Jai Shri Krishna! Zoha boluchu (“Zoha speaking”).
After our weekend trip, many of us are tired. Traveling to Sidhpur and back was a little draining. Nevertheless, it was a great experience! We went to Dolatpura today to test our stove! I was very excited to see the results of our hard work.
When we arrived to Sumitraben’s house, we were informed that no one has tested our prototype because Sumitraben was out of town. Therefore, we decided to test it together. Also, we learned that Manjulaben built her own version of our prototype! I guess people are liking the idea of a smokeless stove.
Sumitraben had already started cooking lunch on her stove before we arrived. She told us to use corn cobs and matches to light the stove prototype.
Alpa (aka: Alpi) and Shilpen lit the corn cobs in the stove. Immediately, Sumatraben transported her pot of kadi (yellow curry) from her stove to ours. Initially, the stove appeared that it was functioning well.
The smoke was coming out of the chimney with little heat escaping. With the fire and draft growing stronger, the smoke started to creep out from everywhere. It was escaping from below the stove, through chimney cracks, and etc.
The team realized that we need to decrease the draft of air through the fuel entrance of the stove. Sumitraben suggested that this can be accomplished by elongating the stove and creating the placement of the pots a bit deeper. In addition, Kaylla suggested that we should decrease the size of the internal chimney hole because the fire was traveling through the chimney pipe. Another problem with the internal chimney hole is that the fuel was creeping inside the chimney hole. All these issues caused the heat to escape along with the smoke. After our conversation with Sumitraben, we have a better understanding of the changes that need to be made with our next prototype. I am excited to co-design with Sumitraben and make these changes alongside her this coming Wednesday.
After testing our stove, Sumitraben transferred her pot of food back to her stove. The team decided to observe the stove and her cooking habits. As we were watching, she asked me if I was interested in making rotla (wheat bread). I told her that I have made rotis before. Then, she asked Erica and Kaylla. They both excitedly said yes! Erica watched Sumitraben make her rotla and made her own. It was perfectly circular and ready to be placed on the stove. In a hurry, Erica accidentally broke her rotla as she placed it on the stove. Everyone laughed, including Erica. Sumitraben said that her first try was not that bad! I couldn’t agree more. I remember how difficult it was when I first learned to make rotla. Next, Kaylla made a small roti too. Her turned out very well. Sumitraben notified us that she will eat both Erica and Kaylla’s roti for lunch.
After lunch, we visited Chatrasinh’s farm to talk to the women about composting toilets. Chatrasinh’s family has a farmhouse on the outskirts of Dolatpura. It is located near their farmland. Majority of his family lives in that area with the exception of Chatrasinh, his wife, Prakash, and Prakash’s wife. While the girls and I interviewed the women, Shilpen and Sai took a tour of the farm with Chatrasinh and Viral. After hearing about both the designs, the women informed us that they preferred a system that minimizes interaction with human waste. Therefore, they disapproved both our design and the idea of composting altogether.
After our discussion with the women, the team plans on interviewing more females to understand their opinion on composting toilets. In addition, we plan to sit down with Viral to discuss our findings. Today was a very productive day, and I am anxious to learn more about toilets.
P.S. Shilpen taught the kids in Dolatpura to play Hill Climber on his phone! According to him, Manisha was the best player of them all!
P.S.S. Check out some hardware store photos with Erica and Viral. Both had problems looking at the camera (lol)!