January 29, 2015

New, nice, fun and weird experiences at swedish uni


So... I'm just going to put together a lot of different things in one single post, which is... stuff that I did on the courses I took. I'm not going to write a lot, just post some pictures and videos that I took... which I think they make really special memories.

During my first block of courses (from september to november) I took a course called "Soils of the World", where we basically analyzed and assessed types of soils, and also learnt the typical soils that you can find around the world, according to climate conditions, etc.

So, field trips consisted basically of digging and observing the soil "wall", or just taking some soil samples here and there. Location.

One day (very very windy and cold) we went out and saw and tried how to extract sediment cores (this long piece of soil that seems a snake xD) which allows us to differentiate soil ages (every slice of different color has a different "age") and gives us information about climate and soil conditions in the past. That day was cool, in both senses. Location (somewhere around here ^^).

Then, that same day we went to another site to see more soil types and dig even more, and yeah, it was interesting, but, let's be realistic here, it was amazing because the site was sooo beautiful !!

And then, in the second block (from november to january), I took a course called "Safe Nutrient Recycling" where we learnt how to recycle and reuse nutrients through composting, water treatment, recycling, and other processes. And it's not that I will spend my life working on that, but it was super interesting (I didn't know any about that before) and I learnt a lot of stuff. And, of course, there was laboratory sessions and we had to do some reports and all the bullshit. It was interesting because it was not "chemistry" lab (which I'm used to it, and is boring), but "biology" lab, which I have never done, so it was nice.

And we counted these!

BUT we also worked with fly larvae composting (the larvae are the ones "doing" the composting process, they recover the nutrients from waste, and then you can use the larvae to feed pigs, and then you magically reused and recycled nutrients in a more efficient way, for example). So, yeah, whatever... it was fun, but also disgusting. THAT SMELL. I will never forget it !!! There was one time that I could not eat after the lab session, I had the smell in my nose and almost puked when I got home... xD But fun!

Here you have some of my friends (CAREFUL if you are sensitive xD) !

Oh, and we also burned them alive (the larvae)... that was sad and painful u_u.

And then, another day, but with that same course, under the framework of "recycling systems and reuse of urine and faeces as fertilizer" (xDDD), we visited our professor's place, where he and his family separated urine and faeces to reuse them on their own garden... for their own "food".

So first, he showed us their "urine diverting" toilets (you have one space for the urine, and another for the faeces) and he explained us how it works, how you have to be careful to avoid contamination from one to the other (yeah, of course, he also gave us examples of contamination: kids not knowing what to do, diarrhoea, puking...) and how, when you are used to it, is not that much of a problem. They also had one "portable plastic toilet" (that they used in vacation, in their cabins or huts) not connected to the water system, and where you have to empty both receiving containers.

All in all, this is used to collect urine and faeces separately, to later reuse as fertilizer or for composting and sludge. Here you have some pictures of these "urine diverting" toilets, and how a collecting system can be.

And, of course, after sharing that much and after all the intimacy, he showed us their urine tank located in their garden (NOOOOOO !!!!!). And, of course, he opened the lid and made us look inside. Yeah. THAT SMELL!!! Another horrible memory. It was so fun because of the horrible sensation I could not stop laughing. BUT IT WAS HORRIBLE. Yeah, we saw and smelled their urine, collected in there for weeks........ And then he wanted to show us how to apply the urine to the plants and the garden (because you have to be careful not to apply too much urine per square metre), so he used his awesome pumping system, put some urine in a watering can, and started watering the garden. And he was so happy and smiling all the time.

Here you have the garden. In the middle, you can see a hose, the "pumping system", and something round on the ground. That's the opening for the huge urine tank. Yup. Oh, and the garden he watered.

And then he finally showed us his composting system (tank) where he collects all the waste from the household and from the garden, and where he puts (sometimes) their faeces, to enhance the composting process. I was far in this one. I had enough. So I have no pictures and no smells for that.

It's weird and we are not used to that, but it's useful, efficient, and it works, so maybe we should start changing our way of looking at life... and do some things differently. It would be difficult to apply this in an already "developed" country, but opens a lot of doors for the "developing" ones.


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