here—you’re just not close to a number of people you care about,” he says. “I never expected to be here this long. Initially, it was more of fascination. Whenever my friends would say, ‘When are you coming home?’ I would say, ‘six months.’” Smith’s work is not without risk. He helped build a solar-powered water pumping system in Dadaab, which is home to 235,000 refugees on the border of
Kenya and Somalia. The UN base is the third-largest refugee camp in the world. Humanitarian groups typically discourage visits by civilians because of the threat of terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab. “It’s one of those things that oftentimes I think about what needs to get done and the work that needs to happen, and I don’t reflect on things as much as I probably should,” Smith says.
First dark moment on the day after commissioning of one of PowerGen’s first microgrids in the village of Ololailumtia in Kenya’s Maasai Mara in 2014.
Taft Bulletin / SPRING 2019