Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Customs Hurdles


^ So...getting into the UK felt kind of like that ^
one hurdle after another that we weren't getting over.
     In London, the border patrol gave us a hard time for a few misspoken words, which required Alyssa to put up a courageous 5 hour fight in the interrogation room and left Jaspreet and I completely in the dark. Luckily, Brad steered us clear of their tricky traps and eventually we made it to Colchester!! At least for the time being...
     But the hurdles we faced today included some serious lessons. Just as we were giving up hope on all 3 of us making it into the country together, we surrendered to God. We stopped trying to figure out the minds of the customs guards and stopped worrying about the future, and prayed that God's will be done. We had no more finished the word "Amen" than we got the call that Alyssa made it through customs and into the country!!! We quickly remembered that we need to trust God in all trials, and that our fate is in His hands only.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Time to share testimonials!
My fellow NOVA girls trying out a Colorado Springs favorite: josh and john's ice cream
The eMI Colorado Springs office with flags of every country they've done a project in.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

High Elevation Orientation

     Orientation week has been the busiest and most exciting experience I've had in a long time! It's absolutely amazing how so many people from different places and different backgrounds can bond so quickly over their interest in design and a love of Christ. It is honestly hard to believe that I haven't known the other interns for years...
     Although our schedule has been booked solid between 7am and 10pm (see below) the information we're learning and the fun activities are totally worth the exhaustion...plus there is coffee available 24/7!  Ultimate frisbee, hiking, [actually fun] team building exercises, and indoor rock climbing are definitely great ways to learn about our fellow interns, and wonderful breaks from hours of power points and discussions. Lately we've been learning about technical information that will be helpful in designing in a developing country, cues on how to act in a different culture, our individual DISC personality profiles, and our spiritual gifts!
orientation schedule

     So the DISC personality test stands for drive/challenge, influencing/relationships, steadiness/consistency, and compliance/constraints. If you can't guess... I turned out to be a S/C. Some of the words describing an S are good listener, team player, possessive, steady, understanding, and friendly. A C can be described as accurate, analytical, conscientious, careful, high standards, and systematic. Together, they make a "peacemaker" or one who cares about people and wants a steady environment that promotes security. They usually like to think through issues carefully and feel uneasy when forced to make a quick decision. Often keeping their feelings to themselves, others may not be aware of their strong beliefs. 
     Next, we took a spiritual gifts test, to determine our top 5 areas of Spiritual Gifting. Mine are... administration, giving, craftsmanship, helps, and serving.
And neeeeext, we learned about cultures in terms of Identity (individualism vs. collectivism), Shame ("face"), Degrees of Directness (Truth), Status (Hierarchy), and the value of Time. It was so interesting to put ourselves in the place of different cultures and try to imagine how easily it would be to misinterpret communications. Most of the cultures that eMi interns are visiting are considered "indirect cultures" which means that entire conversations can having a different meaning from the directness of American culture.
More to come soon...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 1 and I'm already inclined to fall behind with blogging... But I won't! I made it safely to Colorado Springs along with 30ish other interns for orientation week. Although I sat next to a British man who didn't notice my seat going up and down all 5 times as he pressed MY recliner button, the flight went smoothly after he mysteriously left his seat for well over an hour of the flight. I've met my two awesome co-interns for the UK office, Alyssa and Jaspreet, and I'm relieved to see we'll get along pretty well on this trip! Today was mostly get-to-know-each-other stuff and a history of eMi, but it should get more interesting from here on out!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Geographically Challenged?

Geographically challenged? This Fall I will be in working in Colchester, UK which is about 60 miles northeast of London. In October I will be taking a two week project trip to our site in Uganda...on the equator! And beautiful Lake Victoria :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

StrengthsFinder

Before eMi orientation starts, we were asked to take the StrengthsFinder survey from the book by Tom Rath. This quiz helps determine one's individual talents and areas in which one has the greatest potential to develop strengths. My results are as follows:
Achiever
Responsibility
Connectedness
Harmony
Futuristic
I guess in orientation they will help us begin to develop these talents, but until then I will share what I've learned from Rath's book.
     Achiever doesn't sound like [most of the time] me. Maybe I subconsciously answered the questions for how I wish I was, because I would love to have the drive that they describe here, "Achiever describes a constant need for achievement...every single day -- workdays, weekends, vacations." Not me. But some quotes I really understood: "select jobs that allow you to have the leeway to work as hard as you want and in which you are encouraged to measure your own productivity." ahem, ARCHITECTURE. There is no better definition, it fits my five years in studio perfectly. And "Your drive for action might cause you to find meetings a bit boring." This makes sense...I hated when we would have class meetings around the table talking about absolutely nothing when we could be getting so much work done!
     Responsibility defined me a little bit better. In one of the book's examples an employee's inability to separate his personal ethics from business ethics cost him his job...but he found that a responsibility to do the right thing was most important to him. This sense of responsibility as well as taking ownership for anything I commit to are both talents I should learn to build on.
     I'm thrilled to get Connectedness, because it describes something I didn't even know was a talent. In fact, it explains a lot of disagreements with people in the part that says, "Don't spend too much time attempting to persuade others to see the world as a linked web. Be aware that your sense of connection is intuitive." Connectedness is all about understanding that things happen for a reason, that we are part of something larger, and that this implies certain responsibilities to others and to the earth. This actually touches a lot on why I'm going abroad for this internship. It says "you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures" and "seek out global or cross-cultural responsibilities that capitalize on your understanding of the commonalities inherent in humanity." I hope to make the lives of all humans better, not only to those who can afford it, but to orphaned children in Africa as well.
    Harmony definitely describes me. I don't like conflict and I don't like debate for the sake of debate. Unfortunately the negative that comes from this is that I am not good at resolving conflict without confrontation so it might get built up into passive-aggressive behavior. The book is helpful in pointing this out, so hopefully this talent does not lead to a weakness.
    Lastly, Futuristic. I think this must be a very common adjective to describe architects, because our whole job is about creating something new and bettering the place where it's built. The book suggests Futuristics pair up with Activators so that we aren't simply dreaming, but that the dreams get put into action. This also closely relates to my internship with eMi, as their slogan is "designing a world of hope". This experience really will be about putting my dreams for the future into action, and conjuring up ideas of a better life for the people I will be helping.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What is this thing?

find out about Engineering Ministries International at http://emiworld.org