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Engineering and Culture

May 23, 2010

Like every day at CYEC, we exchanged ideas and culture with the students there. We are getting to know each other more daily, building relationships with both the students on our team and, during our free time, with the other kids as well. Today, Min, Jeff, and some of the students on their team constructed a football with a cucumber, foam, and duct tape. The students actually have several homemade balls of scraps like plastic bags. The football turned out to be pretty good and we had fun having a catch with the students. Despite the lack of American football in Kenya, Simon already throws a better spiral than I do.

The anaerobic digestion team started out their day by calculating the water, manure, and gas needs of the digester for different sized families. This took them a significant amount of time. Next, they worked with the CYEC students on their team to prepare for surveying the community tomorrow. They hope to determine the market for anaerobic digesters. They taught the students about their survey until they understood enough to be able to translate if necessary. They continue to exchange more anaerobic digestion information and culture with their students. The team is really excited about their students’ enthusiasm for biogas and the digester. They already learned and understand so much and are eager for more.

The high tunnel team make progress in figuring out structural issues with PVC. One problem they faced was how to connect the pieces of PVC without couplers. They decided that they would purchase two different sizes and fit one into the other. They realized that the tendency of PVC to get brittle under the sun should not be too problematic because it only snaps with considerable force bending it, which it should not experience in the high tunnel. The high tunnel team also continued teaching their students, who can now explain why certain parts are necessary in a high tunnel and the benefits of the structure. They are really excited that their students are opening up and sharing everyday conversations.

On the drip irrigation team, we are also working on educating the students partnering with us about the system. Today we reviewed the concepts we presented yesterday and had professors Jesinta and Denis teach us about field preparation and the drip irrigation system. Our goal is to have them explain what work we need done to the people we will hire through Wishvast. The workers will come on Monday to prepare the raised beds. We also removed the stump in the field and filled in the hole. They CYEC kids had a good laugh at my attempts to help dig. Next, we placed stakes to mark the corners of each bed. The students mostly took charge of this- we love seeing when they can make progress without us.

In the evening, we went to the Banana Leaf for a delicious buffet dinner. They even had a DJ and we enjoyed dancing and taking an enjoyable break. We are all looking forward to the arrival of our supplies next week and the construction of our designs.

CYEC kids playing with the homemade football

Graham working with CYEC students to layout the raised beds

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom Manns permalink
    May 24, 2010 1:00 pm

    You guys Rock!!

    Especially Jeff and Min making a football out of a cucumber and foam… maybe Joe Pa can scout some new recruits?

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