My life is exploding.
Cee, being the badass she is, brought me THAI CURRY PASTE! red and green curry!! From THAILAND!!! She bought it fresh in the market and bravely smuggled it through customs and airport security from Bangkok to Boston. Came all wrapped up in little bags with a rubber bands. [sigh] Just like everything in Thailand is wrapped up in little bags with rubber bands. [sigh] One whiff of the stuff and I nearly died from happiness convulsions. Which brings me to my shameless plug: Cee knows Thai food really well. If you're interested in making authentic Thai food, check out the recipes and scintillating photos on her website: www.realthairecipes.com. It's breathtaking.
IDDS starts on Monday. 29 hours. I've been thinking about this for years, and working on it for the last 9 months. I'm helping Amy Smith organize the International Development Design Summit. Hahaha. It's really a mouthful. This is crazy crunch time. between trying to make sure everything's ready for the kick off on Monday, and getting 40 people with different flights from the airport to here including all the hazards of international, delayed, and missed flights, to making sure everyone's suite has cookware (totally underestimated the effort on that one) to dealing with sheets and check in mistakes, not to mention interacting with the intense documentary crew that's here to film every fiasco, I'd say every organizer of this event (there's about a dozen of us) has had a harrowing, jam packed day. And I'm having the time of my life. And the event hasn't even bloody officially started yet.
Life has entered the surreal zone. A few days ago, TIME magazine did a photo shoot of Amy in D-Lab (because she does great things and everyone loves her). And there I was, fly on the wall, puttering about, trying to tie up more loose ends for the summit. I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm here. Other adventures include transforming a rat infested room into a shiny machine shop, cold talking to restaurant managers for donations [shiver, shiver], and meeting people from Tibet, Zambia, Haiti, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Brazil, Tanzania... as they trickle from the airport into the dorms. These are the people I'm going to be working with for the next month. I can't believe this is happening.
(and I held my own in a Spanish conversation with Carlos who just a few days ago was working with my man Gavin Boggs at MayaPedal in Guatemala! ...this is the summer my Spanish is going to get much, much better because there will be so many people to practice with...)
"Sometimes I sneak in at night and blast things."
Two wishes instead of plastic flowers.
It's hard and fun and boring and chaotic and goofy and disorganized and challenging and happening.
And just in case I've somehow missed you with my waves of emails, check out www.iddsummit.org. Come to the public events! Especially our keynote speaker, Paul Polak, this Monday, July 16th. He's a HUGE player in the appropriate technology realm...he founded International Development Enterprises (IDE). An example of IDE ingenuity: producing a Bollywood film to promote and advertise their treadle pump. It should be an incredible talk.