Helping at Mama Sabina

As we were still waiting for the battery to arrive and the drillers to come, we continued helping at the mama Sabina health centre. As real engineers, we replaced 4 light bulbs. Afterwards, we unpacked some medical devices that had been donated but not yet used. The first device was an anaesthesia machine, which cannot be used at the health centre due to a lack of gas supply. The next device was an ECG monitor, which we tested on Pieter with a 12 lead configuration. The last device was an ultrasound scanner. When testing it on Pieter we came to the astonishing conclusion he’s pregnant of a windows vista cursor. Despite several attempts, we did not succeed to get the device operational or deliver happy news to the brand new father.


Well-deserved relaxation

After this emotional and physical rollercoaster we had to relax at the Kasese hotsprings [1]. Luckily for us, the Rwenzori river provided us with refreshing cold water to cool down. Afterwards, we enjoyed some streetfood in Kasese. Together with Jimmy we ate some goat meat, chicken and fries. Satisfied of the food, we finished the day with a drive back to Bwera.

[1] Actually not really hotsprings per definition, for this the water has to be hotter than 50°C.

Headache of colors

To prepare ourselves for the wedding party, we had to find some traditional kitange clothing later in the week. At the border market, we made our way through the colorful fabric shops. The fabrics are all very different, yet it is incredibly difficult to make a choice of color and pattern. The locals find this difficult to understand, as all of the fabrics look good on them. For our skin color however, that is certainly not the case.

As Pieter is the best man in the wedding, Jimmy and himself always need to match in clothing. So, Pieter got to decide what both of them would be wearing. Eveline, Yaro and Ryan had to choose matching clothing for the other maids, both male and female. This posed an extra challenge, as we had to find sufficient amounts of the chosen fabrics. In the end we found our fabrics, ready to be transformed into tailored kitange shirts by Jennifer.

Preparing for the drillers

The remainder of the working week was dedicated to preparing for the arrival of the drillers. This entailed buying all of the plumbing materials such as water faucets, HDPE-tubes and connectors. We also employed some of the local workers to dig trenches for the pipes already and planned out how the works would be continued once the drillers would arrive.

Lightning doesn’t scare us (anymore)

On Saturday, we finally made work of the lightning protection of the solar panel installation. Babu, one of our local suppliers, and his team helped us to install the lightning arrestor and its connection to the ground. One of our tasks was to supply water and charcoal to ensure a properly conducting ground connection. Finally, we measured the resistance between the lightning arrestor and the surrounding ground; only about 6Ω! Job well done.

If speaking is silver, then listening is gold

Our Sunday started with Sunday prayers. The Bishop took the time to give some touching words about Eveline’s grandmother, as she had only recently passed away. Eveline bravely explained who her grandmother was, and what she meant for her. Of course, grieving had been even more difficult for Eveline so far away from her family. To lighten the mood, we decided to go on a short hike to a nearby river. Here, we encountered some gold diggers, or rather searchers, as they filtered gold from the river soil. We joined them, but unfortunately failed miserably in finding gold. Luckily, the refreshing river water was enjoyable anyways.

After eating lunch at the Bishop’s home, we ended the week with some light work at the school. As we had finally received the MC4-connectors to connect the solar panels, we could start laying the cables all the way up to the charge shop, where the main part of the installation is located. Finally, the sun gifted us with some gold that we had been looking for.

Stay tuned!

The next blog post will elaborate on our last weeks of work, and will reflect upon our experience.