Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Than I Ever Wanted To Learn About Water

Until I moved back to Phokeng, I didn't give much  thought to where my water came from. I was as conscious as the next person that I needed to conserve water, but I was secure in the knowledge that I would have access to water at the turn of a tap.

The situation is very different here, in that, my family is responsible for their own water (we have a borehold). We do have access to municipal water, but that's just the secondary source. So you can imagine  how thrilled I was when the pressure pump started acting up, tripping our main switch.

We had to turn it off, and while we still have access water ( from the municipal connection), we have to be extra prudent  with it, as it has to support our household, keep especially vulnerable plants watered and water over 300 chickens.

So this morning has been about finding out what's wrong with the pressure pump and whether we can fix it  ourselves (best option) or if i will have to call the guy who installed it to fix it (costing me money). That took a lot of time and was stressful, and in the end, we had to buy  some parts.

I  also spent some time  visiting blogs I used to read regularly, but had stopped doing so in the past year. It was kinda sad to see that some people had stopped blogging. I hope that like me, it's only temporary.

I also published a new post on my vegetable  gardening blog. I started the blog several years ago when i first started gardening.

I'm spending the afternoon slogging away on client work. It's slow but steady progress, so I'm not complaining.


cat said...

Wow, you are back!

Damaria Senne said...

Yes, I am. I missed you all.

po said...

On a side note, I was told yesterday that a good way for a scientist to get a job in SA is to have some kind of water studies attached to your name- Working for Water is a big deal apparently. Too late for me! But interesting to note.

Damaria Senne said...

@po- I still struggle with the idea that in SA a scientist can struggle to find a job. I get taht such jobs depend of grants, and lately, those seem to be getting smaller and smaller. But we do need them so desperately, and govt punt the fact that we need them so much, my head can't wrap around the fact that there are areas where finding employment is a problem.

Unknown said...

I love having you back. :)

Isn't it nice when the mundane is the main focus of your day? After the ride you've been on, you deserve a break.

po said...

Damaria, I could write about a few posts about Science in South Africa - it is really sad. I am so shocked at how little scientists are valued, I am struggling to get my head around it. Good thing is I don't want to be a scientist for life.

A person doing a postdoc (first job after PhD) in the UK is not considered a student - they are employees and get paid about 26 000 - 32 000 pounds a year. They will had studied about 6 years to get their PhD.

In South Africa, a postdoc is considered a student! This after 3 year degree, 1 year Honours, 2 year MAsters and 3-4 year PhD. They get funding bursaries just like students. I saw an advertisement for a postdoc position for R70 000. For an entire year. And probably they will have to subtract their research costs from that. That is less than 6 000 pounds for an entire year. And the cost of living in SA is not that much less than the UK. Any person who stays in SA after their PhD would be crazy, judging by those numbers :( so the country is training up hordes of very qualified people but will struggle to keep them. The place I worked at in the UK was full of postdocs, who are excellent researchers doing the bulk of discovery type work. In my department in SA there are none - the departments cannot afford to hire them and no one is crazy enough to accept such financial conditions after 10 years of studying. And they shouldn't cos they are basically the most qualified people on earth.

However I would encourage South Africans to study Pharmacy and Geology as there are hordes of those kinds of jobs. As for biotech - as far as I can tell there are hundreds of us trying to work for about 4 companies in Cape Town.

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