The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (P.S.)
William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.
misfortune into opportunity, opportunity beyond his own. The book is about learning by inventing. William’s genius was to be ingenious.” —Nicholas Negroponte, founder, MIT Media Lab; founder and chairman, One Laptop per Child “Much more than a memoir, this is a snapshot of life as a precocious teenager in contemporary Africa, and an affirmation of the notion that talent, beauty, and brilliance are distributed in equal measure around the world, even if opportunity is not. This is a story that
machine, its blades spinning wildly through the blur of red dust. Or maybe that was only a dream. CHAPTER ELEVEN THE NEXT DAY AFTER lunch I began putting everything together. I took the fan, blades, bolts, and the dynamo outside behind our kitchen and arranged them in a neat row along the hard, barren dirt. It was a wide, clear space to work and the perfect place to build my machine—close to both my room and the kitchen, which doubled as my laboratory, storage, and work sheds. It was
leaned under the blade system and slid the cotter pin through the other end of the shock absorber, locking it tight. I fastened the dynamo onto the bike frame so its metal wheel hugged against the sidewall of the tire. I then restrung the chain over the front and back sprockets, making sure it was tight and would hold. By now it was late afternoon and the compound was virtually empty. My sisters were off running errands, and my father was at a funeral in a nearby village. As I worked, I could
back in the seat and laughed. I guess I was now one of them, too. CHAPTER FIFTEEN WHEN WE ARRIVED AT the airport in Arusha, Soyapi helped me through customs and immigration, translating for me when my nerves caused my English to disappear. He was staying in a different hotel, so after we got our bags, we parted ways, and I boarded a shuttle bus for the Arusha Hotel. It was dark by the time we left, and I wondered what this new, foreign land would reveal to me in the morning. The
solar panels on my roof to help supplement the power input. Eventually, every home in my village would have one of these panels, complete with a battery to store power. With each home lighted, the compound glowed at night. AFTER APPROACHING SEVERAL PRIVATE secondary schools in the area and being turned down because of my old age, I was finally accepted at African Bible College Christian Academy (ABCCA) in Lilongwe, which was run by Presbyterian missionaries. The headmaster, Chuck Wilson, was