Thursday, November 11, 2010

Design Production & Indian Food

The days are starting to turn to mush by the time I get to the end of the day. Reflecting on today, I can hardly remember where it started! I know I got up around 7:30am, and skipped a shower again today, although I really shouldn’t have – lol. Showers here are the same as they were in India… in one room with toilet and sink. There is a spray hose beside for “badae” purposes and the shower head is mounted to the wall with no separation via curtain, tub, nor change in flooring from the rest of the room. The shower head lets out not much more than a trickle, so I’ve been using the 1.5L water bottles and a smaller one to fill up from the sink, then fill up the big one for pouring over my hair in “shower.” I’ve been rather successful showering this way, but it does take a long time. Later today, my hot water switch didn’t work, so I went to Shannon’s room to shower, even though it’s a good 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit, I still like my warm (bucket) showers :)

This morning was encouraging again. I worked on the Visitor’s Housing and took it to a greater level of detail. James took a look at my work and we discussed the passive lighting and passive cooling elements integrated into the design. He had many good things to say about how it was designed, so we proceeded with the help and questions of the structural and electrical engineers to hash out some of the details. It is through this process that I have been able to get as far as detailed roof design, electrical outlets and lights laid out, and am about to hand it over to plumbing as well for their input/design.

I’ve been moving right along due to the nature of the building I’ve been working on and the smooth processing, so I took up an opportunity to go to town briefly this afternoon. Aaron needed to grab a few supplies from the Stationary store in Tegeta, so Jennifer, one of the kind gals that works for the hotel helped us navigate town for these modeling supplies. James drove us with his coworker Joshua, but when they dropped us off in the busy markets of Tegeta, it was Jennifer that lead our way around the vendors to the right side shop, and into its small 5’x5’ interior customer space. We ended up getting only a few sheets of paper since what we really wanted was cardboard – I suggested we use boxes, and we have plenty back at the hotel.

We’ve been using more Swahili words lately as we learn them. For example, we road a DalaDala home today (mini-bus). It is hard to remember these bubbly words that have an abundance of syllables in each word! “DalaDala bill y’all.” I use ANY reference for memorization I can think of – haha! On the bus we met a cute little kid. He was sitting on his mother’s lap, and his brother was across the aisle in front of us at first (until a man got on board at the next stop, ushering him out of his seat, and then moments later pulling him in to sit on his lap – how rude I thought, actually, it was very sweet – it’s hard to think of this happening in the States though, especially since they were strangers!). I waved in response to his stare a number of times. Then, I noticed every time my hands went to my face, as they all to often do, so did his. Hm, then when I lowered my hands down I was figiting with my fingers, and so were his. Ah-ha, he’s copying me! Sure enough, we was mimicking everything I did, I giggled, smiled, and played along. Aaron showed me how to stack my hands and let the middle fingers hang out the opposite side, making a funny wobbling movement. The kids tried to follow, to varying levels of success ,it was cute. The little one had quite a bit of fun wiggling his fingers around his eyes to copy us in our new version of wiggly glasses. All of a sudden, his mother started digging through her bag while he continued to fill her lap. The boy then pulls on a pair of cool fluorescent shades and sends another large toothless smile my direction. B) I wish I had a picture of this interaction, but on a busy city bus one has to be careful not to offend anyone and remain peaceful. Oh, but I did the best I could, with a slip of my hand, I was able to flip the switch on for my video camera and grab a bit of the sounds of the city as we road through town on the bus (dala dala).

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