Last week we left off with our trip to Paramaribo and a full planning for the coming weeks. Since then we’ve made considerable progress with our project. The model is so far up and running, a nice overview is made of the situation inside the wards and the structural guys made an assessment tool for the outfall sluices. But besides work there was still time to finally see something of the vast rainforest of Guyana and the beautiful waterfalls. And we met a Dutchmen who traded his life in the Netherlands to work as consul for the Netherlands.
At the beginning of the week, more fieldwork was needed. For the flood risk team that meant an initiation for the wading suit. In the morning Ruben put on the (almost) watertight suit to check the situation inside the small drains in front of the houses. What we found were layers of thick clay and vegetation, which made it almost impossible for any water to flow. In the afternoon it was Jos' turn to work through the ditches. The modeling team went on with their model and needed some flow measurements in order to calibrate the model. This lead to a very unfamiliar site for locals who passed by as one white guy was standing in the deep channel and another was shouting time marks with a stopwatch. The structural guys have made an inspection tool in order to inspect the outfall sluices on their state. To fine-tune the tool, they beta tested it with their own field work. It was a quite intense week, but the Dutch efforts on the Olympic games made us stay up a bit longer.
After a productive week we went on a quiet weekend with a visit to the city of New Amsterdam. Here the Berbice Expo was organized, which was an exhibition of different agencies in Guyana, from culture to ministries, and from NGO's to an El Dorado rum stand, where you could win all kind of merchandise. Sunday we had the opportunity to make our own dinner, which was quite successful with vegetables from the local market.
The next week, we had a return visit by the Dutch ambassador who was on a short visit in order to inaugurate the new honorary consul for the Netherlands here in Guyana; Mr. Ben ter Welle, a nice man who has traded his life as a wood anatomist back home to work in Guyana. After many projects he became consul for Germany and Austria. And now also for the Netherlands. During the small visit he immediately invited us at his home, which was a nice colonial-era, cool house where the evenings are nice and mellow. He told us all kind of great stories of his life here Guyana from a sober 'Twents' perspective.
The past week was again filled with hard work. Again big steps were made and the finalizing of the project has started. After a lot of phone calls we managed to plan an exciting weekend. Saturday we went on a boat ride along the Essequibo river. Together with some colleagues from the ministry who own the boat, we went to different Islands which were first settled by the Dutch. Forts, an old mill and a church house can all still be found on the islands.
Sunday we woke up early to go with the taxi to a small airport, where we would fly towards the biggest waterfall in Guyana: Kaieteur falls, which lays in the heart of the vast rainforest. The flight towards the falls was absolutely overwhelming and the falls were beautiful. After seeing the falls from different angles with our tour guide we went to the plateau waterfalls of Orinduik which were situated in a savanna kind of climate, higher up in the interior of Guyana. Such amazing views.
So now were entering our last weeks of our project and some hard work is still required. So we're back at work for this week. Thanks for following and you'll hear from us soon! Thanks for following all!
Our group consist of seven civil engineering students at the Technical University Delft. With a various composition of Msc. Tracks: Hydraulic, Offshore, Structural Engineering and Computer Science. This knowledge gives us theoretical skills, which we want to apply on a large project. After realizing our first major project, a plastic bridge with a span of 24 meters, we are now ready to face the next challenge. This challenge is about the problems with the hydraulic structures and model in the capital city of Guyana: Georgetown. Our final goal is to come up with a durable, applicable and efficient solution for the specific region. Besides that we want to get familiar with the region and gain more experience with these kind of problems in the field.