By Ralph Chesley
February 21, 2014.
In the third week of a six-week effort to distribute solar lanterns, I’m stricken with a
cough of sufficient force to delay our work, and contracted red eye infection as well.
Going to visit the local hospital tomorrow.
This time of year every town in the Philippines celebrate their patron saint for
weeks until the end of Easter Week with parades, social and sporting events.
Unfortunately our family’s ancestral home is now in the middle of the plaza.
Translated, these events last well into the early mornings, 2 am. Impossible to get
rest, thus my sorry predicament of having to check into a hotel where I can get a
good night’s rest with hopes of recovering. But we move on.
Met up with volunteers last Friday from Manila, former employees of Sun Power, we
caravanned north for five hours to our town, Candelaria. Straight to the school site,
our team assessed the property site; with information needed we began to calculate
a solar PV system for the school. The general plan is equipped the school
sufficiently with solar PV system where it can avoid most electrical costs. Included
in the plan is a proposal to allow the principal and teacher to manage the savings
from deferred electrical costs. An investment suitor is interested in our project,
should discussions lead to their support our project has a good chance of being
completed by 2015.
Last February 2013, REEF distributed solar lanterns to families living without electricity to the same school, San Roque Elementary School Annex in Candelaria, Zambales. This revisit surprised us as the children prepared Thank You card for the lanterns.