On Thursday we went back to the hospital in Nandaime. the first thing we tried to do was fix the microscope from the previous week which we thought only needed a new fuse. We install the new fuse and plugged it in and there was smoke and sparks! So we took the microscope apart again and took out the circuit board and discovered that it had been burned completely through. Charred to a crisp!
|One seriously cooked microscope circuit board|
|Fixing centrifuges is challenging because they typically contain three very stiff springs that must be wrangled back into place|
|When you need parts, you must visit the local ferreteria, or hardware store.|
On Friday we visited a central repair facility in Managua. There are a handful of engineers there who attempt to repair all the broken medical equipment from across hospitals in Nicaragua. some equipment is brought to their facility and some is fixed on site at the hospital. They are massively under staffed but they do some amazing work. The engineers are not formally trained, but rather learn in an apprentice style manner. But this system seems to work incredibly well, and everyone we interacted with could run circles around me with their eyes closed. They had a very well stocked machine shop, where they can engineer just about any widget of any size they need. they are also very creative in terms of rewiring and redesigning electronics is necessary.
|An old school mercury thermostat that we spotted in a heater at the facility in Managua.|
So we have three lectures and three labs remaining, and then one more hospital visit on Friday. and that's it! The students will have officially finished their training and will move to hospitals across Nicaragua next week. I for one will be moving to a beach for 5 days where I intend to do very little engineering, and maybe try surfing again!