Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's been a while...

I figured it’s probably about time for another update.

Roger left Ujire for the UK on Saturday night and I’m now once again the only Brit in the village. I’m also currently the only Westerner while Headley’s away in Bangalore. Headley (the American) is still technically based in Ujire, and living in an apartment just across from mine, but it looks like he’ll be spending around half his time away on work visits so this feels like the start of a new phase in my time here, with probably a very different lifestyle.

The temperature has been at times a struggle recently, with daily highs rarely lower than 37 C. The day after Roger left was poignantly marked by the first rains we’ve had in over three months; an early sign of the monsoon, which starts here in the South and finally brings an end to the hot season.

Day to day work hasn’t really changed much but some of the projects have really moved on: The next prototype of the paddy thresher has been a much bigger success than any previous model (thanks to some great work from Tommy, Roger and Anantha) and is showing a lot more potential for actually being helpful to the farmers; We have a new thing called a paddy transplanter which we’ve been demonstrating at various farms and agricultural shows and has had been received with a lot of excitement; I’ve been spending some more time looking into wind turbines and we’re currently putting together a plan for SELCO’s first (respectable) wind installation and the Lab has inadvertently made our first ever sale!

You won’t know what all of those things are but I plan to write about most of them in more detail so keep listening if any of it sounds interesting.

There are still unfortunately no English speaking churches around but I’ve been trying to make the most of my Sundays off with trips to nice or interesting places. I doubt I’ll be able to fill you in on all of these but some of the photos may make in onto Facebook. And there are some here too:

             Christmas breakfast at the beach. It really has been that long since my
             last blog entry!

             Our sand-snowman

             A very large statue. Every 12 years Hindus construct this scaffolding around
             it, cover it in fancy decorations and ‘bathe’ it in various different substances

             A standard Jeep ride. Guess which one's driving the thing...

                         A work trek to Bandaji Falls

             Bandaji Falls

             Having a go at some pottery

             Having a go at the local 'lift a really heavy rock' competition

             The earth terminal in our apartment block seems to have an interesting
             tendency to float at around 50-60 Volts AC. For those of you who
             aren't electrically minded: it's not supposed to do that and means that
             most metallic electrical appliances give you an electric shock when you
             touch them.

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