Wednesday, June 15, 2011

High hopes and high(er) temperatures.

Far more productive today. Woke up in a sweat – no surprise – to a chorus of chirps, wails, and calls from the bush. Mix in some rooster crows and snoring from a roommate and you’ve got a sure-fire way to force one out of bed.

Going to bed isn’t an issue. With two fans blowing, the room is generally cool enough to fall asleep. The power goes out at about 4am, however, so the room becomes a stifling box of stale air by 6am. My routine has been to stumble out of bed, pad about the mansion bleary-eyed, then doze on a couch in a cooler, vaulted space of the building.

The fellows were here again. They provide valuable input to the design, being from the area. It presents an appreciable management challenge, though, because they require clear guidance on how to help. Some days are better than others. Typically the all-hands meetings are the worst, where roundtable discussion rapidly devolve to a few people unwittingly hogging the conversation space.

I set about research for stormwater management. The first of my major focuses for this project; the other areas will be transportation networks and design, pedestrian bridge/boardwalk design, and energy systems. We’ll see how much I accomplish, but I’m hopeful. One can complete a great deal when putting in eight solid hours of work each day.

The most frustrating aspect of the internship is the abysmal internet. While it’s entirely reasonable to not have broadband speeds in rural Nigeria, I came under the impression that we would have reliable internet access. Instead, we have reliable email access; all other tasks take 4-10x as long. Typical download speeds are about 2 kbps. It rules out watching videos online, but more importantly it limits downloading design specs, research articles, etc. I am running into this problem when accessing design manuals; most files are more than 2 MB, sometimes upwards of 10 MB.

Enough for now. Time for bed.


Seth said...

Good luck! I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures as your time there unfolds.

skwoods said...

Tell me what you need, I'll copy and paste it into an email and send it your direction? I mean, if that would help. :P Otherwise, miss you!