Thursday, March 7, 2013

Transition and an idea reborn

It is indeed a time of great transition for me. Just graduated from med school this past January, and in three weeks time I'll be headed home to make something useful of myself (finally!) Transition isn't something that I tend to deal well with, but at least I've had this period of downtime to just sort myself out...and not beat myself for my current bit of procrastination

I'm just trying to hold myself to small steps in terms of positive things I can at least achieve before I have to leave; and in this regard I'm allowing myself to wander a tad. Don't get me wrong, medicine is my forte; but there's nothing wrong with having something else on the side that I feel I can do just as well, and achieve some social good in the process (more likely pro bono).

I recently re-read my independent research paper on Water Hyacinth that I wrote quite a while back (finished it in 2006), and ended up surprised that it inspired me to look into those "fledgling" ideas afresh. As a piece of independent research, it felt wasted at the time because I couldn't even get it published back then, but thanks to I have it online and from the site analytics I can tell that it has received quite a few views.

I think what actually makes the paper more relevant at this particular juncture is the fact that the water hyacinth problem never really went away. The embedded video is proof of the extent this natural threat poses for common folk who have to derive their livelihood from Lake Victoria (Kenyan side).

It saddens me that 7 years down the line, people can't really find a decent way to deal with the weed; but I think I'm more surprised that people can't see all the money that can come from exploiting this beautiful resource (...and let it be known that I am probably the least business-inclined individual you'll ever encounter!).

Guess if no one else is pursuing this, I might as well do it myself. The research from the paper is sound, it just needs more players to push it through. Basically going to need to involve a university (Great Lakes University), the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the Kisumu Innovation Centre, Kenya (KICK) and to get grant money to start the work.

Knowing what to do is one thing; the logistics is quite the other...and all this while I'll be trying to study for my medical board exams and sort other things out. God willing, things work out. This weed will still be around for some time to come, so maybe it's about time we made bigger moves.

God Bless

No comments: