Many Togolese greetings are wishes. Bon travail, good work. Bon arrivé, good arrival. Bon douche. Good shower.
I’ve felt like we’ve been doing much more engineering work this week. And I swear that’s not just because one of the DukeEngage coordinators is visiting.
We spent the beginning of the week at the Chef du Canton’s house installing solar powered street lights. They were given to him by the ruling government party since, being the chief of several villages in the “canton”, he’s a pretty important guy. While the whole set up was pretty straightforward, the only problem we encountered was that the instructions were completely in Chinese… Sometimes I think I came to Togo just to appreciate how important languages are. And how different all of them are from English. At least my dad could translate. 谢谢爸爸!
After electrical engineering, we tried our hand at mechanical by trying to fix the fuel pump on the CMS’s generator (which’ll also pump water into our water tower) and finished building the digester top. We’ve also fitted all of the new toilet pipes so they slope down beautifully and have started assembling a solar water heater from Lomé that’ll become our solar sterilizer. But even though we’ve done a lot of work, we still have more to go: the masons have to finish raising the pond floor (they were shocked that we asked for 30 cm of concrete to be poured), we have to build a platform for our overflow tank, and then actually fit all of the valves and pipes together for our entire system. All in under 2 weeks.
Oh and as a side note, I held my first baby here this week! Since all of them usually start crying whenever any Americans approach, this was a really big deal. Félix is a twin so I hope his sister will warm up to me soon!