Makin’ (Village Community) Bank

With only a week and a half left here in Arusha, we are moving into the final stretch of the trip. We’re working hard, trying to accomplish everything we want to in the limited time that we have left! The rainy season has abated, and we’ve been enjoying five days of dry roads and sunshine.

Sunset over our house

Sunset over our house

On Saturday we visited EMORG to do a session on briquette pressing. We were very impressed by the efficiency of their operation—they speedily pressed out over 200 briquettes! We are helping them to look for a permanent scale that they can use to sell them, and will be returning with them to the market today. Good weather allowing, we should be able to observe the market for longer than we have previously.

Sammie helps to mix charcoal and cassava

Sammie helps to mix charcoal and cassava

Sammie, Frank and I headed out to visit our partner Lulu Vicoba on Monday. It was exciting to be able to see all of the briquettes that they’re making! They showed us the presses and molds that they are using, and demonstrated the traditional three-stone stove for us. They also showed us models of traditional Meru housing, noting that it is difficult for smoke to escape from them because they do not have windows or chimneys. This makes it really important for there to be access to smokeless cook-fuels.

Frank was able to gather many important values on Lulu Vicoba’s briquetting process, and is using them to conduct an economic analysis on their operation. Sammie collected some briquetting anecdotes, overcoming the language barrier with the help of a translator. We also gave three posters on briquetting to Lulu Vicoba. They seemed very excited about them, and eagerly promised to hang them on the walls of their office.
We’d like to thank Didas of EMORG for helping us to find a driver to get us to Lulu Vicoba’s meeting space, and Naomi of EARD-CI for finding our translator.

Yesterday Frank and I trekked out to Njiro to go to Bernard’s workshop. There are still some relics from past DHE trips here, including some rocket stove prototypes! We modified one of the old rocket stoves into a small top lit updraft kiln. It is the largest TLUD that we have made. Initial test burns have been promising, but we are planning to return to the work shop tomorrow to make some additional modifications.

Frank contemplates the new TLUD

Frank contemplates the new TLUD

Kwaheri!

About Anna Miller

Anna is a sophomore mechanical engineering student from Anchorage, Alaska. In DHE, she loves being able to experience the real-world application of engineering skills, particularly human centered design. As trip coordinator, she is incredibly excited to learn from and work with DHE’s partners in Tanzania, and discover how knowledge gained on campus translates into local implementation. She also really, really wants to see a giraffe, a gerenuk, and a baobab tree. Outside of DHE, Anna loves to read, play contact sports, and explore outside.

One Response to Makin’ (Village Community) Bank

  1. James Kennedy! February 28, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    Nice sandals!

    A nice work.

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