Day 2 in the Andes Jeff March 1, 2013 All, Sustainability I awake in the cold and look outside to see snow has covered the valley and the roofs of the homes. I wonder if this is going to slow down our efforts to install 40 lighting kits today. Isn’t it supposed to be warmer at the equator? After a leisurely and soul warming breakfast of sopa de papa (potato soup) and mate tea, I quickly learn that no weather slows down the Q’eros. Morning snowfall in the Andes Day 2 is a flurry of activity. We install a few more systems in the community where we slept, then begin a process of trekking several hours to the next community, installing lights, trekking to the next community. Everywhere, we are welcomed into homes, served warm food and tea. Installing solar panel on roof Well-earned potato break Dany from Q'ellqa and the Q'eros help assemble kits During each installation, we train the homeowner how to use the light and phone charging system in either Spanish (my Spanish is Dora-esque so this is mainly the team from Q’ellqa and Rafael, our distributor in Peru) or Quechua. Among the Q’eros, Cesar is the appointed handyman of all the systems. He and several others have mastered all the components and correct us when we make a mistake. They know how to do basic troubleshooting so that we can maintain the systems over time if any parts fail. Their enthusiasm and quick learning gives us confidence that the systems will be well taken care of. The Q’ellqa crew will stay in close contact with them to collect feedback on the systems and provide advice. Cesar demonstrating how the battery works Checking the list for which installs come next By the end of the second day, I’m better adjusted to the altitude, but exhausted from the trekking and climbing. After installing one of the last lights, we hear the chant of “Otra casa!” and climb up another impossibly steep hill to another home to do another installation. I can barely walk straight, but can’t wait to do thousands more. Another light installation Team Q'ellqa, Water Solutions Peru and Voltaic Photographs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 by Cusco Photographer Carlos Garavito. Photograph 1 by Voltaic Systems. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.