Sunday, August 14, 2011

It’s Complicated

Many parallels can be drawn between a motor and the human body. For one thing, they're pretty complex. For another, they both need some fixing from time to time. This can be greatly reduced if things are maintained on a regular basis though. Turns out preventive medicine works for cars as well as people.

I hoped this parallel would come in handy again this week since I offered to help interpret for the mechanics’ course. I know terms like “gear, oil, and bearing” in Portuguese. How much more complicated could things get, right? And if they did, I could always resort to some detailed descriptions, hand motioning, and diagram drawing.

Todd Green, Ed Hyslip, and the mechanics' class

English to Portuguese is one thing, but to Portuguese that is understood in the local context is sometimes a big step further. The labeling of one diagram that snagged us for a while was this:

“Ok guys, the top diagram is of a Plain (“simples”, in Portuguese) Bearing. The second one...(realizing I knew no Portuguese word for "flange"), well, is more complicated.” I was kind of serious, kind of joking. They blinked, shuffled their feet, and waited for me to continue. So I took a deep breath and carried on. It took a fair bit of describing, motioning with the hands, and explaining, but in the end we came up with a term that made sense to them.

This was another fun concept...

All in all things went quite well.

Then there was the practical component.

We always lots of "practical components" because we depend on so many machines daily to get our work done, like our power generator, grinding mill, truck, vehicles, backhoe, etc. And it seems that with machines, if it's working, it's breaking. That's just the nature of machines.

The mission's maize grinding mill.
Situated where it is, this machine saves women from walking countless miles just
to grind their maize so they can cook it each day.

One of the big projects of the week for the mechanics was our old generator. It is fairly spent and is now used as back-up to a newer one. The plan was to rebuild it.

First, we had to get it out of its shed. That took a bit of maneuvering with the backhoe, some chains, and some tension. :)

Once it was safely in the open car port, the guys got to work pulling it apart.

Stripped to the core.

Now that it's in hundreds of pieces, the verdict is that it's so worn that the remainder of its days should pretty much be committed to rest. Prevention has its place but in time, wear and tear take their toll don't they? It's the nature of things. Now we need to think of a Plan B back-up.

A few quick shots of the week:

Ed had a chance to visit the mission school to say a quick hello and goodbye before wrapping up his time up here.

I came across this while marking exams from the health course this week. It made me smile. It seems the exam's structure was a bit complicated and needs to be simplified. (Btw, I love that this guy was unwilling to settle and just circle whatever). I want to give him points for this.

Blankets we picked up this week for the young burn victims who’ve been coming to the clinic for dressing changes. (They were burned while sleeping too close to the fire on these cold winter nights). Looking forward to seeing the smiles these blankets will bring!

And last of all, the tail of a Rough Scaled Plated Lizard seeking refuge from passers-by.

The End


Russell said...

good to see all the developments, as always, mom. Crazy to see that generator, which wasn't in existence when I left Moz, already being retired for good. I've been gone far too long.

Keren Louise said...

I could be wrong, but I think that lizard lived there during my time! Actually, there were two of them in the wood pile by the devotions circle. I called them Buddy and Little Guy :) Loved the shot of the health exam, Lynn!