Monday, February 13, 2012

A Light for Chapyosen

We spent much of Saturday in the village of Chapyosen.  In order to get there, we rode through the mountains to Can-eo and then hiked a little over an hour along the river to Chapyosen.
This washout is under the road to Can-eo
After arriving in Can-eo, we needed to pass through two sitios (neighborhoods, of sorts) before beginning the hike along the river to Chapyosen.
A typical house in the sitio of Favfey
Along the way we passed people going about their work. This young man was returning from gathering firewood; over his shoulder was a bundle of wood and strapped to his side was a machete.
A workingman
My last attempt to hike to Chapyosen was foiled by the typhoon and the active landslide that had wiped out the trail. The old trail is still blocked, but now that the slide is no longer active, a new footpath is being created by people packing the soil as they hike over the slide.

We are so proud of our girls. The hike was over an hour long in the sun. In many places, steep grades and loose soil made for tricky trekking and a few slips. Yet, there was never a complaint.
Hiking over the landslide
It was a beautiful day for a hike and the breeze helped to reduce the heat of the sun. Still, when we reached Chapyosen, we were a bit tired and thirsty. We had underestimated the amount of water the six of us would need. We chose to be thirsty until we made it back to Can-eo where we had clean water rather than risk introducing any friends to our intestines.
A well deserved break
Weekends have little meaning for farmers so most of the adults had gone out into their fields for the day. But the arrival of visitors, plus the excitement of our girls twisting animal balloons, brought the children to the house where we were resting. After a while, Alexie and Karin Joy, one of our guides, read and taught from the Read Aloud Bible Stories to the children and mothers that had gathered. They all asked to hear stories again.
Balloons and Bible stories
Karin Joy and Alexie
Alayna and a new friend
Everything can be a toy
Seeing the boy with the firewood and the children caring for their younger siblings in Chapyosen while their parents worked in the fields, reminded me of the difficulties of living in mountain villages. Later, the boy below was chopping wood for the rocket stove with his sister on his back. Lisa and I both noticed that when we were giving out balloons, none of the children asked for another. Neither did any of them cry when their balloon popped; often they would re-inflate what remained of the balloon.
A brother's love
After resting for a while, I introduced the rocket stove. They will be able to use the one we left for them as a pattern to make more.
The rocket stove boiling the camote treat we had later
Making sure the fire is still burning
Then we prepared a solar bottle-light.
Thomas and Alayna preparing the bottle-light for Espirita's house
Annalise smiling because she got Daddy's hat
Lhany smiling from the porch
The ladder I used to get on the roof was about as sturdy as other homemade ladders I have been on, but this one was a little shorter than I preferred. Had it sunk into the ground at all as I climbed, it would no longer have reached the fascia of the roof it was resting against - not fun! But everything worked out and the dark room below now has light.
Installing the bottle-light
A highlight for the girls was when Karin Joy took them to a waterfall nearby. It is really tall and they enjoyed the cooling mist it provided. Each of them is looking forward to the next time we go and hoping to be able to get soaked by the falling water.
The 4-As at the waterfall in Chapyosen
After a snack of camote, a native sweet potato, we hiked back to Can-eo. But that is an adventure for another post.



  1. Cool to see another trail being blazed through the landslide going to Chapyosen... maybe someday I will have another chance to go there.

  2. Marie, you would love it! Let me know when you are ready to make the journey. - Tom