Thursday, April 24, 2008


It was bound to happen

Well, yes, I have been out of circulation for the last 36 hours. I suffered a fall from the Likkens trail on my daily run at sunset. I was pretty bruised after missing a switchback while fiddling with my new Ipod and going at the speed of light. These are the times when I can reflect on all that is going on at the office, teaching and life in general, and if I would not have been so distracted, I could have had managed the sudden turn. Not bad, only three falls in 14 years, but on this ocassion, I really bit the dust, in more ways than one. However, due to medical science and a great dentist, Dr. Dennis Norheim, I am bruised and wearing an aircast, but as good as new... with a few more scars. I was forced to take a break from teaching and work. And I am so grateful to my boss and colleague, Judith Sheine for being so caring and steadfast. Also, this forced rest has given me an opportunity to act, instead of react, which is the way I lead my busy life. Tomorrow, I will go back to normal, limping a little bit, and perhaps on crutches, but I realized in this down time, that for every gaping hole that I suffered in my vessel, a new window of opportunity opened.
I am grateful to my friends and colleagues, and yes, that means, Axel, Peter, Susana, Cliff, Erica, Ronald and Lourdes, who have kept my spirits up in moments where I confront how fragile our humanity is. Tomorrow is a new day, I will either go teach or take another raincheck and go to the ranch and do some gardening with Maria and be back by Saturday, because a writer is arriving in Palm Springs to write an article about our work in innovative homes.

In the meantime, our clients have been very patient, rescheduling our meetings due to this misshap or delaying our deadlines by a couple of days.

We are so blessed to live the dream of being uncompromising architects who will do our best to be inspired by every project we take. In fact, I had a strange dream about Khan last night which in a whisper said to me, "your team is doing just fine... hang in there". I woke up with a crooked and sore smile.

The fall was a huge brick God threw at me, but I got the message... no more bricks needed.

Friday, April 18, 2008


End of the Week

What a week!!!! A lot of good news, our office is expanding and there is a sense of optimism in the air. The Cal Poly faculty will be in town shortly and a writer will be coming out to interview us for an article on "Sustainability". Teaching is... well teaching, great team of colleagues this quarter, a little bit overqualified but Axel and I are happy twins, always trying to learn from eachother.
Tomorrow, a great running day, my friend Alex and I will tackle the Tahquitz trail on a 2+ hour run at 6:30am, in preparation for Mt. San Jacinto climb-hike, whatever. If we can cut it tomorrow, we should be more than ready to tackle the 8.5 hike, (10,000 ft. change in altitude). We'll see how fit we are. I am ready, with gu, sunblock, water, GU2, the works... I love it. I would do it everyday if it was up to me. Only one issue... watch for rattles and don't get off the trail otherwise trouble may come our way.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Be bold, believe that you can, Boldness has a magic and power in it - Goethe

Another day at the office. After putting a good 8 hours non-stop even for lunch, I was drop off by Cliff at the Tramway, I took off first on the roads and then through the trails, where I found a dead rattle, whom I gave a Christian burial by digging a hold and finding her a resting place. The rest of the journey was about meditation and prayer, my own way to discover places and taken them with me, as it was a way to grapple with the beauty and divinity of this Earth and not to forget, that we all are fellow travellers, who like the rattle, will someday find a resting place in this majestic and God given place, our beautiful, eery and desolated desert, some of us call home. Happy Birthday my little Lourdes, you have been the only tax refund I have received in my life. My daughter, my inspiration and my blessing. I cannot imagine what life would have been like without you. I love you. Mommy


A moment of enjoyment with Ronald, the director of AROH-Uganda. He had not run in months or perhaps a year, and I took him for a 2.5 hour trail run and he did not melt. Amazing, he was so fit, and enjoyed our desert mountains, which reminded him of sections of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Massing of a Project

Playing with daylight models as the means to engage the massing of a fractional project for one of our clients, Makar Properties, It reminds me of Le Corbusiers early villas, very heavy in the skin but nevertheless a continuous wrap of the envelope with some surprising continuity. The context in which this project is located is very difficult but quite inspiring. Another job... another journey, another beginning and a true adventure with so many characters, scripts and agendas. At the end, it is a journey of self discovery, just mere fragments of stories we attempt to share as architects, to chiseled in this extreme climate and loaded context.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Running is for Life...When we get going...the "Buzz" goes on

This a trail Ronald Mugabi, (the Chairman for Aim for the Restoration of Hope) and myself ran just before he went to New York to continue with the "Mission" of raising funds for the kids in Uganda. It was a different kind run, because it was not the usual escape for the frustrations of our daily life, but rather our pilgrimage to our cathedral a place of a daily prayer, where we can find love, solace and redemption. Running is a metaphor for life, when we get to then end our selves, and the body gives up, so does the soul the heart, but God is all that sustains us...and that is enough.
Ten miles of shedding anything that shackles us, like old resentments, depression and hopelessness...We have learned to love lavishly when we are able and be hopeful of God's undeniable precense in every step we take.
God Bless you Ronald, you have been an angel who visited my house and my family and I are honored to have hosted you and Daniel.


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