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6 CAMPAIGN BENEFITS Endowing undergrad scholarships has made a real difference. Cornell CHRONICLE CHRONICLE ONLINE: www.news.cornell.edu JANUARY 2 , 2008 9 KAZAKHSTANI VISIT Offi cials discuss administrative reform with Cornell professors. Cornell undergrads are forced to fl ee Kenya in wake of election violence By KriShna ramanujan Eight Cornell undergraduates and their staff leader were caught in the crosshairs of postelection violence in Kenya over the winter break, forcing them to leave the country in a tense, 40-mile journey to the Ugandan border. Cornell offi cials stayed in steady contact with the project’s staff mentor, Amanda Messinger ‘07, and on Jan. 2 approved the decision to evacuate the group west to Uganda. They then arranged a security detail through Uganda to the nearest airport. The students are now all safely back in the United States and are only “relatively traumatized from the tensions,” according to Messinger. Most expressed disappointment that they had been unable to fi nish their winter-break service project in Kenya to train locals on nutrition and managing HIV/AIDS as part of the Cornell Health International project. Instead, their project had ended in nervewracking drives, protection by armed secu- See more stories on page 8 LiNDsAY FRANcE/UNiVERsitY photoGRAphY kevin Borden ‘08 stands over the ojojona, honduras water treatment plant, which was designed by cornell engineering students. kAthERiNE hoUNG/pRoViDED three of the cornell students who were in kenya when post-election violence erupted were senior kate mosso (left), senior Andrea Gaul (front row, middle) and sophomore katherine houng (front row, right). With them are some of the kenyans who received training in nutrition and education in hiV/AiDs from the cornell students. rity guards as well as a scarcity of reliable information, some supplies and gasoline. However, the students did not witness any of the violence that erupted following the most fi ercely fought presidential elections Continued on page 8 Honduran water plant designed by Cornell students is handed over to a grateful village Staff writer Anne Ju spent a week in Honduras, Jan. 12-20, with the AguaClara Project Team documenting Cornell engineering students’ efforts to design drinking water treatment plants for rural villages. See future editions of the Chronicle for more stories from the trip, including one on the village of Tamara, where the team’s next water plant is being built. By anne ju OJOJONA, HONDURAS—For 18 Cornell students, mostly civil and environmental engineering majors, who were spending Jan. 4 to 20 in Honduras working on water plants in small villages, it was perhaps the sweetest moment of all witnessing the ceremonial handover of a completed project. On Jan. 11 a drinking water treatment plant in the Honduran town of Ojojona symbolically changed hands from a local organization, Agua Para el Pueblo (Water for the People), and Cornell engineers to Ojojona’s local water board, which expressed its gratitude at fi nally receiving clean, treated water. The students were present to witness the handing-over ceremony for the plant, which has been running since June 2007. Last year, another group of Cornell engineering students worked with Agua Para el Pueblo engineers to help bring the Ojojona plant from design stage to reality. As part of the AguaClara (Spanish for “clear water”) Project Team, led by civil and environmental engineering senior lecturer Monroe Weber-Shirk, the latest group of students visited Honduras to tour potential water plant sites, experi- 10 NATURE’S FURY Matt Pritchard watches earthquakes from space. Pizza icebreaker New transfer students at the Hotel School made pizza and salads together Jan 17, topping their experience with team-building and by rolling out friendships. See story, page 3. ence the local culture and visit completed plants, such as in Ojojona and in the village of La 34. It was the fi fth project team in as many years that Weber- Shirk has taken to Honduras. To design these rural plants, students rely exclusively on hydraulic technology, unlike modern plants in the United States and other places that use electricity to power motors. For some, seeing the Ojojona plant change hands was a key moment of a memorable trip. Previously, the village had only been treating its water – taken from a wetland source on a mountainside – with chlorine. David Railsback ’08, who joined the AguaClara Project Team in Honduras for the second time in two years, said he was “psyched” to see that the Ojojona plant was still working. He also said it was important for this year’s students to see the plant, and that there’s still more work to do there – such as lowering the turbidity, or cloudiness, of the water. “There are things that can be improved, and things that could be placed differently,” Railsback said. Weber-Shirk called the ceremony a rite of passage for Continued on page 6

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