Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tractors and Translating and Tanzanite

My life right now! I am working on a custom tanzanite and white gold ring for a client-friend. It is a piece for her daughter, using a stone bought when my client was in Tanzania a decade ago, a gift to commemorate her daughter graduating high school and celebrating a birthday.

It's been a massively challenging piece to make. Lots of very small scale complex curves. It's hard to make thick wire do what you want it to when you are working tiny. You need lots of leverage. Also rectangular stones are by far the hardest to set in my opinion. So much precision. So much laser-focus measuring and cutting. And the soldering setup. OH, the soldering setup is so hard. But it is a wonderful way to continue developing my skills. Nothing like a project that twists your brain and challenges your endurance and ingenuity. It's nearly done. Yay.

When I'm not in the studio, I'm working as an in-person Portuguese interpreter here in the Bay Area. Mostly it's accompanying families on their children's medical appointments (well-child visits, cardiologist, dermatologist, endocrinologist, etc) but this last week I interpreted at a special needs school for 8 different people (school principal, student's father, teachers, county mental health representatives, occupational therapist) as they went over the student's annual progress, academic performance, behavioral issues, and goals for the next year. It was intense and high-level interpreting, as people were presenting formal reports and recommendations. All my experience writing business plans and donor reports was useful, as there is a similar vocabulary to talk about goals, recommendations, and evaluations across sectors.

Also in a throwback to Mozambique, I am doing written translations for an agricultural project in the Northern part of the country. I'm grateful that while translating on-the-ground in Moz, I took the time to put together a vocabulary dictionary with regional specifics and reminders to myself of particularly hard-to-translate expressions. I'm definitely using that to remember the local terms for things like "weeding," "mechanized land preparation," and "demand," all the while learning new things about field preparation and the benefits of using tractors and disking and improved seeds. Very interesting, and thankfully so far the source texts have been very well-written, which makes translating so much smoother!

Ok. Back to work. Time to set the tanzanite.