Pause Button

Our team has been working quite hard these past to weeks in Nyakrom and we have agreed to take a break this weekend. Friday was African Union Day, which gave us a nice long weekend.

This time off as afforded us the opprotunity to hit that important pause button, and temporarily halt the hectic and rigarous tempo of design and construction.

As is often the case, we have now begun to view our work-to-date with the benefit of hindsight. So now, while (essentially) camping in Mole Nafional Park, my thoughts focus on what we have done well, and what challenges remain…

Things that have gone well:
1. Hiring skilled local labor was the smartest thing we have done, and the principal reason for our projects success this far. These guys are good. And, more importantly, they are really excited about our project.

2. We used all local material (well, almost, see challenges section). Like the labor, this again has increased the sense of local participation in our project. For example, the shop-keeper of the store where we buy cement, Cynthia, nowa us by name, and is anxious to use our latrine once it is completed.

Challenges:
1. We now need to actually set up a microbial fuel cell. We have done it before, but now it’s game time, and we have to “do it live”. We had a great idea given to us on how to initially inoculate our chambers…more on that later (if it actually works).

2. We have had to import one component of the MFC latrine. We will need to design this feature out of the MFC latrine if we are to e land it’s use.

3. I neglected to bring or otherwise purchase any actual shampoo on this trip. Two weeks of erratic bar soap hair wash plus hot humid weather, and you see why my buddies from high school would call me “Joe Fro”.

Pause Button

Our team has been working quite hard these past to weeks in Nyakrom and we have agreed to take a break this weekend. Friday was African Union Day, which gave us a nice long weekend.

This time off as afforded us the opprotunity to hit that important pause button, and temporarily halt the hectic and rigarous tempo of design and construction.

As is often the case, we have now begun to view our work-to-date with the benefit of hindsight. So now, while (essentially) camping in Mole Nafional Park, my thoughts focus on what we have done well, and what challenges remain…

Things that have gone well:
1. Hiring skilled local labor was the smartest thing we have done, and the principal reason for our projects success this far. These guys are good. And, more importantly, they are really excited about our project.

2. We used all local material (well, almost, see challenges section). Like the labor, this again has increased the sense of local participation in our project. For example, the shop-keeper of the store where we buy cement, Cynthia, nowa us by name, and is anxious to use our latrine once it is completed.

Challenges:
1. We now need to actually set up a microbial fuel cell. We have done it before, but now it’s game time, and we have to “do it live”. We had a great idea given to us on how to initially inoculate our chambers…more on that later (if it actually works).

2. We have had to import one component of the MFC latrine. We will need to design this feature out of the MFC latrine if we are to e land it’s use.

3. I neglected to bring or otherwise purchase any actual shampoo on this trip. Two weeks of erratic bar soap hair wash plus hot humid weather, and you see why my buddies from high school would call me “Joe Fro”.

Posted 1 year ago

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A flow of topics related to water and the environment.

Joe Goodwill, PE, LEED-AP

Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Massachusetts.

twitter: @josephgoodwill http://www.linkedin.com/in/joegoodwill

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