Nepalese Village Elder Pays a Personal Visit to a Hartford High School
The elder thanked the students for not only providing his village with electricity, but for bridging two cultures that are worlds apart.
An elder from a remote village in Nepal visited a Hartford high school last week to meet with students who helped create solar and wind systems that are powering secluded parts of his country.
Shyesha Washington didn't expect that she'd ever meet someone from Saldang, a tiny Nepalese village that's nearly three miles above sea level, and close to the border with Tibet.
But the high school senior was part of a class project that gave solar panels and wind turbines to Saldang and two other villages.
"It's really cool because he actually took time to come all the way here to meet us. He didn't have to do that, but he wanted to do it personally," Washington said.
Twenty-four students from Hartford's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology developed renewable power systems for the remote villages, but they also had to devise a plan to get the stuff through the Himalayas.
"We had to yak pack everything," Washington said.
Washington said they had to design the solar panels and wind turbines so that they could be disassembled into parts small enough to be carried into the mountains by yak. In the process, they also coined a new term -- yackable.
Thinley, the Nepalese elder, showed up to the school with silk scarves as gifts for the amateur engineers. Speaking through an interpreter, he thanked the students for not only providing his village with electricity, but for bridging two cultures that are worlds apart.
"He would like to thank you all for the connections that we have built together to make something better," said his interpreter, Nawang Gurung.
This is the second time students from the high school have designed and sent power systems to Nepal. The last one happened in 2013 and involved a few University of Connecticut students.
School officials said they want to continue the relationship with Nepal. But as for the next project -- it may or may not include delivery by yak.