October 9, 2006
Today began with a crazy 4 am rooster. There are a lot of farm animals kept in people's back yards and in the alley ways. I have breakfast with the group and head out to work. We gather the equipment at the CRF (central recording facility).
Enrique and his men are there already digging the foundation for the satellite link. I head over with Prof Hedlin to a site in the array where cement has been poured over the communication tower by accident. We spend two hours chipping away at it. It is very hot today and last night I ate a steak for the first time in 17 years! I am really sick with a fever and chills. That aside, we push on to the next site, H3 and help set-up the enclosure and solar panel. Stef and Alfred from Vienna are flying into Maio at noon to inspect. We head back early for lunch. It is about twenty minutes each way depending if you stop and work as a taxi for the locals. As we return into town one truck breaks down just as we enter. This is not good news! We walk into town. I felt badly because I asked permission from a young girl who was carrying bricks if I could take her picture, she shooed me away quickly. I took advantage of extra time to grab a coke and go to the bank, it is the only air conditioned building in town, so that was a real surprise. People sit in chairs to wait in line because it takes forever! There is little rushing about in this town! Lunch was grilled meat and lasagna. Paulo is a great cook.
Apparently the truck only needed water so we drove it back to the site. It broke down half way there. I took advantage of the disarray to snap some photos of the people in Moro, a small town north of Vila.
The inspectors from Vienna let us use their truck to haul out another enclosure. Clint measures the resistivity of the lightening arresters (these are buried in the dirt to protect the electronics and must conduct current away from the electronics in case of a strike). These pass the inspection limits with flying colors. We worked only till 6:30 this evening. The inspectors say the entire site must be pressured tested and we must get larger gravel for the inlets. This will cause a bit of a delay. I sit in the back of truck on the way back; the sky is a beautiful red. I try to get on the internet but again all phone lines are down. Instead I sit for dinner with Paulo and Don. Talk focuses on what makes people happy, a common endless conversation about life and money and the differences between Maio and America.