Early Morning Sweat Box


This morning we arrived on site in time to video the shaky transfer of our shipping container from the bed to four tire posts. We then spent the next hour or so completing site measurements and updating our drawings from yesterday's day in the office. Whether or not we have mastered the metric system is still up for debate, but our plans are accurate and our elevations are underway! Working inside of a steel box in 80F+ (23C?) degree weather is perhaps not the most comfortable way to start one's morning, but marking cut lines on walls and drawing out column locations inside a shipping container was surely an exciting way!

The latter half of our morning was spent in a coffee shop (Java) meeting with a civil engineer to discuss structurally bracing our container to prevent the glass walls from shattering during transportation. While each of us admitted to not being experts in the structurally integrity of a shipping container that has had its side walls completely removed, we were comfortable that we had enough options to discuss bracing with our contractor later that evening. 

We returned to BTI's office and immediately began working on updating our drawings and researching precedents for successful transports of containers that had been transformed in similar ways to ours. We had a brief lunch exploration that took us to the small Japanese ramen shop at the corner of BTI's narrow street, preceded earlier by cherry coffees from the coffee stand directly in front of the ramen restaurant. We also had local Cambodian dessert, which looked and tasted a lot like a custard filled donut, as provided by BTI's local staffer, Penglong (he also brought the crickets and tarantulas the previous day - thanks Penglong).

Our meeting with the head contractor and the winch expert was a mix of sketching, hand gestures and pauses for translation by Penglong. We successfully made decisions about various aspects of the project and agreed to exchange more detailed drawings. More importantly, we were reassured by the contractor, based on his previous projects, that our shipping container would NOT be shattering glass during transport. Tomorrow we return to the site to oversee the actual cuts, and will be joined by the whole BTI staff!

The three of us ended our day with Happy Hour pitchers of Angkor beer on a roof top deck overlooking the Tonle Sap River. We reflected on the day, exchanged various stories and toasted to the beginnings of our health clinic.