Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10-7-10 “ The Perpetual Combustion Device”

Mitch and Aaron went out to collect water samples from some protected springs around Kalinzi this morning with Rita, so Ryan, Parker, Tim and I spent the morning talking logistics, design, and tried to make a rough estimate of what our stove is going to cost to produce. If we are to produce with brand new sheet metal, we’re looking at 20,000 Tsh (about 13 USD) for total cost, with 14,000 going towards metal and 6,000 going towards labor. Although it may not be quite as long lasting, building out of scrap may be our best method to get our price down to an accessible level for residents in the area.

After lunch, Mitch and Aaron went back out to collect more water samples, and we stole Rita so we could go to our neighbor Maggie’s house to do a “full” test of her kitchen and three-stone stove. We used our particulate monitor (UCB) and carbon monoxide meter in addition to the efficiency testing we have been doing. With so many electronic devices around, evidently we got a little distracted, and when we tallied up our initial and final masses of wood, somehow we had more wood after boiling a liter of water than we had to start with. We were elated at our discovery of a Perpetual Combustion Device, but we were also a little skeptical, because 3-stones are not typically known for reaching efficiencies better than 10%. We decided that we need to perfect our methods, and with more practice and better division of labor, hopefully we’ll get more realistic results.

We moved our rooster and hen (Bonnie and Clyde) out of the storage shed and tied them up outside the field station, which Rita tells us in an important step in getting our chickens to adjust to their new home. The neighborhood bully rooster (Clockwork) wasn’t too happy about Clyde, and we ended up hearing about it all afternoon. Clyde was unable to drive off Clockwork very far due to the string attached to his leg, so he decided to make a bunch of noise to make up for it. Lots of crowing and wing- flapping.

To get away from the racquet, we took our hatchet to the market to get sharpened, and got a definite Mzungu price, but it was cool to watch the guy use his upside down bicycle sharpening device. In wandering around, we also found a shopkeeper who sells hardware and tells us we could get sheet metal up here for 73,000 Tsh per 8”x4” sheet. A bit steep, but it may be an option.

Despite our best efforts to get motivated, by 9:30, none of us were motivated enough to go watch the Germany v. Uruguay game. It’s hard to get excited about 3rd place.


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