College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

Visit to Orphanage

by Mark Dierauer

Macarena Time


CSE students teaching the Macarena.

We spent the morning discussing the game-plans for:
Team Lukani (Ken, Adam L., Kelsey, Kali, Alyssa)
Team Mtera ( Adam P., Hardisha, Brenda, Phil, and Tyler)
Team Kising'a (Paul, Jessica, Kathryn, Mark, and Maria).

•Lukani is tasked with developing a solar water system template for the dispensary (rural health center). This template will be used for future solar projects.
•Mtera is guessing that they will have to protect a holding tank from the elements because the water is currently contaminated.
•Kising'a must evaluate the existing gravity fed system. Also, Team Kising'a must find out if it is feasible to connect a pristine mountain stream to two separate villages.

After reading our preliminary reports, we analyzed our water samples from the previous day. Tyler and Phil incubated their water samples like a proud mother hen for 24 hours. Unfortunately, they created a toxic biohazard that proves that yesterday's village, Kiponzero, has some unsafe water. My water sample that was running for four years was nice and clear. This lab test will be useful for Kiponzero's water committee.


Next, we used Paul's Forest Service pacing experience to measure distance. This skill is helpful when estimating roof area for water catchment and approximate distances from building to building.


Finally, we had a brainstorming jam session about what questions to ask our villages.
• Do you have a water committee?
• Do you have a tax collection system?
• Will the community invest in preventative maintenance?
• Why did past water systems break?
• What will the water demand be in 20 years?
• How many people live here? Are you including women and children?
• Is Professor Strykowski awesome?

We finished class and some went to the market to buy 115 lbs of rice to offset our impact upon the villagers. Others bought bracelets and paintings from a Masai woman. She was very chill and welcoming to us.

We had fun playing soccer, duck-duck-goose, and singing songs. All the children really showed us up on the soccer field. The odds against them are high, but they have hope.

Tyler is having fun playing soccer.


The children singing together are pretty good vocalists.


Paul gave his stylish sunglasses to his buddy.


Jessica's making friends!



Dear All,
I am so sorry our paths won't cross while you are in Tanzania.
You know how desperately TZ needs safe water!
PS. We will meet at home!

Post a comment