SigEps in Kenya
August 06, 2008

Posted by Matt Schuchhardt

Three SigEps from IN Zeta spent the beginning of their summers in a remote village in Kenya. Eddy Brouch, Jeff Macke, and James Nagel travelled with the student organization Engineers Without Borders to Nakor, a village located in the northern region of Kenya. Nakor is located in a desert and the people who live there usually eat one meal a day. The group included 14 Valparaiso University students, an engineering professor, and another professor’s husband.

The purpose of the trip was to install solar panels and  a merry -go -round that pumps water, both of which provide water for gardens where vegetables and other food will be grown.  Wells had been dug by previous groups for drinking water, and the greatest need was a continual source of water that could help sustain garden plots. The group successfully installed the solar panels, fixed existing windmills, and assembled and constructed the play pump. The experience also provided insights into a culture very far removed from life in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The group learned phrases and songs in Turkana, the spoken language in Nakor, each day during cultural lessons. “It was an eye opening experience to see how these people live. It might be cliché, but we are really lucky here in the states and we have way more than these people could even imagine,” commented Jeff Macke.

Click here for a YouTube video of the play pump in action.