Recently, my friend’s brother Adino has been applying himself to some profitable electricity projects. His aunts and sisters have been quite skeptical of his idea of getting hyrdoelectricity from the stream behind their house (they don’t have any electricity but solar), but it seems to us that it’s actually quite a good idea. Adino has been collecting discarded turbines and inverters and so forth and researching on the internet about hydro.

The major barrier is that Adino doesn’t have the engineering know-how to do a lot of the calculations needed. So I had a lot of fun looking over his papers and helping him do the four major calculations you need to make: flow, head, and pipeline length.

We went down to the stream and measured the flow together in three parts of the stream:

We calculated it to be 5.3 cubic feet per second. It would be great if someone like Daniel could come out and work with Adino for a couple weeks to set up this hyrdo system. I’ve collected a lot of relevant data for this project. Anyways, that was a lot of fun to help and encourage Adino in this. The stream has a beautiful swimming hole with a waterfall:
Here’s my friend’s neice Lingessi jumping from the top of the falls:

The family land is about 40 acres, extending in a strip from the coast up to the mountain. The extended family lives in smaller houses beside each other. Here’s a photo of the typical house there:

The roofs are made with sago-palm leaf stitched together with cane vine:

A roof can last between 3 and 30 years depending on how carefully it’s made. The environment was beautiful, with lots of flowers that his dad had planted. Everything was so green and bright:

I spent a couple hours chatting on the kitchen deck while tasting all the fruits and nuts they have there — cocoa, ‘cut-nut’, ngali nut, jambura, local mango, bananas, pink guava, etc.

The younger generation now doesn’t even harvest or eat many of these fruit, it’s being forgotten since they don’t see his generation enjoying them. I hope his nieces get a renewed interest in their local fruits from our interest!

In the evening we had stone-oven-baked fish—really big fish. They’re like Swedes in that they don’t use spices but just enjoy the natural flavors. We had a lot of coconut, sweet potato, rice, yam, bush-lime juice, and fish.

The ride back home extreme – the only truck we knew of going back to Auki left at 1am, so we went down to the road and waited for it (it came almost two hours late). My friend says that this was the worst ride he’s ever done in his life, and I think there were five contributing factors:

  1. The worst road in the world
  2. at night in the dark
  3. high tide — so sometimes the ocean actually blocked the road
  4. packed truck — the back was packed, so we had to sit up on an unsecured oil drum at the back, balancing precariously on an extremely uneven road
  5. The driver was going recklessly fast, far too fast for that road
  6. the drum was surrounded by sacks of coconut crabs, which if they bite you they don’t let go. So we couldn’t put our feet down.

So at about 5am we couldn’t take it any more and got down. We found another truck soon after which took us in to Auki, where we rested at a distant relative’s house.

When we arrived back in Honiara that evening we were both totally wiped out. I had a cold and a headache which I needed to recover from. I slept 11 hours that night and drank a lot of water. Then next morning I stayed at home to recover while my friend goes to the beach with his sisters.