Its Been A While…

Dear Lazy Web and Friends,

It has really been some time since I have brought you the colorful snippets of my life.  Much has happened since my last post.  I have actually made progress on my Ph.D., I have traveled to South America.  To start with the simple, I went to Bolivia for two weeks in June.  This was a wonderful trip and I have  meet a lot of very cool people.  My mother has been going on these trips now for several years and I felt it was time to surprise her by joining in on the trip at the last minute.  Here is the cool part, she did not know I was coming till I “ran” into her at the Miami airport just minutes before the plane to La Paz Bolivia left.  I shall share with you the moment…

Me and Mom in Miami

The trip was with done through a joint effort of the Project Helping Hands organization and the Cup Of Cold Water Ministries.  There are so many fantastic stories from this trip.  The trip motivation was to provide medical support for the small villages in the interior along the Mapiri river.  The trip was of mild ruggedness due to the ability to sleep in improved structures in different villages that we stayed in.  There was one evening where we slept along the river in the jungle.  Here I got the ability to us my hammock / tent from Hennessy Hammocks again, this time where it was intended, in a real jungle.  Of great concern for the trip was my eating habits.  If you have ever meet me you would know this has to be one of my most annoying features.  The prospect of eating strange fish / rice / not fried chicken… for days on end was quite frightening.  Well, I performed so much better than I thought I would.  I have discovered that I like Bolivian rice.  I have no idea how it is prepared, but it is good.  In addition to providing basic medical care to the villages free of charge we also installed two bio sand filters.  These are essentially 55 gallon plastic drums with a specific mixture of rocks and sand.  The fiter operates by forming a layer of bio material near the top which is called the Schmutzdeke and allowing the unfiltered water to slowly pass though this layer where the bio organisms remove the harmful water contaminants.  In addition to this the water also flows though clean sand which has other filtering properties.  Outside of just being in the region which offers so many different things such as fresh right off the trees fruit (bananas, oranges, and grapefruit’s), beautiful views of the mountains, and a sense of relaxation that I have not felt for a while, there is adventure.  I walked in the jungle in the middle of the night and stood on an ant hill that was 10 feet in diameter.  I also had the opportunity to ride the original death road… on top of the bus!  What a ride and what a trip.  Those of you who were on this trip with me I will never forget the times that we had and I hope to keep in touch with all of you.  Now, just for the curious I have compiled a google maps overlay of the trip.  I generated it by hauling my GPS unit with me and keeping a track of the trip.  One of the problems in the general lack of spelling that I have.  Most things on this overlay are mis-spelled but I have other things to do right now instead of fixing the spelling errors.  Just open this up in google earth and enjoy.  The colors denote the altitude where blue is the highest and red is the lowest.  For those that are interested you can check out my flickr collection of the trip a flickr.com.

This summer I have also gone back to Carroll Cave, visited the Lake of the Ozarks with friends, and made strawberry ice cream with liquide nitrogen

Ice Cream

Yes, I have been making progress on my dissertation.  It is slow, but moving forward.  I will stop here.  So, a lot has happened, and a lot has yet to happen.  I have said too much…

Exit Stage Left…


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About Justace Clutter

I am currently a Physics graduate student at the University of Kansas. My enphasis is High Energy Experiment and as such am currently working at the D0 experiment at Fermilab near Chicago. My undergraduate was accomplished at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU) in Springfield, Mo. I also compleated 5 years of active duty in the Air Force just after high school.
This entry was posted in Cool Stuff, Food, Trips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Its Been A While…

  1. Just keep making good content. Precisely what I needed!

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