Article authored by Peter Mernagh, published in the November 2022 issue of RTOERO’s

    Renaissance Magazine.

In the fall of 2003, a teacher on our staff at St. Martin School invited Ted van der Zalm, co-founder of the charitable organization Wells of Hope, to speak to the students about his experience drilling water wells in Guatemala.

Here was an opportunity for adventure in my retirement, I thought — where do I sign up?

On October 4, 2004, I climbed behind the wheel of an old mini school bus and joined the convoy of drilling rigs and pickup trucks driving 5,000 kilometres from St. Catharines, Ont., to Laguna El Pito, in the mountains near Jalapa, Guatemala, where we set up the tents that would be home for the next six months.

It was the genesis of a journey that would open my eyes, mind and heart in a way I never experienced in my 32 years as a teacher, principal or consultant.

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