The post that everyone’s been waiting forLee Flaherty '12 | June 3, 2010
Seriously. Today, I have it all. First, however, let me explain why “it all” has not made an appearance sooner.
Internet here is expensive. It is paid for by gigabytes down/uploaded, and the only nice thing is that it is wireless broadband. On a miserly budget, I had to find a way around wasting my 1 GB ($80) limit. This lead me to the Port Augusta library, where I am now a member and have 31.5 MB of free daily internet. Every time you see pictures in my posts, imagine me in a library: because that’s where I was when I posted.
The Build Site
About 12 kilometers south of town, two kilometers down a dirt road, is a patch of land owned by Seawater Greenhouse (Australia), Pty Ltd. The main feature is the leveled, fenced-off area you see here, although there is more to it than that. The most common flora consists of five scrub plants, and occasionally two tree types. Fauna present: kangaroos, parrots, and horses (there are other things, but honestly? You probably don’t care right now). The horses have remained elusive, but apparently they were considered to be handed over when we got the land… I’m curious as to whether or not they are tame. Parrots are fleeting in their appearance, but I did manage to catch a flock of over fifty rose-breasted cockatoos in the park yesterday, and I’ve been told that those and other species have been spotted on and around our property.
Before I get to jump into the science content of the internship, the greenhouse must be completed. The equivalent situation at Haverford would be having to build the INSC before you get to use its science labs. Basic labor, engineering, and design are crucial here, so if I have anything to say in the next few weeks (keep in mind that this project is someone else’s intellectual property, so there will be limits) it will be either about construction and design or local flavour, almost exclusively.
What I’ve been up to: Fencing v. 1.0
For athletics, I have fenced since junior high school. But never like this. This kind of fencing requires only fasteners (which look like oversize staples), pliers, and very strong hands. This fencing is what I did today and yesterday. To keep out the honest beast, the build site needed to be fenced off: I was asked to expedite the process, and a sore left hand later I can say I have certainly done so.
Port Augusta is a town of about 14,000: the fourth biggest in South Australia, I hear. About 4,000 people work at the local coal power plant, which supplies the northern reaches of the inhabited region with its electricity. While I haven’t the exact numbers on other lines of employ, my impression is that overall, Port Augusta is a community where blue-collar jobs predominate. Overall, the town is safe, the people are pleasant, and the winter climate is ideal. The region is excellent for anyone who enjoys pursuing outdoor activities, and who enjoys lots of space. If I were to attempt a comparison to a US state, I would say that this part of Australia is most like Texas (this will be explained in a later post), although both regions are undoubtedly of their own unique character.
And That’s All, Folks
Sorry folks, but it looks as if I’m reaching my internet limit. Keep checking in to see and read of cool new things. Thanks to all who have bothered to read, and more thanks to those brave enough to post! I shall end the post with a quote from Voltaire’s Candide, quoting Cacambo, specifically: “‘when one man cannot get what he wants in one world, he finds it in another. And isn’t one of life’s great pleasures to see new places and do new things?’” (let us ignore the fact that this was written in a work of satire: in my context, let us say that what I want is Vegemite or a good brekky at Hungry Jack’s).