Sunday, January 20, 2013


There are a lot of things in this country that just seem to be plain miracles!

A truck like this is a common sight.  It is packed full of vegetables including a stack of eggs that seem to always get to where they need to go without one cracked egg.

We inspected 200 wheelchairs constructed at ADR and paid for by the church and donated back to ADR.  ADR then gives the chairs at no cost to persons in need.  Wallace is trying one out.  He is holding a transfer board used to help a person transfer himself/herself from the wheelchair to a chair, etc.  We didn’t know we were going to be wheelchair inspectors!
We traveled to Santiago this week for the closing of one of our projects for a Therapy facility.  The stake president, (Almonte) is in the white shirt and tie, to his right is the president of the organization and a member of the committee and the lady on the end is the Vice-President.  They are standing in front of the electrical generator we purchased for them

Lady giving speech therapy

This man reminded Wallace of the many hours of torture he went through in therapy after his broken arm.
Lady that befriended Edith

Wallace talking shop with a fellow Civil Engineer
Ronny Rosario, Elder Rob Dunford and Wallace standing next to a painting of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic.  We visited this school in La Vega to see what we could do to help them.
This school would like to have some bookshelves to create a library.  All the books stacked on the tables were just piled in the corners of the room three weeks ago.  Ronny, a new teacher at the school organized them with the help of the students. We will see if we can get a project approved to buy bookshelves, a computer, printer, projector and microphone for this school.
This is only a part of what we did.  It was a fun busy week full of Adventure---of course!
Wallace forgot to mention in the last blog that Ken Kartchner, Short Term Water Specialist, announced at our training that the church no longer requires water projects to meet a $10 per beneficiary requirement!  This recognizes it is not possible to build a water system for $10/person unless you are simply putting in a bore hole or a hand pump.  This is important to us because here we can usually find a perfectly good clean and reliable source of water out of the side of a mountain a couple of kilometers away. But it costs more than $10/person. Now we can evaluate water projects on the basis of merit and achieving the goal to relieve suffering and build self-sufficiency. 
We have been struggling for months to figure out how to present generate Food Projects.  We have made a lot of mistakes.  Our presentation has been too complicated or something.  Wallace worries about this day and night.  By calling on the skills we learned as Cub Scout leaders and in leadership positions over a lifetime we think we are finally starting to explain the project in a simple way as we teach welfare principals and providing in the Lord’s way.  The people are starting to take ownership and management of their own project.  The following picture is Wallace explaining the project to the Bani 1 Branch Council members using pictures and asking a lot of participatory questions instead of just lecturing.  We think the meeting went very well.

Our current goal is to prepare projects in 2 phases.  Phase 1, pays for a technical advisor to train the people how to manage a chicken or garden project, then help them design it, get a list of materials, feed, etc, figure out where to get it and how to get it there, get cost estimates, fill out forms and make a formal commitment with the branch president. All of that has to be done before you go to phase 2.   Phase 2 provides the funds to build their projects, report on the project ever 6 months and get a final report at the end of 2 years.  We feel pretty hopeful Bani 1 got the idea.

We reached a major milestone recently to set up a new method of finances where the branch president can purchase his own materials and manage the project himself. 


  1. Another excellent blog! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your service.

  2. I'm really glad that you can now evaluate water projects on the basis of merit. That is cool.

    Good luck!