Bryan in India

Bryan, a senior engineering student, is traveling to India for a tsunami reconstruction project on the southeast coast. He is working with Engineers Without Borders-USA on building sanitary water facilities for a village of about 35 families for six weeks.

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Same Song, Different Verse

To start off, I felt much better this morning when I woke up (thanks for the phone call, mom, love you!). Sorry, I felt if anyone was worried about me, it would be my mom, as she said, “I will hold my breath until your plane lands.” Words of a great mom.

So, with that being said, I am physically and mentally drained of the day’s tasks (I’m really surprised I am even writing this email I’m so tired; but my fans need me, so I will push through it.) All right, last night it was decided that I will have another project added to my agenda, a bio-sand filter: www.biosandfilter.org

It really is quite an amazing piece of ingenuity, as well as very simple to make. So, with the finishing touches needed for my rope pump, and the new task of finding the easiest and most inexpensive way to build the sand filter (since the villagers might want to build their own); Amos and I went shopping. **I really don’t like shopping, fyi** But, alas, after four hours of driving around the city as a passenger on a motorcycle of which I got some really great first-person point-of-view video, I was exhausted. But that is not really the basis of today’s blog.

It turns out, roughly halfway around the world, the people here are the same as in my hometown of Richardson, the same as Texas, the same as America. Sure, they dress differently, and live in a dissimilar house (a second family living above the owners), and the whole defecating in public thing; but they are the same as you and me. I started to realize this when I was “working out” this morning. That’s a tale for another day, but basically I use two resistance bands, the iron bars on my windows and a lot of creativity.

Well, as I was doing tricep pull-downs, I saw out the window the family next door on their roof. Thankfully my windows have tinting, because I was in my boxers while working out, but you probably didn’t care to know that. So, in comfort of my air-circulated (note, I did not use air-conditioned) and the windows closed, I was able to watch a father cut down coconuts for his three daughters, all under the age of ten by my estimate. Without hearing a word, not that I would be able to understand what they actually said, I noticed that actions speak louder than words and realized that I could interpret what they were saying.

They said the same thing a mother says to her children at the grocery store when picking out the extra sugar cereal. The same thing a father tells his kid about his first baseball game. Or, the same thing a soldier asks his wife to marry him just before he is shipped off. That, this city, this country, this hemisphere or this world, all revolve around one main thing… love. Whether it is love for the family unit, love of a job, or love of greed, or love of only oneself, everyone loves. We are all human, we all have emotions, and a majority of US care for our loved ones, whatever that ‘ones’ being loved may be.

Sure you can tell me there is war, protests, greed, poverty, etc … but what are the reasons for these things? I don’t know, maybe I am getting too philosophical and I should talk more about my engineering, but, it’s hard. You know the song “Louis, Louis?” Well, apparently, someone telling me about the original version said that the words today are not the same as they were when it was first written. Well, with that in mind, we, the people of this world are all singing the same song, different verse …er …lyrics.

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