In the first week of April we were able to carry out a string of solar oven demonstrations with our Dominican team. These demonstrations were filled with enjoyable new experiences and also challenging as we were a small team of only 5 people. But all the hard work was rewarding as the people who attended were so enthusiastic and receptive.
Our director Pastor Erasme, Rev. Maria, Gertrudis, Gordy and I visited three villages on the Samaná peninsula, El Limón, Villa Clara and Mt. Rojo.
After our final demonstration in El Limon, we weren’t all able to fit in the pickup with our supplies so our pickup went on ahead without us to take the load of tools and equipment to our next place which was Mt. Rojo. The plan was that he would return for us in an hour.
In the meantime Erasme invited us to the local river. The water was cool and clean and we were hot and dirty so we all jumped in with our blue jeans and t-shirts to play with the children and get totally refreshed. The pickup didn’t return until 3 hours later.
Since we had sold all the ovens that we had made, we needed to assemble at least 15 more ovens to be prepared for the next morning. Instead of going back to Samaná to rest, we traveled directly up the mountain to where the Mt. Rojo church is located. In the cool evening air Erasme, Gordy, myself and a handful of local volunteers built 20 ovens finishing at 10:00 pm.
We all know the ladies from the Mt. Rojo church, so they feel very comfortable with us. When we arrived the next morning, over 30 of them greeted us, excited and ready to cook. They brought a bucket full of tubers with them wondering if the ovens would also cook these. At that very moment there was a complete cloud cover. Gertrudis said I kind of jumped with panic when they asked me, but I wanted to have faith the sun would appear so I enthusiastically said, “of course!” We cooked mapuey, ñame, yautia, yucca, rice with coconut milk, tayota, moro with coconut milk, coconete, bread from their recipe and of course, platanos.
I am happy to report that the sun did come out, everything cooked just right, the women were in awe, and we all celebrated.