Gracias Nicaragua! — Edbert Cheng ’16
I came to Nicaragua not knowing what the expect. Flying into Managua, I thought I would be laying bricks; my composting toilet would be forever tucked away in the back of my portfolio. But boy was I wrong. For one wonderful week, I had an amazing adventure that took me from the streets of Nagarote to the shores of the Pacific. I rode in the back of a motorcycle, a kayak, a pickup, a flatbed truck, and a donkey-drawn wagon. I even brought Gangnam Style to the local nightclub. Besides finally having the chance to build the composting toilet (with my homeboy Ethan and homegirl Gosia), the best part of the trip was getting to meet the people who were also invested in building a better, more sustainable world, all the while having a great time. Working with Snr. Perez and his family hit home what sustainability really means, and, personallly, what architecture can do for the world. Architecture is more than drawing a nice section; it’s digging the foundation, it’s performing soil tests, it’s sharing a homecooked meal, and it’s eating a year’s worth of Gallo Pinto. I am more confident than ever that architecture can be a force for positive change. I cannot wait to have another adventure and change the world, one composting toilet at a time.
Edbert Cheng — Cornell University ’16 — SNN Composting Toilet Team