Monday, July 4, 2011

Wrappin' up

The project has officially come to a close, and the team was sad to say our goodbyes to the warm-hearted community of Patriensa. Luckily, my schedule was flexible enough to allow me to push back my departure date and continue my involvement with Patriensa and the project for a few more days, as well as help a social work student, Tim from the PUC Sachet Team, conduct valuable research in assessing the community’s needs through dialogue with leadership and community members. I look forward to learning more about the social work world and how engineering fits within the community development framework.

As far as the progress of the PUC briquette team before the official ending date, we were able to complete all of the objectives that we set your to accomplish, and feel that the contribution that our team made to the two-year briquette project was immense.  Along with meeting our goals, we were able to create a surplus of preliminary briquettes for testing. Around fifty or so were sent back to Texas for testing in the controlled environment of the lab. About another 150 were left here in Patriensa. Our hope, if approved by the management team back in Texas, is to conduct burn demonstrations here in Patriensa and gain feedback from community members on burn characteristics during my extended stay.

I would like to thank the whole team, not just those lucky enough to travel, for the hard work and dedication to the project. Also, our project advisors Marty Rumbaugh, Dr. Kristin Wood, and Dr. Christina White were invaluable assets during our work, offering patient guidance and knowledgeable advice throughout our time here. And of course our success greatly depended on the involvement and support of our friends and acquaintances here in Patreinsa and Kumasi, and we are all fortunate to have the pleasure of knowing such generous and kind people. Patriensa will be greatly missed, but perhaps a team member or two could pay a return visit sometime….

Until updates of the continued work come in, here are a few photos of the work we did and the friends we met:

Until next time,