Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Last Week in Padang

--- Wednesday, August 25, 2010 ---

Just got out of a meeting with Pak Febrin, our last official business here in Padang. We titled our presentation, enampuluh hari, 60 days. I can't believe 60 days went by so fast. At the same time, we did so much. It took us a while to decide how to organize all our activities so that they make sense to someone else. We ended up with 52 slides. This is probably the last entry I will post from here. The next time you hear from me, I will probably be in either Melaka or Singapore.

Monday. We met with Andi at the construction clinic on Monday after getting back from our little vacation. We had a detail discussion about the Andalas class and ESW Andalas Chapter that we want to see happen in the next couple of months. Andi has a lot of work to do in terms of recruiting people and organizing everything so that it works. Hopefully we can provide a good amount of support when we get back to Stanford. It will be difficult to Skype and teleconference but hopefully things will work out.

We discovered a nice little bakery across the street from where we usually take the angkot to go home from the clinic. I don't know how we managed to miss this little place this past two months. I guess we usually wait on the other side of the street for an angkot. This time, we wanted to see the sunset so we walked through a little alleyway in an neighborhood and got to a part of the beach where they are paving a new road. It was pretty quiet since the road hasn't finished. The sunset was pretty nice. Sometimes we get these lame ones where there are too many clouds and not enough sun.

We're getting pretty serious about eating Padang food. Monday night we went to Malabar and had martabak mesir there along with kopi teleur.

Tuesday. We had a meeting with the Chancellor at UNP, the most promising site for the TEREP project. The chancellor can speak English pretty well because he did his Masters at USC nearly 30 years ago. He is a very energetic man and was really interested in having the campus as a place for vertical evacuation. But he really wants to see some combination of building and hill. It makes sense that he would want to make more classroom space for his university instead of just the construction of a hill. They already have a pretty nice soccer field so getting another one is not a plus for them. That's one of the advantages of building on a swampy place where nothing is happening at the moment, a soccer field would definitely be a plus for them.

After this very interesting meeting, we went back to the clinic to do some more work. We left there fairly early and got some random fried stuff and jelly drinks on our way back. We rested for a while before going on a hunt for fried duck. We had really good fried duck in Bandung so we wanted it have it one more time before we left. We dropped off laundry at our usual place and they gave us a couple of jelly drinks to go. I think they sell the drinks during the day and had some leftover. It was super sweet since it was the bottom of the bucket. The guys at the fried duck place gave us cups and straws. Then I went home while Greg went to Pasar Seni for an hour or so. We stayed up pretty late that night making the presentation mentioned before for Pak Febrin.

Wednesday. Got up after not very sleep and finished making the presentation. We made french toast for breakfast and ate them with pan fried bananas. Not sure why we didn't think of this before. We would have gotten there late if our bus driver wasn't driving super fast. I think Greg got most of the ride on tape. There was really no need to hurry since we ended up waiting for more than an hour to have this meeting and discussion.

After the presentation, it really felt like it was our last day at work. Greg went to get his teeth cleaned. We didn't have to wait because people don't go to the dentist in the daytime during Ramadhan. And we got there late because of our meeting. We went back to the clinic and chatted with TB for a while, who is back from Jakarta. Greg went to get another haircut. His hair is pretty short now, which I think looks better. Not all shaggy looking anymore.

We took our friends at the construction clinic out to dinner. Andi took us to a place were a lot of young people like to go during Ramadhan. They had big tables and two main dishes on the menu so service was super fast. We had fish and some appetizers (mostly chilly). I think the chilly here has really grown on me. I ate my rice with chilly and thought it tasted good.

We went to hang out at Pasar Seni for a while but there wasn't a whole lot of people around. I was really tired and didn't feel like hanging out there for more than a couple of hours. We took a longer way back than necessary but picked up juice and martabak manis on the way back. We got our martabak with corn, chocolate, strawberry jam, and cheese. It was crazy sweet, I only managed to eat one piece. The customers before us were 5 guys and they only got one martabak.

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