This blog contains excerpts from my hand-written diary from five years ago. Since that time I have been to Africa mutliple times and therefore have shyness about some of my perceptions and ideas that I no longer hold. But that is growth so I will leave those embarrassing things in. The purpose of my university’s program in Africa was to install solar-powered water pasteurizers at two secondary schools in the remote NW area of Tanzania. I would travel with 5 engineering students (seniors and top of the class I’m told). I have always been engineer-y so we shall see what this trip brings. Highlights for today:
- Dealing with end-of-semester business (grades), etc.
- Younger son, Erik, not feeling well
- Preparing for Christmas
- Feeling ‘called’ to go to Africa.
Engineers on the trip: Prof: Kaye; Students: Ann (leader); Andre; Andrew; Jason; and Tom. We had a couple of get togethers prior to the trip and I felt I would fit in well. All were considerate and eager for the trip. I did not have time to explore the background of the project given the nature of how I was brought on board.
The solar powered water pasteurizer was the result of a project led by a St. Thomas professor. The pasteurizer was designed for one family in Mali and presentation notes and papers led one to believe it was successful. Our team learned later of known design problems with the valve and were disappointed to learn that those had not been resolved into a working prototype anywhere. I was informed later that the design flaw rendered the technology useless.