Sigh. Another semester at Olin flashes by and I’m still puzzling over
Once upon a time, in the land of skyscrapers and alleys jammed with bored taxis, I found the right skyscraper at the back of the wrong alley and took the elevator to the 12th sketchy floor.
“Have you ever seen The Life Aquatic?”
Welcome to the Coastal Preservation and Development Foundation. Sounds impressive, don’t it? Three guys packed into a sardine can excuse for an office, tapping away at laptops, trying to save the world one tropical island at a time.
On paper, CPAD is a [cough] grassroots [cough] organization working towards sustainability on the touristy
Not to mention the pterodactyls. Their
Ummm...right…so I had an internship at CPAD (interns don’t get glocks), working on a gloriously glamorous project. That's right, kids! It's everyone's *favorite* dinnertime conversation: SEWAGE, BABY!!! My swell mission: look at how waste water is handled on the island [cough]holesintheground[cough], examine how it's affecting the ecosystem, research alternatives, determine how practical they are, and James Bond. (<-- That's the gloriously glamorous part.) I hate to admit it, but I had a fantabulous time.
This sounds a little weird, but my sewage quest led me through a lot of paradigm shift musings. Honestly, how many people get to run around a tropical island and ask the locals, “Hi, I’m another stupid tourist. So…wanna talk about sewage?” I thought a lot about the way communities develop when tourism strikes, how I travel, and where I spend my money. And I found out that the holesintheground method isn’t half bad. It’s when stuff starts leaching into the ocean that problems arise…
However, the most awesome things that came out of CPAD were the side tangents. CPAD is looking to build a green research building on the island, so I started doing a little research on mud building in
Took a 2nd class bus to Chiang Mai after school. I found the right bus by reading the sign in FUCKING THAI! (Yesssssssss!!! I learned something!) I was only white person onboard…(I’m not a tourist, I swear…) Had a wonderful time at the Chiang Mai bus station teasing the taxi drivers who were trying to rip me off, then (following instructions), found my way to a random back alley with a random white truck, and jumped in. The driver was very friendly and I held up half a conversation with him in
Wow, that place is…amazing. Imagine a cooperative community snuggled in the foothills with happy little kids running around speaking 3 + different languages (English, Thai, Burmese). It was the antidote to the smognoisepollutionblatantconsumerismhurryhurryfast that had been killing me in other parts of
...and so many mind-bending conversations…
What am I doing?