I was working on a project that I designed with the help of Frank, a technician from Germany who helps out at Kibosho. Every group has to do a secondary project that helps the patients and/or staff. Most people buy things for their hospital but we truly wanted to do something because I really felt that we hadn’t done much for the hospital. In the last 2 years, people bought heaters, others build benches or beds for the hospital. but some cooler projects involved building bililights.
We talked to a lot of the staff and tried to assess their needs. What really stood out to us was when one of the nurses from Germany suggested a paging system for the patients. She said patients had to tell for the nurses and often the nurses couldn’t hear. We thought about the idea and we decided we would save it for later. As we talked to the staff they didn’t seem to have any need other than machines that were unaffordable for us, so we pitched them our idea. The staff seemed pretty open to our idea but one doctor pointed out that the relatives were usually there to call the nurses. However as we talked to the staff they thought it could be very useful. We had to wait thought to get approval from the doctor in charge, so we couldn’t start till this past Monday. At that point I sat down and tried to think of a circuit that would allow the patient to alert the nurse both visually and audibly. The circuit had to be very simple for the nurse and patient to use, it had to reset itself somehow and it had to make sure the nurse actually moved to the patients room. My first design that is complete crap looked like this.
Frank came up with this design that had a self retaining circuit to reset the circuit but the problem with it was that we couldn’t include a buzzer because it would be on the entire time which would annoy the other patients. The relay switch would allow for the light to stay on even after th patient stopped pressing the button. The only way it would turn off is if the nurse hit a switch that cut power to that relay. For feasibility there were only two push button in the circuit. To address the nurses accountability we put the reset switch in the patients room.
After I had got this far not having a buzzer would render this project quite useless. I had emailed Alex my coordinator Daria my other coordinator and Larry my instructor. Alex was too busy to help. Daria didn’t think it was feasible to do in the amount of time I had. Larry didn’t respond. When Daria told me I shouldn’t do it, I was so disheartened. I had done so much work and now I might have to think of a new project. I called Daria and wanted to know why she thought it was a bad idea but I assured her i would get it done. A little deflated I continued to work. I tried to use capacitors and other relays to isolate the buzzer. After looking at a lot of alarm circuits it finally hit me that we could use a diode to “separate” the circuit. Figuring this out was such an amazing feeling. I was so excited and I couldn’t do anything but work on the finished product.
The final design looks like this:
Here are some pictures of the prototype and us putting it up:
I will miss tanzania.
I will miss the people the places the culture
I will miss how people take the time out to greet each other and how positive they are.
I will miss how cheap fruit and vegetables are and how good they are. Seriously avocados bigger than my hand for 25 cents….
I will miss working with tomi
I will miss seeing my work make an actual difference
I will miss living on my own. I will miss cooking for myself and having to do everything.
I will miss the confused look the children give me when I greet them in Swahili
I will miss being confused when people greet me in English
I will miss having complete control over my work and the schedule of it
I will miss the absolute gratitude I got from the staff for fixing equipment
I will miss the elation I got when I fixed a piece of equipment.
I will not miss how frustrating the repairs became and how unsuccessful I was with oxygen concentrators.
I will miss how challenging the work became and how hard it was to stay motivated to work
I will miss living with john who’ve I’ve never met before and having only him as someone to talk to.
I will miss the hilarious and crazy stories tomi tells me
I will miss all the friends I’ve made and the fun we’ve had together.
I will miss being able to talk to the locals in Swahili and carrying out conversations in taxis for hours.
I will miss going from shop to shop and finding some Indian and being extremely excited to see them.
I will miss talking to them in Hindi and having the locals feel confused.
I will miss exploring tanzania and all the places it has to offer.
I will miss being challenged every day.
I will miss how unexpected this trip was. Everything was just different than what I thought it was gonna be.
I will miss life being on a pause.
In the beginning of this trip I had some sizable goals. I think I’ve met most of them.
I will miss a lot. But in the mean time ill take the lessons I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, and the friendships I’ve made back to the states. I’m gonna miss all the friends I’ve made and the stories we’ve had. I hope I can come back soon. I hope I can see all my friends soon. I hate to say this but the words one of the doctors said to me when I was leaving crushed me but were so true. He said see you later but see you never will be more appropriate. For most people it will be “See you never” but I’m still holding out that it will be later.