Monday, May 16, 2016

All stations deployed!

Last two stations went into the ground today! We're done and heading back to Quito to fly back to the States. We started the day in a town called Chone. Anne, Colton, and Mario had to head back to Quito today, so we started with a little breakfast, then split up the trucks into what can go back to Quito and what we needed in the field. We took two trucks to find two sites. The first one is in a town called Montecristi, west of the hub town of Porta Veija. It was a hard site to dig; we hit rock within about 30cm, so our site was buried relatively shallowly. That should be good though, as hard rock sites give the clearest ground motion. The second site was on the other side of Porta Veija, to the south, in a town called Sucre. It was a hard site to find because all the people we met were renters or didn't have a good, clear, well-drained, and secure spot to build the station. However, we eventually found a spot near the last house on the road. The families that live there were kind and helpful, so we took some photos with them as we left. On the way back to Chone, where Susan, Evan, Roberto, and I are staying again, we passed through Porta Veija to take pictures of the damage. Even though this town is pretty far from the main shock in Pedernales, it appears that limited pockets of the town were hit very hard by the shaking.

Just as a few days ago I was hit by a sense of, "what am I doing here", today I was reminded of how wonderful my job is. I really never took myself as the type of person who'd just uproot everything I've been doing and travel to rural parts of the world, but here I am. Its a fantastic opportunity to see the world as it actually is and not just have the narrow view of what life is like in my house, town, state, country, etc... Really interacting with people in small towns in Ecuador has been fantastic. I'm getting a better feel for what life is like in different parts of the world and it makes me wonder what is best, or more fittingly, what is it that makes me happy in a place that I'm living? I know there's no single answer, but exploring the possibilities is amazing.

View of EC19

Pretty much every meal here, other than breakfast, has included lentils and rice

Team and family selfy at EC20

Some damage in Porta Veija

Damage in Porta Veija

Damage in Porta Veija

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