Since Tuesday I’ve been working a lot with the impedance meter and the picoscope. I’m able to work pretty good with the picoscope now, but there seems to be a lot of noise on the impedance meter circuit. I finally got to use my bike: I searched for over an hour for a 12V adapter with banana jack. I also got my bike fixed at a shop for free, but it only lasted 2 minutes and then broke again. Nothing too bad, just not optimal to ride. I found a multimeter that can measure capacity and bought some tools to mess around with the humidity sensor. I changed some cables to measure the capacity more easily. So far not too good results from the impedance meter. Maybe tomorrow I can fix the noise problem. When the Belgians came back from La Buitreira, they were a bit disappointed because there was a pretty strange atmosphere over there. The people there don’t seem to trust strangers because they think they’re here solely for illegal mining. The Belgians also discovered a lot of additional problems regarding their hydro.

To forget their misery, we made pancakes, as it was Brecht’s birthday. Out of the blue, an old man with a moustache came in the casa de voluntarios. He walked in and started commanding people like he was the boss of the house. What I didn’t know at first, is that he actually ís the boss of the house. The man is called Padre Pako, and everyone in Jaén knows him. He walked in the house, sat on a chair, commanded everyone and then left. He is the owner of casa de voluntarios, and a pretty important sacerdotal. He often goes to Europe to get money from grants and stuff. Last year he went to Brussels and told us he knew king Philippe personally. As Peruvians seem to do when they meet people, he gave us a drink called “pisco sour” (3 pisco/ 2 lemon/ 1 sugar). When he left, I discussed some practical issues with Robin, the manager of the casa, and made a task list to coordinate who does what in the house (mostly cleaning tasks).

Saturday I went to Diconor (the electronics shop where I bought my multimeter and some other stuff) with Brecht, to buy some electronics they need. Suddenly, I got a message from Freek, asking if I could bring him to the hospital. Freek was pretty sick and as we are in another country, we’d better play safe. Before we left, I called Robin, who told us not to go to the main hospital, but to some smaller private hospital called San Marcos. We went there by mototaxi and talked to a doctor. Then Robin arrived too at the hospital. Freek decided he only wanted to get an analysis, and not stay in the hospital. After the analysis, Freek got an injection in his butt, which we all laughed about. I brought Freek back to the casa and joined the other Belgians to go to Mili’s house to eat, and then we swam at the cascadas, a place with a zoo and some pools. When we got back, Freek got his results, all negative, but as he felt not too good, I went to buy some (disgusting) electrolytic water for him (with strawberry taste!). Sunday was laundry & cleaning day. Next week I hope to solve the problems and get some real results from the impedance meter. Not a day goes by that I’m bored, but rainy days do go by – very rainy (see pictures).

Our device telling us “Bienvenida”

You’re so tall though Bob, it’s hilarious

The 12V adapter I found. It gives somewhere between 1.5V and 18V. I can get a pretty consistant 12.5V out of it.

Lots of measurements, nice correlation

Jeroen’s birthday cake

VIew from my room: a guy drying coffee on black plastics and mixing it using his bare feet.

A “buitre”, the most common bird here in Jaén.

Sunday laundry day

Brecht’s birthday cake

An “avestruz” in the zoo we visited


Streets turning into rivers with heavy rainfall.


Sol y café staff practicing with fire extinguishers