I received an amazing present from under the christmas tree this holiday season. It is called WakaWaka (‘Shine bright’ in Swahili) and it is a beautiful little solar panel.
And now I am just holding a little bit of future in my hand: this kind of stuff is what we need if we want to realise any of our goals for a livable future. It is durable, provides cheap and endless energy wherever you go and with every one you buy here, there is one donated to someone in the third world without access to elektricity.
For me, it is mainly a chance to get elektricity wherever I am in the field. Charging my cellphone whenever I am on a camping trip in the mountains, fixing my measurement devices whenever they start losing power, all of this now becomes possible. But for a family far away from any elektricity source, WakaWaka could of course mean much more.
A nice extra advantage for me is that above the polar circle, where I do my research, there is 24 hours of sunlight, so I do not even have to worry about nightfall to get things charged!
Important edit: it turns out that the donation of the WakaWaka to a third world family is not automatic, you have to go to their website and use the code that comes with your device to get the process up and running!