The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Some time ago I canceled my cable TV subscription and used the money for stronger internet service through which I occasionally watch a documentary or older movie from the Costa Rica version of Netflix (fewer titles than in the U.S.). Tonight (Wednesday) during my dinner of a pulled pork sandwich and cole slaw from Atenas Poco Loco (“To Go” or “Para llevar” here), I watched the BBC/Netflix movie The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, based of course on the book by the same title available from Amazon.com Books. I was so touched by the movie that I felt compelled to recommend it or the book written by the boy himself as a now adult engineer.

Having lived in The Gambia West Africa for three years, I of course related to almost everything in this excellent true story of a 14 year old boy in Malawi who had to drop out of school and help the family farm because they could not afford the school fees. In the midst of a common African drought the boy sneaked into his old school library and learned about windmills and thanks to his old science teacher’s device to generate electricity with the moving bike wheel he adapted it to a homemade windmill that generated enough electricity for a small pump to pump water from the well and irrigate the drought-stricken farm. I saw the life-changing effects of windmills in The Gambia too.

A moving family story with authentic African culture, scenery, and hardships. When I returned from The Gambia I often said that every American should live for 3 years in Africa to see what the real world is like. Well, this movie or book will give you a taste! I highly recommend it.

“Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.”

— Kofi Annan

¡Pura Vida!

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One Reply to “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Charlie. I’ll look forward to watching it and maybe reading the book. Just a brief glance at the information reminds me of a group of Maasai boys that I saw walking in the Masai Mara, past zebras and antelopes on their long trek to school.

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