Preparing for Peru

My name is Chris Bingham and I am from London. I will soon be studying General Engineering as a student at Durham University in the UK. Apart from solving problems and design, I like to play the drum kit and racket sports.

Growing up, I've become fond of traveling and like to be involved in improving the quality of life for people across the world, especially for those who don’t have it. I believe this can be done directly through small-scale, but effective engineering projects that provide necessities for life and open out opportunities.

For September, I am heading out to rural Peru, where 5,000,000 people do not have access to power, and working with Wind-Aid for 4 weeks to learn about and install wind-turbines in small teams. During this trip, I’m expecting to learn and experience quite a lot. I will be involved in wind turbine maintenance in a town 2 hours from Trujillo called Chocofan, as well as the construction of a 500 watt wind turbine in the Wind Aid workshop. In addition to these responsibilities, I will hopefully be able to join current projects, if time is available, that include: advancing remote monitoring, designing and testing an improved safety spine for the turbine blades, making new moulds for resin castings, improving the coil making process and others. I'm also looking forward to the chance to explore parts of Peru in the weekend - lots to do!

After months of learning Spanish to make the best out of the trip and all the preparation, it is both exciting and slightly scary to approach arrival. It will be rewarding and life-changing yet I am out abroad for the longest time I have been and first on my own with unfamiliar people - perhaps like first arriving at university! I am looking forward to being in a new culture and the challenges that will come with it. Fortunately, I’m comfortable with the prospect of inevitable stumbles, feeling lost, and concerns because I believe that is supposed to be part of the experience - although I may forget that at times.