Friday, July 1, 2011
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
I just finished reading the most incredible book. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. It's a true story of young boy living in a small farming town in Africa who completely transforms his village by building a windmill in his yard from scraps from the junkyard. I was so inspired by this story, bringing renewable electricity to a town barely surviving.
Which led me to realize that even now in 2011 there are people in other parts of the world who are still living like this. This man who wrote this story is about my age and when he was 14 and first built that windmill his village was just recovering from a devastating famine, there was no running water and Will had to drop out of school because his parents couldn't afford the tuition (for middle school). I guess I don't really ever think about how poverty striken so many of the world's population is. After his windmill was discovered by the media, Will was asked to speak at a African inventor's conference in a different city. It was there that he went on Google for the first time, (when asked if he'd ever been on Google, he replied "what animal is Google?"). It really makes you think about how privileged we are to live in America, and have so much available to us. Even people with no money whatsoever have access to libraries stuffed with books and computers that have access to the internet, that are air-conditioned and brightly lit.
My husband is thinking about a career in environmental engineering after the Navy and I am behind him 100%. When he told me that he would like to help facilitate bringing renewable energy to third world countries, it made me even more in love with him. I would love to be a part of that someday. I think it would be so incredible to volunteer, maybe even on a medical mission...
anyway check out his interview on The Daily Show...awesome, and read the book, you'll be glad you did.