Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kudu in the headlights

I've been slow to recruit research participants this trip, but I (finally!) have 4 appointments with people willing to do my water diaries in Lusaka. I was starting to really consider getting worried that I wouldn't find anyone at all..and I'd say I'm still not out of the woods yet, but things are certainly better. Unfortunately I have trouble talking about or explaining my work. I met a doctor here. She talks about her work like a champ. It's invariably interesting and focused (and to the non-medically minded, usually heroic-sounding, too!). I try to talk about my work and it's scattered, fragmentary, and includes a lot of "" even though I've spent two years mostly working on the precise problem of "what is my focus?" You'd think I'd have it down by now! Today I had lunch with some friends with a vested interested in the water sector and they asked me again, "what is it exactly you're studying?" I'm sure I had my deer in the headlights look (kudu in the headlights around here?). I wanted to say, "you know? good question! beats me!" But, since that's generally not good for networking, I stumbled along trying to explain in 30 seconds or less what it is about everyday water technology that merits three years of work. Ugh! and then I went shoe shopping and the world is now a better place, though I still feel like a loser of a PhD student. Now I'm a grumpy phd student with cool green shoes. 

It's St. Valentine's day, and while I don't have any romantic news or thoughts to share, I can share with you my recently discovered (new) way to inspire men to holler at me on the street: walk on their nice new cement curb before it's dry. If you haven't had your fair share of attention this valentine's day, or this decade for that matter, let me tell you: THAT draws attention! It reminded me of the time years ago when I was driving to Newberg on a nice empty road, and pulled up to a construction truck and an exceptionally handsome man with a stop sign. I rolled down my window. He said, "There's some road work up ahead; you'll just have to wait a few minutes." "Ok, thanks!" I said, and drove off. When I looked in my mirror a second later, he was yelling and jumping and waving his arms at me. Apparently, I was supposed to infer that he meant wait right there by him, but honestly, the things construction workers expect you to figure out on your own these days! gosh! 

I'm headed out to dinner tonight with a group of friends. I'll wear my green shoes and I'll stay off the curbs.

1 comment:

  1. Or, I suppose, one could look for those handy "Caution, Kudu Crossing ahead" signs, and cross there without incident.

    Either that or practice your elevator speech.