EWH Summer 2011 - Central America Blog
 
Thursday Thursday Thursday!
Spanish class was it's usually but with new material. We learned about La Familia and the different ways of saying weather, time and feelings. At the end of each week, I feel overloaded with tonnnss of Spanish. It's getting a lot a lot easier to understand Spanish but still having trouble speaking. Right now, I have successfully been able to comprehend the majority of what is said in class and I'm really excited that I've accomplished such a major goal of mine. The next goal is to speak it with the same ease as understanding it.
In lecture, we have pretty much covered all of the machines in the lecture book and Rick is introducing us to machines that were not explained in the book but what he's had experience with. Today's lecture was focused on performing Electrical Safety Checks and different configurations of the Hospital Power. We went over performing safety checks for leakage current, outlet output voltages, and etc the first week but he went into more detail and had a lot of diagrams for us to review. This is one of the most important jobs we have ahead of us when repairing different devices. For example, in one of our diagrams, we the hot line and the ground/neutral connected to a fluorescent bulb. The hot line should always pass through the switch because power in outputted from the outlet via hot line and in order to control the power being supplied, OF COURSE, it would need to be connected to a switch! It's pretty simple concepts but apparently a lot of issues in developing countries is user error and problems with electrical wiring.
In lab, we built another power supply using the power adapter we purchased on Tuesday. Well, since we were unsuccessful with purchasing a laptop charger within the budget we were given, we instead purchased a cell phone charger that outputs a range of 3 - 5.7 volts DC. The max we could have is 35 volts for our power supply and although the cell phone charger only outputs a small amount, it still did the job. The best part was this time, we had our power supply working on the first try! YAY! And our board looks neat (pictures coming soon). We had to use a perfboard and wiring which is admitting more difficult than using a PCB board but its always good experience because we may or may not be blessed with a PCB Board in Roatan. One of the troubles we experienced was for our power supply, we needed a 240 ohm resistor which apparently went missing. So, using 1 k ohm resistors and a combo of others, we were given the task of creating a 240 ohm resistor by placing 4 in parallel with each other. Leah, my partner, did the handy work and tada, we had our cool, new invented 240 ohm resistor! Today was an especially successful day.
Last night, I talked with my mom on skype for about an hour and was able to let out everything I've been feeling and experiencing with her. Having her living in the Cayman Islands is hard sometimes when I'm in the U.S. but it's even more of a struggle when I can't receive texts or phone calls from her so talking with her was the best! I cried, laugh, and most importantly prayed with her. Gladys was right when she advised us to call our families and let them know how we're feeling. I'm blessed that my family are so close that we make a point to try and talk with each other as frequently as possible. It helps in situations like these.
Week three was definitely one of the hardest weeks yet and I am glad to say I made it through living, breathing, and happy. Tomorrow, we all are going to visit The Children's Hospital. Because we are only doing a tour, we get to come in late which means SLEEPING IN! At least, as much as possible. Because the sun rises so early, we are all a custom to waking up at like 5 with the sun so much it is becoming hard to do anything else otherwise. But tonight, I will hopefully sleep soundly especially with this cold I'm catching!

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