By Aakash Shah
I did not take a private, Wi-Fi-equipped shuttle to work for my engineering internship this summer. Instead, I walked, squinting into the sunlight as I passed numerous fruit and vegetable stands on the dusty road that led to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. I was as far from Silicon Valley as I could be; the Internet connection, when it functioned, was painfully slow, and I worked in a hospital so strapped for cash that it couldn’t afford to buy spare parts for the dozens of broken oxygen concentrators that were desperately needed to keep babies alive. The constant chatter of “disruptive innovation” that fills the air in tech circles and universities these days was nowhere to be heard. (And there was no Snapchat, either.) But even without all these things that characterize modern day engineering, I was in Malawi to learn how to be a better engineer.