We arrived in the Tamale with no flight delay, so this time around our arrival in Ghana went as expected and a driver from iDE was ready to take us to the iDE guesthouse (which is actually an attachment to the office, so we had a nice commute to work). After getting all settled in, we decided to look into Chuck’s, a restaurant/bar that we had heard had a couple IPAs instead of our usual Club or Guinness. Lo and behold, Chuck’s was right down the street from where we were staying, so naturally, we headed over for a delicious pizza that we have been craving and two Bloody Bastard IPAs.
Our work week started with Vishal informing us of the projects we would be working on. All of the projects we would be assisting with would be different parts of water catchment designed to extend the growing season beyond the typical rainy season. The projects were a chance for me to use Solidworks and SketchUp to do some basic designs since iDE did not have the software. These drawings would be used to show their customers and manufacturers CAD models to improve understanding of the product. It was a nice change of pace from Tom being at the forefront of the more electrical PIPS project. Even more exciting however is that Tom and I would be able to go out to test a prototype on a farm in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The prototype in question was a plow to help farmers dig the animal dugout shown above.
One of our favorite experiences in Ghana by far was this chance to work with farmers/ iDE’s customers in order to analyze the prototype with them. This gave us a chance to do some on-the-fly engineering to see what worked and what didn’t, and it allowed us to work with Ghanaian farmers, which is something we will never forget. Working with the farmers helped us get a new perspective as engineers because even though we think of ourselves as good engineers, many of the improvements that the farmers thought of were things we didn’t think about.
Lucky for us our way back from the Upper West Region passed right by Mole National Park, so more on that adventure to come!
-Marky Mark and the other Ghana Guy