A message we received from our friend and colleague Pablo La Roche
"As always, we as architects we want to get a big idea across and I think that the
big idea here us connected with Energy that at the end is the source of life, is
that the Greenbaum residence is not simply a carbon neutral building it is
actually a carbon positive building,a carbon cleaner. You have managed by good design to reduce the air conditioning loads to 25% of a Title 24 building and then you use renewable clean energy to power the rest. The house is actually helping our
planet much like a tree does. you are using the great solar resource of the
desert -the sun- to help others! This house helps our planet!"
Pablo La Roche Ph.D. LEED-AP
Department of Architecture
Cal Poly Pomona
Today was one of those 18 hour-days, bailing out of my house before dawn to finish a document, skipping my gym work-out and leaving my running buddies hang-out to dry. I am in the dog-house to say the least. While the rest of the world was getting ready for a holiday, I managed to meet my obligations, drop my kids at school, organize the work load and go to Cal Poly to teach with Marco and meet a dear friend for dinner. In the meantime, coordinating my staff's work and contacting everyone who needed to hear from me. Finally, while driving home I realized that the problem I need to solve is to find a way to transport my molecules to multiple places.
Coming home exhausted and quietly, I found my daughter Sofia awake, waiting for me, hoping that I still had some energy to read to her so she could go to sleep. Little did I know, that in days like this, I wish I was more kicked back and not be so driven to live life so intensely so I could stop and just be at one place at a time. But, as I have been going solo, I have found that I am coming into who I was meant to be, someone who can stand on her own two feet, and fight my own battles in this merciless world of architecture. I hope my children will understand that all I tried was to trace a road map so they can find their own voice with a fierce determination, optimism and grace, because at the end of the day, it is all that sustains us, and that is enough.
Tomorrow... well, it will be another day. I will hit the trails with all I have and continue on my journey with all I got.
Today, Mother's day marked my serious commitment to training for the Chicago Marathon in the fall.
Running is as much about fitness as competition and courage. It is a way to balance a very intense way of life. The beauty of training for a marathon is that you take it one day at a time, you start slowly, follow a plan and allow yourself the opportunity to succeed, and have the discipline to overcome a poor day.
Running has to be done, for the sake of self, for its restorative quality, a time for reflection and an opportunity for gratitude.
Today, on my first 10 mile run in over 4 weeks, I realized that my running has changed in a more meaningful way. The trails and roads that used to be my battleground, home to a desperate search for any means to escape from my daily life, have become my "cathedral", home to my daily prayer. I have discovered that running enables me to fight disappointment and fear, it teaches every day not to grow old, to keep on giving... to believe.
I arrived last night from my trip to Africa. We spent a couple of days in Kenya (Nairobi) and the rest of the time in Uganda, visiting and working at the orphanage, the school (under construction) and broke ground for the new clinic (designed by our office).
It was heart-warming to see the changes in the orphan children's lives, they are healthy, happy and well cared for. They are just busy being kids, playing, receiving parental love and growing like weeds.
Uganda is beautiful, no doubt that their people and the place, steal your heart and bury it in the deep red soil, with the hope that you will return and see it grow. They certaintly kept mine for ever.
We attended Ronald's traditional tribal wedding (director of Aim for the Restoration of Hope) and it was a total cultural experience, since we mix with the locals as opposed to other Westerners who just hang-out in cliques and never really get to know the place.
We also, had quite a few adventures, we went on a Safari, tracking the lion and our vehicle got stuck in a marsh, so, we got out and helped pushed it along. The flies were merciless which led me to believe that the lions were close by and within 30 minutes, we were face-to-face with a couple of them who were stalking a buffalo herd. It is amazing how the wildlife has come back in East Africa.
I have to admit, that sometimes you go on an unexpected journey to far away places, searching, just to realize that home is where you dig your heels, raise a family and build a life. My soul has always known where I belong, our beautiful Palm Springs desert, where the sky is always blue and the mountains are at an arm's lenght, where my children, my husband, students, friends and colleagues, always reserve a place for this exhausted traveller and despite of it all, they are always waiting for me with open arms.
I have finally arrived home,