ellen vs. the volcano volcano

This is my personal blog and does not reflect the views and ideas of the US government or Peace Corps

07 September 2005

Tungurahua Observatory- Aug 22-25

Ah, yes. The reason I fell in love with volcanoes. Tungurahua. Now, one of my jobs here is to spend time at the observatory. This was my first stint, and made me quite excited for more. For the first hour or so, with the volcano despejado and smoking, it was super exciting. After that, I read a lot. In reality, there is not a lot of active work involved when it comes to volcano watching, but it is cool anyways. The observatory is placed in an old hacienda, it is very nice- I had the room with the walk in tub, too bad there was not enough water to take a bath. The next exciting part was when we went out to check some instruments, and talk to people about ash fall- it’s very scientific: when you see a guy on the road, you ask him if ash has fallen in theses here parts, and then report it. The best part, however, was the road that we drove on. It was just re-opened, and obvious why. Every 500 yards or so, it had been totally washed out by lahars. We had to drive up each quebrada, and cross further up hill, either over the lahar, or a sweet sketchy wooden bridge that the buses had no reservations about, so I guess our little Vitara shouldn’t have worried me at all. The people were trying to engineer lahar paths by making concrete channels…. Questionable. Then we got to go into Banos for supplies. The first time for me, as it was evacuated 6 years ago when I was here (turns out, my counterpart was the guy who called for the evacuation). Thursday morning I got on a bus back to Latacunga, only to leave Friday morning to back to Cayambe for the end of training.



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