With two weeks to go before our departure for Liberia, we invited a team of volunteers to our backyard on Sunday to prep the newest solar suitcases. Our team consisted of an international group of highly skilled engineers and technicians willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to make this Liberian health care mission a success. One necessary task was converting AC lamp cords to DC cords – removing the two prong plugs on a typical lamp cord and replacing them with 12V DC cigarette lighter plugs, enaging the skills of Melissa Ho, Alex Densmore, Christian Casillas, Maryam Gulaid, and Poncho Atovar. Another job was creating wiring harnesses for the back side of the control board. This required enormous precision and patience, and we were so grateful that Greg Holmes and Carlos Magan devoted their entire weekend to working with our lead engineer, Brent Moellenberg, on this task. The new laser cut acrylic boards needed painting – we’re adding sharp logos on the board to improve the user interface. Once again, our home was transformed into a solar suitcase construction site. Our music room is filled to the brim with an inventory of boxes, yellow cases, solar panels, and an assortment of accessories. Our backyard became an assembly line, and bits and pieces of the solar suitcases could be found in every room in the house. We had a professional film crew on hand – Infinitum Films – to capture the day’s events. Jose Gutierrez and Jose Vergelin once again gave generously of their time to document this movement we are creating. Although most families would probably cringe to have their lives turned upside-down by this kind of project, Hal and I were glowing throughout the day. Over the last three years, we have been blessed to bring together an amazing group of friends and colleagues, and nothing could have been more fulfilling than to grow wonderful community.

 

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The Solar Suitcase

We Care Solar designs portable, cost-effective Solar Suitcases that power critical lighting, mobile communication devices and medical devices in low resource areas without reliable electricity.

By equipping off-grid medical clinics with solar power for medical and surgical lighting, cell phones and essential medical devices, We Care Solar facilitates timely and appropriate emergency care, reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and improving the quality of care in Africa, Haiti and other regions.

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