Hoping to Return
EWB-Cornell is returning to Bolivia next year for a water project, but neither DeNey nor McGrattan is planning on making that trip. They do, however, hope to get back to Calcha one day and see how their bridge has affected their new friends.
“The structure should be there for decades to come,” DeNey says. “And as we were finishing it, we were all talking about how cool it would be to come down in 10 years and see the bridge, see firsthand how it’s impacted the people there.”
Beadle says he’s impressed by student groups’ willingness to sacrifice a portion of their summer break to do meaningful work thousands of miles from home. And as most college groups spend just a week or two, he said, Cornell’s team deserves particular praise for devoting two months to their project.
“I always tell people that, as cynical as we get about kids these days, this generation is just so much more engaged and willing to do things that our generation just didn’t or couldn’t,” he says. “And to take eight weeks out of your summer, you’re not getting paid for it … it says an awful lot that they’re willing to do that.”