Wednesday, June 21, 2006

off to Ecuador

Hello all,

Please let me know if you don't want to receive updates like this from me...

For those of you who don't know, I leave for Ecuador tomorrow for a 10
week trip. I'm going to be living in the tiny community of Santa Ana,
in the Amazonian region, and working with the people there (along with
one other student, Froy, from MIT) on a water treatment system. We
have an advisor here at MIT who has been helping us learn how to build
a slow sand filter - a pretty amazing, simple system that uses sand
and gravel to filter water, removing organic matter, turbidity, and if
it is operated correctly up to 99.99% of bacteria, etc. That is the
ultimate dream goal... we've got a lot in the way of community
immersion, understanding, and work to go before we can decide that
that is the right solution and that we have the means to do it.

I'm so excited about this trip...about living for 10 weeks in a
community of 60 families in the Amazon Rainforest, about putting some
basic science (water testing) to use in a meaningful way, about the
challenge of a real engineering project that if everything comes
together could make a real difference in people's lives, and probably
most of all about all that I will learn about people, culture, the
rainforest, water, science, engineering and myself.

As always, I love to hear from you all so send me an e-mail if you get
a chance : ) I'll probably have internet access about once a week, and
I'll be sending out updates like this one every week or two.

in peace,

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