough head in their current system to get the flow they need to feed all of the homes in the community.  We are going back tomorrow to look into this problem a bit more.  Overall though, all of our partners here are doing a great job.  They are going to be very easy to work with.

This leads me to a question for you guys.  We were talking tonight about potential solutions for this system and I mentioned that you were working on a simple pump design.  How is that going?  Would you be willing to come to our next meeting to present what you have done so far?  Maybe there is some potential to test your product design in the real world.

Other than that, this place is incredibly beautiful.  Our accommodations are much nicer than I ever expected.  The food is great and the people are all amazing.  You guys will love it here!

I'm back on Sunday.  Let's try to get together next week to get moving on the 501B application.