Mount Meru

End of The Week

The second week of classes ended this Thursday and I’m wondering how all the time has gone by so quickly. In Swahili class we went on a field trip to a local market and practiced haggling with the merchants working there. Even though I am not the best at it I was able to buy peppers, five limes, a watermelon, and ten bananas for a dollar. I like the food prices here a lot :). We then learned how to tell time which is really confusing and interesting when compared to how I have been telling time my whole life. In Tanzania, the day starts at 6 a.m. instead of 12 a.m., which actually makes a lot of sense because that is when the sun rises. So, if I want to meet somebody here at a certain time, I have to add 6 hours to the “saa” or time I want to meet them with how I know how to read a clock. It is going to take some getting used to…

Then, in the afternoon engineering class we learned about a lot of medical devices designed for infant care like incubators, Bili lights, etc. from  Dr. Fryda.  And in lab on Thursday we got to do something especially cool and build a full bridge rectifier variable power supply.


This circuit will come in really handy for repairing or testing medical equipment because it can take a certain AC voltage and then convert it to a range of DC voltages depending on how tightly the potentiometer screw at the top right is tightened. If a machine needs a certain relatively low DC voltage, I will be able to provide that with this circuit.


Mount Meru

On Friday, we went back to Mount Meru hospital for our last group visit to work on some of their broken devices. I started the day working on the oxygen concentrator from the previous week .


After finally making sure everything mechanical was working properly again, we tested the oxygen concentration and found out that the ultimate problem was that the zeolite canisters were empty and the air was not converted into high concentrated oxygen.


These canisters will have to be replaced if the hospital can order more. Thankfully, we managed to get other concentrators working during the day.


Even though this concentrator is not going to work without replacement parts I am still really happy I got to work on it because now that I have gone through what seems like all the possible problems with the machine I feel like I have a much better understanding of how it works and how to fix other concentrators in the future.


Before lunch Dr. Fryda explained how this microwave heater for surgeries works. Basically it functions just like a typical microwave oven in a house would.


After lunch, Surbhi and I started working on a heater that hangs from a wall in the hospital ward. It was definitely messed up… There are two heating coils that should be wired in parallel but the wire is totally fried and broken.


So we took apart our extension cable and started rewiring the heater with that wire.


And it ended up working great!


But to make the heater work even better we added tin foil against the back to make the heat radiate outwards more efficiently.


And its ready to go back onto the wall. However, this process ended up being a lot trickier than we expected because we had to reattach it to the electrical wiring in the walls which has to be done carefully. With Dr. Fryda’s instruction it worked out great!





The heater works again and I think the people in the ward were really glad to have it because it’s pretty cold here right now.

Other Things…


I am really impressed by the gutters in the city around Mount Meru, they are like this in the whole city .

And even in Africa, ball is life. This is Josh playing in a pickup game I like to join every couple of days.IMG_1376.JPG


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