The boy who harnessed the wind

The book jacket for the wonderful story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, reads: “William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery.”

This sentence stands out to North American eyes. In our culture, science rules and magic is, well, not such much a mystery but just science yet uncovered.

William Kamkwamba’s fate was altered forever by a severe drought in Malawi.

The country’s crops relied on a rainy season that never came. Family fortunes dwindled and people starved. Without crops, William’s family could not afford to pay his school tuition, so he was forced to drop out.

William had time on his hands, a curious mind and a good memory. He remembered reading about electricity and windmills, so he resolved to use this knowledge to find a way to help his family avoid the ravages of drought in the future. He knew that with electricity his family could irrigate and grow crops any time of the year.

He borrowed books from the library and scrounged scrap pieces of metal, tractor parts and bicycle bits. He began to build a windmill.

His neighbours thought he was crazy.

His neighbours feared this modern science in their land of magic. Superstition and rumours circulated.

But William persevered. He cobbled together his odd assortment of scraps and misshapen goods, and, miraculously, there was light. There was running water. His community, his country, his continent changed forever.

William Kamkwamba’s family sees the change in their lives as a gift from God. They have a nickname for him: Noah. They say, “Everyone laughed at Noah, but look what happened. . .. He saved his family from destruction.”

Stories like William’s remind me of the timeless nature of our Biblical stories. How many modern-day Noahs do you know?


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on March 18, 2011, in good faith, Inspiration, science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!


« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarán ser. »

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Moral Fibre

Musings of She who Knits in Churches


comida italiana



The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling • Writing • Dreaming

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech




Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

Diary Of A Growing Black Man

Personal website sharing life experiences and vision

Jay Colby

Life, Inspiration & Motivation

Health Sources

Health , Beauty and Food

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Reverend Erin

Thoughts on Ministry from a First-Time Minister

Mill Street Books

Almonte's bookstore carries books, music, family games, gifts and more.

%d bloggers like this: