These past few days Lorenzo and I have been busy jump starting our time at MASS working on housing for the Partners In Health University for Global Health Equity in Butaro, Rwanda. MASS’s first big project was the Butaro Hospital- now constructed and completed- serving over in the north of Rwanda. PIH (Partners in Health) recently introduced a new project, UGHE, to be built adjacent to the Butaro Hospital and commissioned MASS to design a large portion of the campus. Working side by side with the landscape design team in the Boston office, Lorenzo and I were quickly introduced to the project scope and more specifically the design of student housing along the terracing hillside of the to-be campus.
It has been fun and often amusing introducing Lorenzo to the city of Boston – attempting to explain why there is a clearly defined painted path beginning on Beacon Hill and traveling past the many revolutionary sites; exposing him to the ridiculous, endless breeds of dogs Bostonians peruse around with in the Commons; and to my greatest satisfaction, discovering Lorenzo’s love for Chipotle’s Rwandan-like bean and rice dishes and of course America’s number one delicatesante Wendy’s—whose sweet ‘n satly “chips” (fries) reminded Lorenzo of home.
Beyond working in the office, Lorenzo and I had the opportunity to contribute to the construction of an exhibit at Boston’s Biennial along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It was a beautiful day well spent outside piecing together MASS’s exhibit- a “pavilion” designed, fabricated, and assembled by MASS and a Virginia Tech student team. Check out the post of pavilion photos and if in the area, check it out along the Rose Kennedy Greenway right by the Harbor’s Rotunda on Atlantic Ave. It will be up for a few months and is an incredible space!
While it may have been a stage in limbo, orientation was definitely a necessary one. It was a wonderful opportunity for Lorenzo and I to be in the Boston office and meet the team of inspiring professionals we would be working with for the next year (despite the ocean between us). A step necessary to continue “sharpening my axe” in the states.
The 7 hour time difference definitely optimizes efficiency as we completed design iterations by 6:30 pm Boston time to be reviewed overnight (or Rwandan day) and returned with feedback from the Kigali office.
But goodbye to Boston and hello Kigali! Beyond anxious and ready for my next and year-long stop in Kigali, Rwanda!