The week’s been easy going yet intense. There are moments of lots of rest and moments where everything is happening at the same time.
The beginning of the week started easy with me coming back from Assomada where there should’ve been capoeira but the guys postponed it so just spent the day eating and chilling until sunset, when I went back to Praia.
After Assomada, I had a chilled out monday as I was going into town for immigration but it got postponed until Wednesday. I planned to attempt the roof construction on Thursday as wind was forecasted to be optimal for our operation. I was required to be more ‘on top’ of my guys and could’ve been more clear on stopping work. On the otherhand, there’s definitely a principal-agent problem at play here since, even though I want to do my job as best as possible, there was no incentive for me to stop the guys from working since I am not directly responsible for capital. Stopping work could’ve saved money but I felt like it wasn’t my responsibility. This also included ensuring that our machine was picked up by the company renting it out. I figured, if you stop paying, they’ll act accordingly but apparently I should’ve been chasing after this issue more. I’m still learning anyway, and figuring out my role and responsibility as I can only work with direct feedback.
Either way, the real work was only going to get started on Thursday. I had a nice get together on Monday evening with Tuesday being a quiet workday, only really needing to come in for a discussion on progress. Wednesday was immigration day when I finally got my visa sorted and tried to look for necessary tools in town. Thursday was the big day…
Working with 10 guys, I had to coordinate the roof construction with the help of email instructions I had and common sense. Although I knew how I wanted to do it, it was a bit of a struggle to get the guys to follow since I could only really communicate through the foreman, and the 2 extra guys we had from the other company seemed to have their own ideas. I was tired of discussion to the point that I thought any action would be better, which is why I accepted one of the guy’s suggestion to do it another way. I was just waiting for him to see the failure of what he wanted to attempt in which I stepped in to emphasize my point and get everyone to follow the original plan.
Looking back, I maybe should’ve pulled rank earlier and dictated the operation. On the otherhand, I was trying to get everyone on board with the plan through collaborative spirit… but maybe I should’ve just taken full responsibility for any action and get everyone in line through sheer authoritarianism. Then again, letting people see their own mistake also allows an opportunity for us to learn. Choices.
We finally made some progress on the roof though.
Thursday and Friday were experimental days. I realized we either needed a machine or more people to continue work… and since people are cheaper here, I got issued more workers to a total of 15. On Saturday, we were working at what would probably become our going rate of 1 greenhouse section per day (big roof + ventilation netting + small roof):
We really depend on optimal wind conditions to be able to do this. I’m curious to see how we’ll go Tuesday as it’ll be slightly more windy than the conditions we’ve been working in.
Since we need all the hands we can spare for putting the plastic on, I’ve been actively climbing and helping secure the film as well since we need all the climbers we can get as not every workers is fit for this role. Especially in the beginning where noone had a clue of what to do, I had to take point at certain times to facilitate the operation, and lead by example in establishing a method.
The work is really starting to grow on me. I like this role I’m in and feel like I’m learning a lot of practical things in terms of dealing with people as well as technical considerations. The work is varied combining social, physical and technical aspects and leaves me with a lot of freedom to do as I please. Also, in terms of distribution and shipping, I’m learning about all the paperwork involved in making that all happen which may prove useful for my own enterprise. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have spare time to do further research on the necessary infrastructure for my pilot project which is quietly spreading its network underneath the surface…
As for now, I’m going to make some moves so I can make a move out of my current apartment and into another place. The place I’m in now is costing me an arm and a leg I found out on Friday (which I will have a serious discussion about with my employer) but I also found a cheap room very quickly through the help of the company’s secretary. Will be moving out tomorrow so have pretty much already packed and moving some small things now so I can swiftly relocate.
That’s it for now! Will try to update weekly and also share what I’ve been cooking, the music I’m making and whatever else comes on my path… to an extent 😉
See you on the otherside!