Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Weekend 1

The Carnegie Mellon Palau Technology Consulting Team!

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of an entry for a while. It was a very non-internet related weekend. Many stories and…….DRAMA! (more to come).

Friday we finally wrote our first draft of our first deliverable. I lovely 16 pages of specifications of our project:

I am building a software to allow the MOE of Palau to store their many standardized test scores and then extract reports from the data.

They currently have about 9 different databases/excel sheets/scanable multiple question exams where they store the scores of exams. We need to first design a database system with adequate relations to efficiently store test results. After this extract all the old data and put it in. Then from this I need to learn PHP to create web applications to allow staff members to either scan sheets in. then after this is done write a script to allow data extractions to be done.

Ok, enough talk about work.

Well this weekend the weather was……….rain, lots and lots and lots of rain. Horray! We decided to postpone boating outings. On days that it cleared out a bit more we went out to the ole’ swimmin hole! The water was awesome! Clown fish, crabs, and rainbowish fish were just inches away from you as you swam amoung the islands of Palau. It was incredible. While I was floating there I just thought about where I was in the world and in life. It was a very honest moment. In true Palaun history, sunlight turned to rain in the matter of seconds. But it was much more fun in the inlet that we were swimming in. The rain was refreshing and people were just standing up with there arms out just absorbing in the tropical rain. I decided to dip under the water and just listen to the beads of water hitting the surface then came up to see what looked like beads of glass on top of the water. It was awesome.

Long Beach swimming area:

Monday was President’s day here in Palau.

Mi, the 5th consultant showed up! Yay!

In the morning there was a 5k run. Now let me tell you. Running here is HARD. You take two steps and you are covered in sweat. Then you try to breath when running gets hard and feels like you are breathing in a sauna. It was a hard 5k. I think the whole point of the holiday was that the president of Palau (yea the prez) was supposed to do it with the people. He was late. He walked a lap of the track by himself as we just ignored him, I think only us realized he was doing it. Kate and I started the applause for him when he finished. The president’s speech involved mentioned the food he ate for dinner and how it didn’t sit well with him and then proceeded to talk about WWII in Palau. (hm….)

The rest of the day Dr. Alex Hills, an EPP professor from CMU came to visit us. He treated us to a delicious lunch and we then traveled to one of the most beautiful docks in Palau:

We then drove to the main island of Palau and visited the state capitol. So. The main city is Koror and the capitol is Myleokok (sp?). We traveled through the jungle of the Palau and then out of nowhere stood the capitol of Palau. Was there a city or residents? NO. Just a capitol (modeled after our capitol also, except with hollow columns and made of some Styrofoam material) We all had a good chuckle from the oddness of the location and construction. It was like out of an Indiana Jones movie where you trek through the jungle to arrive at some sort of abandoned palace. There was no laughing of the awesome view of the jungle life and ocean waves crashing in the distance. Pictures:

…it then began to rain…we went home…

Tuesday, the drama filled day.

Alex hills met with our supervisor and discovered there were some technical flaws in how they were going to provide our apartment. I will not give the details because they gave me such a headache today (and my laptop is running out of battery). Long story short he did an AMAZING job in securing us an apartment in the same apartment complex alongside Kate, Brandon, and Mi. After all of the drama we finally got to eat dinner.

I would now like to thank Carnegie Mellon University for my amazing resort meal of salad, miso soup, tempura, sashimi, sushi, teriyaki, and crème bruele.

Best dinner of my life: Along side a beach with palm trees and a beautiful sunset. No words can describe how awesome it is:

They say when you go abroad you hit a high followed by a low. I defiantly experienced that last week, but now I am starting to settle into the daily life here. Look forward to some entries on the craaazzzyyy culture they have here. Its very unique.


1 comment:

  1. Ahhh---I'm jealous of your beach life! (not the intense work part with techie words I don't understand, but the other part).

    Your low is done already? Damn....you go through emotions quickly. Mine lasted 30 days. (Ramalan-a-ding-dong)