When I arrived in Peru, I had no idea what was going on with the water project. I didn’t know the logistics behind the reservoir. Naturally, I felt disconnected with the project due to my lack of information. During the first few days of digging and clearing dirt for the reservoir location, I still felt disconnected. However, during those days, I worked with the men and women of Cerro Blanco. I saw the hard work they put into the project. Slowly, I learned about them and their hopes for the project. At first, I didn’t become connected to the project, I became connected to the people.
Over the next few weeks, I learned more about the Cerro Blanco’s long journey towards a clean water source. It had been 20 years since Cerro Blanco had bought pipe for a water pipeline. They had been waiting 20 years to accomplish this dream. During our work days, the people of Cerro Blanco weren’t just putting hard work into the project. They were putting their lives into the project. When I realized this, I realized the reason I came to Peru. And in the process, I became connected to the project.
During the last two weeks of the project, I learned more about the logistics of the project. Martin shared more information about the frame for the reservoir. However, at that point, Martin could have told me to move rocks for the day and I would have happily done it if knew it was helping the project. I was happy knowing that I was part of something that was bigger than me. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the finished reservoir. The cement still needed to be laid onto the frame. In the next few weeks, Cerro Blanco will complete the project, and after 20 years, they will finally have a clean water source.
At one point during the project, Martin asked me what our group name was so it could be placed on the reservoir when it was complete. So I wrote it out for him: OSU Nourish 2010. However, Martin didn’t find this acceptable. He insisted on also having each of our individual names. So I wrote them out for him: Felipe Moreno, Andy Pochedly, Mackenzie Rapp, Theresa Schmidt, Nico Mata, and Laura Lewis. He told me we would become part of the Cerro Blanco’s history, to be forever remembered. I am honored that they want to remember us. I know I will always remember Cerro Blanco.
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