Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hello friends,

Steve and I leave for Peru in less than a month! We are still wrapping up loose ends, but now is the time to let everyone know about three benefits we’re having in early November.

Sunday November 2nd at Sam Bond’s Garage (407 Blair Blvd in Eugene) we are having a night of music with Samba Ja (a thunderous, funky percussion ensemble), The Whiskey Spots (old time and novelty songs), and Hot Drama (rock band action with Sassy of Alpha Dahlia and Gina (ex-Ginger Hustlers). $5 at the door, 21 and over; show starts at 8:30 PM.

Saturday November 1st – 14th at the Museum of Unfine Art
(537 Willamette Street in Eugene) we’ll have an exhibition of paintings donated by Australian artist Margaret Girle to benefit Vidas Mejoradas. Opening reception will be November 7th at 7PM.

Sunday November 9th at Belly Restaurant (291 East 5th in Eugene) we are having a silent auction of hand made weavings from Peru. Complementary Peruvian ceviche appetizer will be served along with tacos and drinks. Proceeds of the auction and drinks will go to Vidas Mejoradas. There are two reservation times (although we are flexible); RSVP if you would like 6PM or 7:30 PM. They will be open from 6-9PM.

We have registered as a non-profit in the state of Oregon and are in process of building a web site at www.vidasmejoradas.org For the time being though, the best place to find us on the web is http://pencilsforperu.blogspot.com

We hope to see you at one or all of these events! Please forward this to other folks you think might be interested.

Laurie and Steve

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Attached is the latest translated letter from Pavela , our cohort in stoves in Cusco:

Beloved friend you are right I was very busy in trying to pass my tests and under a weight very negative. Also recently i am thinking of my dad and it is very difficult to carry the reality and the feelings. Please excuse me, this year has been and is very hard for me. At times I find myself so tired that I go to sleep at six o'clock in the afternoon. I have not been paid in four months at my work and that contributes to my fallen state and pessimism. There were problems at work with other people that mistreated me and this was very hard and all is complicated. Alright we will speak when you come because we are nearing your arrival and that will be very good for me to have a friend without conditions.
Onto the project, our materials are not ideal right now and that helps my mood as I continue to investigate this business about the ceramic/brick combustion chambers. Sister Nelly and I found a quarry (mine) 30 minutes from Quiquijana and there a square meter of pumice rock is 20 soles. I bought a piece the size of a box of 5 Kl (?). I could hand carry it. And there are large stones the size of a large (?) chest and it is possible to cut them in the shape of the rocket and to do a rocket of pumice rock. Tomorrow I return to the mine to buy more rock with a plan to cut it with a saw lent to me by a constructor. It is a new idea, super cheap and very elegant that I will test this week. the bricks include the ground pumice rock. it is shattered then this mixed with dirt. what we would have to do is buy large pieces and to grind them to a certain size then to deliver them to the ladrilleros but close to Quiquijana. This will mean time and cost. The idea is crazy but one must experiment. To make bricks remains possible but what if the results of the chambers of the pumice rock are unique and better? There are two or three qualities of stone, super light red one, the gray smooth one (a little hard but light) and the black one (hard and porous). The idea came to us on the day of a visit to the temple of Wiracocha (God of the Universe) and there is a quarry five minutes from there and someone showed me where remained the mine. Apparently the Incas worked the black stone to make a box of stone and inside they put a stone a form of cylinder. So this is what brought forth the idea to make a rocket Wiracocha. It is a crazy, yes, and tomorrow I will test it. And then we'll also know how many rockets approximately can be made from a square meter of stone. The price of the bricks we'll have on Saturday if the idea does not result of the rockets Wiracocha. It is very exciting and creative. If i don't do well on Saturday I'll find out the cost of the thousand ceramic bricks. The rocket has 8 bricks four large and four half the size of the others. On Sunday the 12th, I will send a letter to the presidente of Usi and preparing the road (ie. plan). You do not need to worry! All will turn out well and better than last time. Each time we are advancing. $6000 will be enough if even that. The Spanish volunteer is named Ignacio and tomorrow will be testing with me the rocket Wiracocha that I have fallen in love with. (?) He been with David Whitfield in Cochabamba. In Quiquijana we have thought about dormitories for you. It's sad to receive the news of your friends. Yu can give them my hug and they can always come another time. Estevan and Laurita i send love. I expect the coming months together to be good.
A hug of a lazy bear.