Archive for March, 2013


March 14, 2013

On Tuesday, March 12th, I performed land surveying on a project site where a new elementary school is to be built.  The land area is on the order of 50 acres and is nearly full of very dense, very tall grass.


This grass makes surveying difficult.  Fortunately there are several hills that were built by termites, upon one of which a water storage tank has been placed.


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I used an instruction manual to figure out how to use the total station unit to tie in about 20 points from four instrument setups.

Then I returned to the house in which my EMI associates and I have been staying and I built a spreadsheet with another engineer to convert angles to decimal degrees and changed the elevations differences to absolute elevations (relative to an assumed datum).  Having no survey data reduction software, I then drew these angles and distances in AutoCAD and added elevation coordinates and description labels.


The architects are using the survey information and also ground water percolation measurement information about this very flat land to build something called a Master Plan which seems to be a site plan based on hours of consultation regarding proposed uses and schedules and personnel and vehicle loads.







03/10/2013 inside of a guest house in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo

March 10, 2013

Today is Sunday and I am having a great day! There is a Methodist church building across the street and I attended a French service with my Engineering Ministries International team this morning. I had thought that I was emotionally deficient, but I could have begun crying two (2) minutes after walking through the door. I have never seen a worship leader put his foot above his head during a worship service before. The whole thing made me think of Christian Hedonism, or the idea that God is most satisfied in us when we are most satisfied in Him because the people seemed to be particularly pleased to glorify God.

I began sleeping right away upon going to bed last night and slept for five (5) hours. Waking up then was convenient because I used the opportunity to change the power supply from one electronic device to the next. I then enjoyed lying in bed as though I was on a vacation in a very luxurious place. Oh, I used mosquito netting for the first time last night! Jet lag seems to have passed me by, even though I don’t know that I slept much on the airplanes when I was supposed to. I had a bit of an inconvenience at the Lubumbashi airport when I was asked to present my yellow fever card which was in a checked bag because I was made to check a bag which should have been a carry on in Washington D.C., but that problem was worked out without too much trouble. I am quite happy that that bag arrived though.

I really liked the lunch that I just ate. The potatoes must have been boiled, for they were skinless and red. I also ate white rice and some sort of vegetable dish. I really like just about everything that has happened here. I seem to be bypassing the culture shock too. The thing that I find the most troubling so far is that the transportation design, seems to neglect drainage altogether. The things that have been constructed and which I have observed seem to be designed to fail, or at least to create large puddles.

I am here with two (2) architects and two (2) other civil engineers to do civil engineering work for a ministry, and I get to meet with the ministry leaders later today.