USU’s EWB Team Mexico Trip 2015
(An exclusive look, at Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders team Mexico trip 2015 with “D” (Darianne Willey).
By Maddison Lund
Darianne Willey or “D” (for short), is presently an enrolled student at Utah State University. Currently she is on track to becoming an Environmental Engineer as well as a Water Shed & Earth Systems major! As a result of these majors, “D” is very interested in sustainability, specifically the sustainability of water. With USU’s EWB program “D” was given the opportunity to volunteer abroad and share her knowledge of water sustainability with members in Guanajuato Mexico. To find out more about “D’s” personal experience, travel, and advice, please see interview below.
1. Q: What did you know about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program before you joined?
A: “I had never heard of them before joining. I had no clue what they were!”
2. Q: Where did you hear about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
A: “In one of my classes Dr. McNeil gave a presentation about the Engineers Without Borders program. The presentation was about the entire organization, their trips, and how students could join the program locally. The presentation intrigued me so much, that when I learned about a meeting they were having, I decided to attend.”
3. Q: How did you decide what team to join since Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program has two equally enthralling teams (Team Mexico/Team Peru)?
A: “I decided to join the Mexico team ultimately because of my majors. I am an Environmental Engineer and a Water Shed and Earth Systems major. Because both of my majors are heavily focused on water, I figured the water filter that the Mexico team was putting in seemed a better fit over the Peru team’s alpaca shelter.”
4. Q: What was your overall out of pocket cost to attend Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders team Mexico trip 2015?
A: “My overall out of pocket cost for Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trip to Mexico this last summer was zero! I had fortuitously been given an Honors Scholarship. For the rest of my team however, their out of pocket cost was about 25% of the actual cost to go to Mexico, which was about $230.00 per person.”
5. Q: What was the overall duration of time you were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team?
A: “The overall duration of time we were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program last summer was about ten days. Those ten days also included travel time as well as the implementation of the water filter.”
6. Q: What was an average day like during those ten days you were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
A: “The entire trip was pre- planned by the professors. In the morning we would all wake up to a new juice for breakfast (some weren’t so pleasant), then when it came time to work we would split into two teams. The first team was made up of students who could speak Spanish, and they would go around educating the community on the health risks of arsenic and the importance of maintaining the water filter daily. The second team (which I was a part of) was made up of the rest of us not in the first team. Our responsibility was to go down to the river and sieve sand and other materials that would be used in the water filter. From this process we were naturally teaching the community how to use their own materials, such as sand, to create purified drinking water within our implemented Engineers Without Borders water filter.”
7. Q: What was your experience like with the other five students and two professors chosen to go on Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team trip with you?
A: “All I have to say is that we were the best group to have ever gone to Mexico with the Engineers Without Borders program. Each person was so fun, kind, and friendly to each other. We all just had great chemistry!”
8. Q: What was some of your favorite moments/ experiences from Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team trip 2015?
A: “There are so many amazing moments from this last trip with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team that it’s hard to choose. I especially loved the tourism day we had on our last day in Mexico (La Salitrer) where we went to the capital city of Guanajuato, which was Guanajuato. I also just loved all the random moments 2015’s Mexico team trip had together. For example learning that one of the professors who had decided to come with us, had at one time, a total of seventy two cats at home! Another random moment that I believe is everyone’s favorite moment there was the, ‘community spoon’. The ‘community spoon’, occurred when we were having dessert one night and all but one spoon had been put away. The entire Mexico team then had to share this one spoon, thus creating the inside joke.”
9. Q: What do you think other Utah State University students should know about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trips?
A: “Other Utah State University students should know, that anyone can do it. That joining USU’s EWB is a great opportunity for innovation skills to become real world skills, in a real world application. Join Us!”
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Utah State University Engineers Without Borders