I've struck gold! Okay, not really. But I toured the processing plant last week, which was incredible. It's a grown-up jungle gym, with chemicals and machinery. It's real-to-life alchemy, turning rocks without visible gold into iridescent bubbles rich with minerals - gold and copper. I loved it. Learning an entirely new technical genre is amazing. I wonder who and when someone pondered through the process... what it was like for him or her and if they experienced anything like the excitement that I do when I'm learning about it.
So, there we go. Some real live mining stuff. In case you weren't sure that I wasn't on safari in Africa, what with the mostly animal discussions.
Also, it's tough to be an advisor. While I am part of a team here, I'm an outsider. The core team, the heads of their departments, the management team... they comprise the serious get-it-done work. When something goes wrong, I get out of the way. They know how to fix it and they should be fixing it. I advise, I coach, I listen, I help them work through what they are thinking. But I can't jump in and do it. That's been an adjustment. I want to get my hands dirty, you know?
Also, we went to Mwanza this weekend. Flying never gets old for me. It's just fun to do something that you know you weren't made to do. Lift off and soar. I got some decent shots of Lake Victoria, being prepared this time around. (Next time I'll get you all some shots of the mine.) It was a little bit stormy, but the clouds made the lake look silky, glossy, and flat. It was beautiful. Also, I saw lightning from a plane, another first for me.
We met at the Gold Crest, which was a nice enough hotel. Just nice enough though. The impression it gives is of a nice hotel, but the details are a bit lost. The wireless access didn't really work. My bed was a queen-size mattress placed on a king-sized boxspring. That sort of thing. Almost a nice hotel. Situated directly next to the loudest club in town. You could hear it through the walls. Quite the experience. BUT the meeting we held together was very productive and the dinner that night was phenomenal. A little restaurant on Lake Victoria with a great view and even better dessert (fried bananas and ice cream, yum).
Also in Mwanza, they parade newlyweds through the streets with horns and drums. The couple stands in the bed of a decorated pickup (streamers, flowers) with a few trumpets or a drummer and they are driven around and around the circle in the center of Mwanza. It's the greatest thing ever. All activity has to stop because you can't hear yourself speak over the noise. The attention too is fantastic. Everyone looks and cheers. It's a tradition I approve of... translated to my American way of life, it feels a lot like noisemakers and commotion. Nakupenda (I love it)!