After a day of meeting with engineers and economists to try and figure out the intractable problem of on-site sanitation for informal settlements, (even just the sentence is such a mouthful), I need to find ways to unwind. My little girl, who is four, presents me with so many opportunities to do just that, but I have to enter into her fascinating world of little things. She picks flowers for her teacher on her way to school and picks the 'cupules' (sorry for going all science on you) of acorns which she calls cups. These cups amaze me because they are such marvels of nature which I never noticed before. And so when I can't get my head around complexities such as on-site sanitation I turn to the simplicity of life for the answers. Its surprising how these moments of disengaging and just letting go help me to better understand academic concepts and theories that are deliberately framed to be grandiose, elitist and excruciatingly difficult. My only regret is that I can't tell my professors and fellow academicians that it is the acorn that helps me figure out the research problem.
|My little girl's Acorn|