Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday, July 22nd

I woke up this morning and it was raining. Raining. During the dry season! The weather has been so strange this summer. Last summer it seriously did not rain a drop the entire time I was there. But this summer it has been raining quite a bit, especially around dinner time and in the morning when I wake up (how convenient). The rain wouldn’t have been so bad, but it’s been so cold in Arusha. Last night I wore two sweatshirts to dinner and I was just comfortable. I know the cold doesn’t even begin to compare to Boston, but I guess I just expect it to be warm.

Despite the rain (and the cold) we got back to work on the backpack. Yesterday we bent the tubes and sewed the main section, which basically completes the “table” portion of the design. And today we came up with a cool design for the side pockets, and a special compartment to store a stiff piece of wood that will make the table more sturdy. We went to MobilityCare’s special tailor in town who was really quite amazing. She seemed skeptical when I explained that after sewing all these small pieces together the final product would be a backpack, but she was happy to give it a try. And I think it turned out pretty well! It’s not quite finished yet but we made pretty impressive progress in the short time that we had. We still have to attach the backpack straps and add some zippers or Velcro to close the pockets. And there are a few structural changes that I want to make, but it’s so close.

Yesterday I learned how to use the bender. Today I learned how to weld. For some reason everybody seemed to think that I already knew how to weld. So when I asked if I could weld something they just handed me the welding gun and said have fun! After a short lesson I was ready to go. It was so fun! I was absolutely terrified that I was going to light my hands on fire, but what a thrill! I definitely need a lot more practice, but I think I’ll get the hang of it eventually.

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