Monday, January 1, 2024

Day 3: Happy New Year from Tanzania!

Happy New Year's from Tanzania! A highlight today was our first fluid dynamics lesson and a basic overview of the systems we will be working on.

Happy New Year's from Tanzania! This morning started off like any other morning—by us all waking up. However, unlike previous mornings, this one started at 8 a.m. with breakfast in the common area of the Lutheran Center. On the menu was eggs galore: scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and Spanish omelets, all with a side of toast. Other features were the mango pineapple juice, Ken’s homemade huckleberry and raspberry jam, and instant coffee. The breakfast entertainment was the snails on the wall of the Lutheran Center that provided childish glee to many.

The first appointment on the schedule was our Swahili lesson by Joyce, so we all took the long hike (across the street) to Ken’s apartment to do some learning. Our studious pupils learned introductions, conjugation, and counting and were put to the test throughout the rest of the day. Moral of the story is, when in doubt, just say “nzuri” (good), even if that’s in response to someone asking where Ken Smith is.

Everyone needed a little brain break after the intense boot camp, so we returned to the Lutheran Center and met Paul, a local wood carver who had a wide variety of treasures to showcase. Many souvenirs were purchased and many Swahili words were practiced. Some of The Crew took a little adventure a few blocks away to explore Iringa in the daylight and were rewarded with a nice sunburn.

For lunch we split up into groups going to two different restaurants, one was an Indian restaurant which was a lovely experience and the other had some more American restaurant called “The Clock Tower Cafe” where we enjoyed milkshakes with more questionable food. A couple of other places were on the list to try but as it’s New Years, a lot of places were closed for business.

Next our intrepid engineering students had to be actual engineering students, not just tourists, as we ran through a basic fluids problem of a water system. In our village teams, we determined the best pipe diameter, maximum pipe pressure, tank capacity, and pump power for the individual system. This was definitely an intense day of brain usage.


For dinner everyone went to Sai Villa, where we met the three different Saint Paul Partners staff that will be accompanying the gang to our respective villages. Peter Onno and Christian, staff at the Saint Paul Partners, taught some students how to say complex Swahili phrases such as “I eat chicken and rice” to their great amusement. During dinner we continued our tradition of telling riddles. The middle of the table had great fun with this while the end of the table enjoyed an insightful conversation on compressible fluid flow. We left the restaurant just in time as a heavy rain broke out as soon as we returned to the Lutheran Center.

- Blog post by Kristy, John, and Hailey