Four months ago, I expected my summer to be spent somewhere in the hustle and bustle of downtown Washington, D.C., researching and writing memos on various environmental issues. It did not even occur to me that building a solar domestic hot water system in the Bahamas at a dive resort surrounded by mangroves and clear turquoise water was an option! I am glad I made the choice to trade in my metro card and suit for a bicycle and flip flops.
As August, and the end of my time with Small Hope Bay Lodge
, approaches, I start to reflect on my experience here and all that has been accomplished. Working with Small Hope has been an incredible experience and a rare opportunity to be able to see a vision turn into a physical reality. I came down here with nothing but a notepad and with the help of some great teammates and the support of the Small Hope family we can leave with a resort-wide solar hot water system, community outreach material on solar, and an energy monitoring program.
Time has really flown by and the next few days will continue to fly by as we try to finish construction on the solar hot water system and wrap up the remainder of our project here. We have finally been able to start physically laying pipes and building the system after weeks of dealing with the logistics of obtaining specialized parts and shipping to a remote Out Island like Andros. (You will not believe how inaccurate those shipping estimate dates are!)
I spent the past few days laying pvc piping around the resort, managing construction of the system and creating a technical user manual for the solar hot water system we built.
The user manual includes a general drawing showing the physical layout of the system,
technical drawings showing the exact parts in the system, a sourcing guide and a detailed trouble shooting and maintenance section.