This article was published in the Ames Tribune October 10, 2008.
Improvements for rural Panamanians
We made an Estufa Lorena. Lorena is a combination of the words lodo (mud) and arena (sand). It is a stove of mud and sand shaped like a box with an opening to put in fire wood with a burner above that and then a chimney.
Why make a mud stove when most people have burners that run off propane tanks? Because many of them still use open cook fires almost every day. The mud stove has an environmental and a health benefit. It uses about one third the wood of an open fire and the smoke is funneled out the chimney instead of being breathed. It's much better for the women's health. Other people have expressed interest and we have made a list of things that must be collected before starting.
We've also worked with CREA volunteers on a burn barrel for plastics. The volunteers felt, and rightly so, that the women shouldn't be burning plastic wrappers, sacks and especially pesticide containers on their cook fires or in their yards. They found plans for a special burn barrel with a chimney. They found the two big pieces they needed - a metal barrel and a sheet of expanded metal as litter. We worked with the two volunteers and five Panamanians to cut the expanded metal to fit in the barrel as a shelf for the plastic.
Foy and Jeff's Peace Corps assignment is from May 2007 to August 2009.