Regarding what became of Mr. Barrett on his return to Africa - the land of his birth - and providing certain details as to his whereabouts, the status of his health, whether physical or mental, and lastly describing various events & happenings the editor finds appropriate to reveal in promoting the honorable cause of his client.

Mr. Barrett is a Master's International Student at Michigan Technological University. His Peace Corps service in Madagascar will contribute to a degree in Environmental Engineering. The contents of this site are Mr. Barrett's alone and do not reflect the views of Michigan Tech, Peace Corps, or the United States government.

Monday, September 3

Lines Composed In a Small Shop

I had a great time in Maroantsetra and Masoala and you can get a feel for it here. We had excellent weather which is rare up there. We crossed the Bay of Antongil passing Nosy Mangabe and seeing quite a few whales breaking the surface and flapping their tails etc. Massive creatures! Spent several days on the beaches of Tampolo peninsula observing whale, kayaking and relaxing, then began our trek north following the coastline back to Maroantsetra. The trail snaked into the forest then back out along the beach and this lasted three days. We crossed some coves by canoe to save time and slept in small villages along the way. Great trip.

Here's a quick look into a project I helped work on in Tolongoina. As part of Madagascar's initiative to increase rural-electrification, several micro hydro schemes will be installed in the district of Ikongo. One of the challenges in the design of these systems is obtaining an accurate measurement of dry-season flow in the streams and rivers under consideration. The stream at Tolongoina comes directly from the forest corridor and is strewn w/ bolders and waterfalls and standing pools. This makes streamflow measurement almost impossible.

One method we've been using is the conductivity meter method. By adding a salt solution to the water upstream one can measure the salinity downstream after proper mixing. A stream w/ low flow doesn't dilute the salt as much so the electrical conductivity will be high. The flow rate is inversely proportional to the degree of conductivity of the salt mix passing the probe and the time it takes for this mix to pass. Because we were unsure of the accuracy of this method in our stream (it works best w/ larger flows), we decided to also use the weir method. This requires a relatively straight channel of water, something non-existant in our stream. However, by creating conditions at the weir similar to those already tested in a lab (fully contracted flow, sharp crested v-notch, and free flowing nape) we can measure the head on the weir and find the flow using an empirical equation. Take a look at the video to get an idea of how we solved this problem. You'll also get an idea of the kind of environment we work in.

Lastly, I leave you with a touch of entertainment from my village. This took place on the 26th of June during the independance day festivities. I thought about entering my name to the roster but remember experiencing a strange pain in my ankle at the time (similar to the reoccuring pain I experience at weddings or dance parties when asked to prove my talents).


Anonymous Fredline said...

Just a note to say thanks for sharing your adventures with us, Luke! Take good care of you.

9:51 pm  
Anonymous mr burns said...

Great to see an update. Videos were amazing, as usual. Take care fella!

8:40 am  

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