Welches in Peru

Welches in Peru
Our family (November 2018)

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Our House in Curahuasi - Access to Video

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Dear all our emailed blog followers,

It seems that our automated emailed blog post from yesterday did not include the video - sorry!

For this you need to view our original blog post via your web browser.  The short cut is to simply click on this link;



Chris (aka Welches in Peru IT Administrator J)

Monday, 11 February 2019

Our House in Curahuasi

Monday 11 February 2019

Today we recorded a brief video of our farm house in Curahuasi (this was done prior to moving out a bunch our furniture which we have sold, as we prepare to return to Australia for our first furlough on 21 April, 2019 after almost 3 years in Peru).

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our home life in Curahuasi these past 26 months.

(Please be patient when clicking on the video for the first time, as it may take time to load)


Chris, Sandi and clan

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Diospi FM On Air in Echarati

Thursday 31 January 2019

As of 7:01pm Tuesday 29 January, Diospi Suyana is on the air in Echarati district on FM 107.1 MHz.  This is our 5th FM site and so we now cover an additional 40,000 people. 

We left Curahuasi on Tuesday 22 January to see the long line of patients standing in the rain waiting for a ticket to enter Diospi Suyana hospital and receive first world professional medical care.
Patients line up to receive help from Diospi hospital - many choose to sleep out on the footpath.
Echarati is over 6 hours’ drive from Diospi Suyana in Curahuasi, and is in the region of Cusco on the descent from the Andes into the Amazon rainforest.  The town of Echarati officially sits at 1,010m above mean sea level and has a tropical climate averaging 24°C.  As the temperature does not change much throughout the year, there is simply a wet season and a dry season.  The wet season is from December to March, and so our installation was unsurprisingly damp.  A common hazard at this time in all these mountainous regions is road washaways and landslides.  When leaving Curahuasi, we narrowly escaped (by 2 minutes) a major landslide which dumped tonnes of rock and gravel across the Panamericana highway.

 A week before our Echarati trip, a torrential downpour took out this major bridge on the highway delaying us an hour to pass over a makeshift causeway.
Our Diospi Hilux waiting in line for an hour to pass the bridge washaway.
Our transmission equipment delivery truck got bogged accessing our mountain top site after heavy overnight rains.
This has been the most tiring installation yet for us, as we spent nearly 3 hours each day to drive to and from our the closest city of Quillabamba which has a civilised hotel (clean, dry, hot water and access to safe food vendors).  This makes for long days and overall, an extended installation.  In fact it took us 10 days straight of typically 15+ hour days to complete our work.

And we seemed to have our fair share of challenges for this site, not the least being site construction problems.  We were assured the site was complete and ready with some low resolution photos, but the reality was unfortunately different.  We walked into the transmission room to wade through water due to a hopelessly inadequate roof and the heavy nightly rain that is normal during the wet season.  Poor construction skills, skimping on materials, and extremely low grade materials are common in Peru.

It also flooded during our installation before a new building contractor upgraded the thin plastic sheet with metal corrugation sheets and professional flashing.
Local farmer’s trucks get bogged on the causeways of our Echarati FM site access road after torrential rains bring down gravel and rocks.
Due to the remoteness we have installed an electric fence and wall vibration sensors to detect break in attempts.
Our telemetry system which reports remote site data back to our Media Centre in Curahuasi, is becoming more and more complex with more sensors at each site.  In addition to the normal security features of infrared movement sensors, for we have now included an electric fence, wall vibration sensors and a smoke sensor.  The first site of these new additions is Echarati and I want to acknowledge the help from Steve Schilg of Maximation in Australia who has invaluably helped me to continue our telemetry expansion with programming the TBox product. 

In addition we always remotely monitor the FM transmitter health, our satellite system, uninterruptable power supply (UPS) and 4 x CCTV cameras at each site. 
Finally our FM antenna is installed along with our new metal roof sheeting properly fitted to make our site weatherproof.
Here my German mission colleague Christian Oswald and I commence assembly of our 2.4m C-Band satellite antenna.
Our Echarati 30m tower with 4 element FM antenna nearing completion.
Here is our scenic view to the North West (away from Echarati) from our FM site with the Urubamba River winding through the valley 1.1km beneath us.
Here is our elated Diospi Suyana team at the moment of FM transmission commencement – from left to right is Christian Oswald, Doris Manco, me and Cristobal Pancorbo.
Doris gets out of the car to mark the southerly limit of our Echarati coverage.
Our first fruits of this installation was during the return trip, when we crossed the 4,316m mountain pass of Quillabamba. At this point Cristobal gives his heart to serve Christ – it was an emotional moment for us.  Since then our Curahuasi media Centre have fetched an endless number of calls and messages (WhatsApp) thanking Diospi for commencing our program in their region, and with so many calls for us to pray for difficult life situations people find themselves in here.  Despite my exhaustion from this installation, and the sacrifice of family back home – it is so worth the effort. 

I also wanted to acknowledge my wife Sandi who does the most amazing work “keeping the fires burning” in coping with day to day running of the house.  During my time away in Echarati, back home we had the suspension break on our van (meaning she had to resort to 3 wheel moto-taxis in and out of town), we had a water pipe burst, we had mice in our mud brick house – all of which Sandi takes in her stride.  In addition Sandi is managing the education of our 7 kids at home as they start school again now with distance education from Australia, running in and out of town over and over each day, baby sitting another families’ 2 infants and a baby on Tuesdays as they both work at Diospi Suyana, packing preparation for our return to Australia in April (our first return in 3 years), and managing so many other things.  She is the most incredible gift and soul mate for me, and I love her dearly.

Here our 2 year old Stacey is fascinated with a mouse in our house that Isaac caught while I was away.