Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life at the Roche Health Center

When our group arrives, many friends come out to visit.

This is part of our construction crew.

Here is Jacob, one seriously dapper dresser.

This is a photo of 3 guys named Dan.

This is the construction crew for most of the work that we did while on-site in June. From left is Barack, Daniel, Jeanne, Sakkai and Johnny. Our contractor Julius isn't in this one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Roche Health Center photovoltaic lights

As a result of a University of Cincinnati DAAP Signage Grant, we received funding for photovoltaic signage that would illuminate the health center lobby at all times. Until it is installed, our on-site Nurse Assistant, Daniel will be using the lights to provide much needed light at night.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Roche Health Center Committee

Village Life has committees in the US and in Tanzania. This is the local RHC Committee - an inspiring and insightful group.

Roche Health Center design strategies

It was thrilling to see how the "passive design" strategies for ventilation and shading had worked. The building was much more comfortable and better ventilated than other buildings around.

We also achieved our goal of building a "quiet" roof. Most metal roofs in the region are so loud during a rain that people have to leave the building. Our layered roof system was extremely quiet and comfortable in the strongest of downpours.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Seeing the Roche Health Center for the first time

I began working on the Roche Health Center in June 2008 and have worked on it continuously since that time. It has been an incredible project that continues to inspire me. Until this past June, I had not seen the completed Health Clinic building. It was an amazing experience to finally see the project built and in use. Emily Roush, Richard Elliott and the whole construction crew in Roche did a phenomenal job creating this building using only local materials and no power.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Life at the SHED compound in Shirati, TZ

While working in Tanzania, we are hosted by our partners, the Shirati Health, Education and Development (SHED) Foundation. We eat our fantastic meals in the banda (pergola) shown below.

University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design faculty Tom Bible and Michael Zaretsky enjoying a sunset.
Michael Z, Dr. Esther Kawira and Josiah Kawira of SHED.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is an awe-inspiring site where we step out of the vans and stretch our legs. The Village Life June Brigade group included students and faculty from UC, Village Life leadership, members of Engineers Without Borders and an Architect from Portland, Oregon.

Travel from Nairobi, Kenya to Shirati, Tanzania

The van ride from Nairobi to Shirati takes us through some fascinating places. Below are a couple of photos taken while driving through towns in southern Kenya.


Arriving in Nairobi is always surreal. Extremely dense and congested city with some amazing pockets of beauty scattered throughout.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June Brigade in Paris Airport en route to Tanzania

22 of us traveled to Africa together and a 23rd met us there. We had an amazing trip. It was a great group and everything went smoothly throughout the trip.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Four Stories" Update

From Dr. Esther Kawira, May 30th, 2011:

I have good followup from the story of the abdominal pregnancy.
The patient had surgery 24 hours ago in Mwanza. Mother and baby (girl, 1150grams) are doing well. The placenta was attached only to the left tube and ovary and therefore was able to be removed surgically. This is the very best outcome we could have hoped for.

Meanwhile Under the Same Sun, the NGO for albinism, responded to my email queries. There is much help and support for people with albinism in Tanzania, including a school in Tarime! We will be looking into it further. We're still counting on you bringing the protective clothing, plus sunscreen which I didn't mention before. My nurse Dorothy says the family live near the clinic in Roche.
I go again tomorrow to Roche....probably I'll have a dull routine day:)