I’ve been delaying this blog post for almost a month now and I’ve finally decided to get the wheels turning; even dusted off my laptop when it came down to it. Oh and Mauritius is currently under a class III tropical cyclone while I’m writing this – not that it matters.
Okay, I’ve got a story to tell… So here goes:
About four weeks ago, Vedant Seeam and I went on a trip to the UAE to attend the World Future Energy Summit (Yes, the post’s title is a double entendre). It was our opportunity to hear cutting-edge information, gain first-hand knowledge, and discuss with international colleagues the challenges and solutions for achieving clean, secure and sustainable energy for all. The Summit was to be held in Abu Dhabi and –
Our plan was to:
– Take a plane to Dubai
– Catch some sleep in the airport lounge
– Go to Abu Dhabi via a connecting coach then attend the summit, fully rested.
Well, you know sometimes things do not go as planned, so –
What happened instead:
– We were denied access to the airport lounge
– We tried sleeping on regular chairs for 5 hours (in vain) with our feet propped on our luggage
– Took a 2 hour long coach to A.D, went to our hotel, suited up and went to the summit having had no rest or food – personally, I felt like a zombie back then.
The immensity of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) was more than enough to wake me up fully. Really, that place was amazing! The summit was even more so but ironically, that is the part I’m going to be briefest about – in all seriousness, to divulge that experience in a blog would not do it justice. That’s why I’ll just stick with giving you a glimpse of what is relevant to you guys:
Vedant had booked a seat beforehand to do what he does best; to speak. And soon enough, he was addressing CEO’s, key industry players and innovators from all over the globe. He talked about ELI Africa, telling them about our mission and the change it would bring to people’s lives. He explained how energy, education, health and problems such as poverty all intertwine in our everyday lives; how they are roots belonging to the very same tree.
That’s all I’m going to divulge about the summit guys. Anyways, we were back in the hotel by evening… showered, had dinner and slept like logs.
The next day, we went to the ADNEC yet again (this time as visitors) to attend the exhibition. It was a day packed with handshakes and negotiations. Vedant and I were looking for something to bring back home, to Mauritius. We met a friendly man who agreed to give us small solar cells with which we could build our own solar panel with. We also managed to buy a flexible solar panel – as thin and flexible as cloth, yet a more efficient powerhouse of electricity than your regular photovoltaic panel – which was initially not even for sale! It’s currently near my window – used it to power my iPod yesterday … back when there was no cyclone about. We also bought another panel (This one huge and NOT flexible at all) which I managed to bring back with me on the plane itself – long story. That trip to Abu Dhabi was not just about attending a summit and bringing back two solar panels home; it was about gathering information about the latest technologies pertaining to energy and, most importantly, implementing them.
It doesn’t stop there: this project could be an opportunity for us to teach the children about the numerous benefits of ‘Going Green’ and the various ways of harnessing renewable energy.
All too soon,however, I found myself doing something I thoroughly despise; packing. Getting ready to go back to Mauritius – with me feeling like a kid leaving Disneyland.
Anyways, I guess that wraps it up guys.
I’ve got loads to share with you in the not-so-distant future.
Till then, Goodbye!