Dominos, Voodou, and Progress.
It's been a while since I've written. I'm trying to get others on the team to write too, but it's not really happening. A lot has happened since my last post.
The surveying class has been somewhat of a success overall. Unfortunately, as much as we'd like to make all the students experts at surveying...it's not really realistic to get each student full hands on experience on the equipment. During class, we always hold practical learning sessions where students set up the equipment and take measurements; however, we have about 30 students each morning.
Students have learned a ton already: they know about flow measurements, how to find horizontal and vertical angles; stadia (a way to measure distance), and way more. They're like sponges.
Luckily, one student in particular, Facile, is available in the afternoons (the rest of the students have to go to school in the afternoon). Yesterday, Tyler, myself, Facile, and Facile's friend Charles went out to survey the clinic site. It was very successful. We completed the survey of the area and Facile was able to learn many techniques very quickly. Unfortunately, Charles was only a note taker. Hopefully tomorrrow we can spread the load so that both of them become very good at the trade.
The previous evening, Scott, Maria, and Kyle C (SF) headed back to the states. The following evening (last night) a group of 9 from one of the North Carolina churches who sponsors the community here arrived. The dynamic has changed very quickly. There are 2 male high schoolers, 3 women, and 4 men. Previously, our saying grace before dinner was mostly in politeness to our hosts...now it has become something that must be taken seriously. It is difficult to gauge how the group feels about us.
We've been working together well though. Today, Facile, Charles and myself helped laid out a future basketball court that the NC folks wanted to set up. Other than that, while Tyler and I taught this morning, Eric was at the bridge (he finished the wall with the group of workers, and only has the slab left), Carrie and Kyle scouted some irrigation canals, and the NC folks built pews for the church.
We've noticed that we're coming at the problem (how to help Bayonnais) at a very different angle. The people from NC has brought cases and cases of clothes, candy, shoes, and more to distribute. While us EWB folks have invested all of our efforts in planning construction and teaching. I think I maintain the idea that education is really the best type of "giving." I've been trying very hard this trip to be sure to try to explain what we're doing (in broken creole) to any and all children standing around staring at us while we are walking or repairing things.
What else have we done? Tyler and Kyle went to the market today. Carrie worked on the communications issue in the network here; she mapped out the network; more flow work with Kyle; did Kyle C's soil tests. Eric and Carrie also tried to clean the solar panels (which with one slosh of the water bucket... Eric soaked himself while being atop a ladder).
Here are some random quotes from the team:
"I've been learning a lot about the dynamics of Bayonnais" -Kyle
"I hate soil testing; I've never had an hour go by so quickly in my life" - Carrie
Our meals have become fantastic since there are now 14 people (rather than 5). Today for lunch, we had a tomotoe based stew. Tonight for dinner we had rice, and beef with the red sauce, pasta salad and regular salad (iceberg lettuce and cucumbers and tomatoes).
Now all 5 of us engineers are chilling in the guys room. We're going over what we need to do for the final report. In addition, Tyler and I still need to layout our lesson plan for tomorrow.
Hope it's not too cold where you are,