Manjil Rana and Suvas Rana on Kantipur Television in the Call Kantipur show.
My path to becoming a human ecologist is coming to an end. Through it, I have realized the disempowering consequences of extreme specialization and globalization. I have thus examined the underlying reasons for these phenomena, and what can be done to change them. I believe by sharing information, rather than restricting its flow, we can empower humanity. Human Ecology as an educational philosophy aims at despecialization by enabling the acquisition of all types of knowledge and skills. Through my senior project, I hope to contribute to local, despecialized economies by creating knowledge on building plans for simple technologies that can be accessed by anyone.
Continue reading “Day 37: Human Ecology Essay” »
After the site assessment I have moved forward scouting for materials and ordering parts.
I have ordered a closed-loop system from TinyTech India consisting of a biomass heater producing steam, a 3.5 hp steam engine, and a 1kW generator. This system will allow me to experiment with the steam prior to the construction of the solar concentrator.
The biomass heater, fueled by wood (4kg/h), can then be used at times when power is needed but the sun isn’t shining.
Yesterday I also met again with Muni Raj, who is involved in many projects around the country. I will install one of his low-tech solar trackers at the school. For a start, it will consist of two high-quality 75W panels, a large 12 V battery, charge controller and a 500W inverter. The system can later be upgraded to up to 300W. Using tracking increases the efficiency up to 30%.
Still I have to scout for parts such as pressure gauges and bendable mirrors (32 square meters of that) for the boiler and the solar concentrator.
Right now I am staying with a UWC person in Lazimpat, Kathmandu. Trough her I have met many international social workers, especially from the Netherlands. She works for the official ministry of education, through VSO. I got her contact through a couchsurfing site for UWC people that I designed a year ago! On my way home I pass the Maoist leader’s house, following the completion of a security tower across the gate protected by security. He’s got his reasons I guess.
Many of these volunteers have told me about a project in Sankhu (“Humro Gaun” meaning Our Village), an hour south of Kathmandu. Coincidentally Muni Raj also works with them, and has installed his technology in that project, too. They also run a 3.5kW generator on biogas, have a 16 square feet Scheffler cooker, and many projects aiming at fostering the local economy. I will join Muni this week on a visit, looking forward to exchange ideas.
Today I will have some spiritual off-time. It is Shivaratri, a spiritual festival celebrated in Kathamndu’s Shiva temple.
Though I am not chasing the beauties of this country, I have already experienced a many. Stay tuned!
I am delighted that the fundraising goal of $4100 was surpassed as of yesterday. I am writing out of an internet cafe in Damauli, Nepal, a town close by the Maya Universe Academy. For the last two days I have been taking in life at MUA. Many activities are happening. The school already has established its own livestock consisting of a few chickens, pigs and cows. Gardens surround the campus. Preparations for a biogas digester have already happened.
The school is tightly integrated with the surrounding community. Yesterday all the staff were invited to join a wedding up in the mountains. The little Nepali I learned in the early-day lesson was immediately put to use. It is clear that everybody is learning here, not just our students.
Now is the time for the site assessment. It is already clear that in the immediate area of the campus water and wood are scarce. There is a piece of land that belongs to the school that I have not visited that is said to bear potential for a small hydroelectric system. Going solar seems most promising and will enable the school to support many industrial processes for which the villages have to leave to nearby Damauli each time, especially for milling of oil seeds and grains.
Thanks to all of you for supporting my project! I will keep you updated on its progress.