søndag 10. januar 2010

Hello Ibanda!

As we arrived after sunset yesterday, waking up today to see the beautiful green hilly scenery of Ibanda was amazing. Breakfast was served at comfortably African speed, which was also a bit frustrating for efficient Norwegians wanting to get the day started. White bread, bananas, jams and very well boiled eggs. After breakfast we met up with some of the boys from CDTS, the football team/organisation we are working with here in Ibanda. They took us for a guided tour up in the valley. Starting at an ongoing building of a hydro power plant, we found ourselves in the middle of Africa looking at people wearing shirts saying Trønder Power. It felt a bit like home. As we went up in the valley we were struck by several things, like the intense heat, the primitive, but yet idyllic houses, the greenery, the variety of plants, how many houses there actually are in Ibanda and especially the numerous black children shouting and laughing at us. I guess 12 pinkish mzungos* with backpacks and cameras are not something they see every day. The resemblance was comic when Kikki finally met a pig(no offence, Kikki).

After lunch we went to the football field to visit the site for the first time. We got there just in time for a mach, so there were a lot of people at the field. It was cool to see the site we were working with, and the work Ragnhild and Andreas have already done. As the heaven suddenly opened and the rain hit us hard just before the match, the roof they built the last time they were here was tested. It was great to see that it works and that people actually use it. It was inspiring and I hope we are able to get some of the same positive effect of the work we are about to do.

We escaped from the field to work indoors, and after a quick introduction to the task, we were divided into four groups for some heavy brain storm designing for some hours. It was almost scary to dive into a task and context so different from what we are used to, but mostly very interesting. We are going to help the CDTS build a building for the stadium containing changing rooms, VIP seating and a referee room. After working just the mzungus with the site, we presented our ideas to some of the boys from CDTS. I think it was good that we got to start working with the project without knowing too much about what they thought and expected, as we got our own experience with the site and it generated a lot of ideas. But everything got even more interesting when we got to discuss the project with the football boys and our ideas met theirs. We got tested in presenting our work to non-designing people, but I was also amazed by how much of our drawings and architectural language they understood. Ragnhild and Andreas have obviously taught them a lot. I’m really looking forward to working more with these boys and helping them realize their project!

*Mzungo is the word for foreigner in swahili. It sometimes feels strange being named like that, but I think it is meant well.


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