Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 5

Started the day at 4:00 AM and had the same breakfast ham, beans, & potatoes. The same as previous days. Had the same lunch, ham, beans and rice. Got to the mine and started class at 7:00 AM was hoping to move on to another subject, I asked some review questions about steering hydraulic (the same subject we have been talking about all week). They just looked at me like it's the first time they heard it. I went over the system again. My electrical adapter is getting loose in the socket so I asked for some tape to repair it; they didn't have any. We needed a staple gun; they had the gun but no staples, the students needed some paper to take notes they found 10 sheets. Office supplies that we don't even think about in the States, is a big struggle here.

The class room is still very hot and smelly even more so that yesterday. The office lost power around 11:00 AM, and the generator ran out of fuel. At 2,000 schillings per liter ($8.00 per gal) it did not get filled, maybe tomorrow I was told. I moved the class outside in the shade (a small blessing). So, I said to eat lunch and be at the mine around 1:00 PM (1 hour break) they started showing up around 2:30 because the bus they were to ride, did not have a driver, so they had to walk about 3 miles. Only a few people know how to drive a car.

One of the other Komatsu reps was checking brake pressures on a truck I asked if my class could attend. I asked because he was using the only 2 test gauges on the site. (Komatsu has a total of 35 units at the mine and only 2 gauges). This man is South African and is a good instructor and has been very civil around me, but he talks down to the men, shouting at them, cussing them out, and not giving them time to answer questions. It's very bad. I stood off to the side, out of the way thinking "This was a great mistake". He turned to me thinking I was one of the students before he got a word out I looked him in the eye gave him the Hale stare. He knew I would have thumped his head and tossed him off the truck if he opened his mouth. Some of the men had smiles on their faces (which agitated him even more). I know not to have him help any more, even if he has the only test equipment.

My Aussie friend Steve has finished up on his project and will be leaving Friday. I am the only American among a group who are from Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, and Scotland. We all share the same values about life. The only thing that is different is our common language. They have quite the expressions. Tea is dinner, lue is restroom, knickers are underwear, lift is a ride, stuffed is broken, I weight 15 stones (14 pounds per stone), pop is candy, bird is a girl, on and on. It's been fun to listen to them.

Love you all! I will write again tommorow.

1 comment:

orangemily said...

I love hearing about the different expressions!