blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world


Intern Experience Firsthand: Sam Rhoads

By Sam Rhoads -- I arrived in Bluefields Nicaragua in the end of May to begin a two months study abroad program for my university. The study abroad program was at the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU) where I studied Spanish in the afternoon. I came across blueEnergy because I was looking for some work that I could do or somewhere that I could help out in the mornings when I did not have class. Many people that I met from Bluefields mentioned blueEnergy to me during conversations, and the work they do in the area aroused my interest. So, I headed to the blueEnergy office to inquire about working with them for my two months in Bluefields as a sort of volunteer intern. The wonderful workforce at blueEnergy was very accommodating, and they found work for me with their Water and Sanitation team.

My work with the Water and Sanitation team involved a number of different projects. Some of these projects included: constructing water filters with the beneficiaries, carrying the filters to beneficiaries’ homes, providing training on the usage and maintenance of the filters, performing follow-up surveys to ensure proper usage of the filters, testing water samples of filtered and unfiltered water to ensure that the filters work, assisting with the drilling of water wells, and much more. Besides being very interesting work, learning a lot about the construction process of water filters and well drilling and construction, I also found the work very meaningful. Each day beneficiaries came to help with the construction of the filters; this gave them the sense of responsibility and ownership over the filters. It was incredible to see how inspired they were to come work on their filters. The looks of satisfaction and happiness on the faces of beneficiaries when we delivered and installed the finished product at their houses gave the work more significance. The same went for drilling the wells. Well drilling is arduous work, but every day without fail, rain or shine, the beneficiaries would be there with smiles on their faces - working away to help finish their well.

Sam talking about his time with blueEnergy

Living in Bluefields and working with blueEnergy for the past two months has been a very significant time for me. I have learned a lot, and it has definitely helped to shape the way I think, live, and what I will do in the future. It was great to be able to provide people with a basic amenity that many of us in the United States and other more privileged countries take for granted: clean drinking water. For thousands of people in Nicaragua (and many other countries around the globe), clean drinking water is something that they don’t have. This time that I spent working with blueEnergy has reinforced my desire to find a way to use my civil engineering degree when I am done with school to help provide less privileged people then myself with services and facilities that are necessary for living. Working with blueEnergy has been a great privilege for me and is a time that I will never forget.

No comments:

Post a Comment