Saturday, March 30, 2013

Uganda Project Trip Part III (of IV)

No new backpack patch earned on this trip, but then again,
there's good reason why I've put this patch 2nd from the top,
just below the USA flag. As strange as it may seem, as much
as any place in the world, Uganda feels like home to our family.
Friday March 1st:

I haven’t introduced the team yet, so here goes:
Tim Butcher – Volunteer architect from Sheffield, UK; 1st time EMI trip volunteer
Zach Butcher – 7 month old son of the Butchers; a very cute little boy who has stolen our hearts
Izzy Butcher – Volunteer landscape architect from Sheffield, UK; 1st time EMI trip volunteer
Alan Adams – EMI-EA office Long Term Volunteer Land Surveyor
Johnny Martin – EMI-UK Intern; Architect
Jaimee Schmidt - Volunteer Civil Engineer from Manitoba, CAN; 7th time EMI trip volunteer
Angie Parra – Volunteer Civil Engineer from Boise, ID; 3rd time EMI trip volunteer
Matt Lammers – EMI-UK Intern; Structural Engineer
Jana Van Singel – Volunteer architect from Michigan; 1sttime EMI trip volunteer
Rob Johnson – EMI-UK Long term Volunteer architect who works in the UK office with me for this year
Dan Critchley – EMI-UK Intern; Mechanical Engineer
me - this was my 14th time leading an EMI project trip

(L to R) Tim, baby Zach, Izzy, Alan, Jonny, Jaimee, Angie,
Matt, Jana, Rob, Dan, me
It’s really been a great team and we’ve all got along very well. Once again, it’s going to be sad to say goodbye to the team when all’s said and done.

This afternoon, after we’d finished a 4-hour meeting earlier in the day to nail down the master plan and most of the building designs, the team took a break and went to the primary school to see their end-of-the-day school assembly. Though it was hard to put our work aside just as we were finally all set to forge on, it was a very neat thing to see, all the children lined up outside and repeating various answers in unison in response to one of the head teachers. Then, they brought us up in front and had us introduce ourselves. As the team leader, I had to explain who were and why we were there. It was a fun time as the children were very engaged as I explained what the different types of engineers do. I took a good video of the kids singing their school Alma Mater.

Also, one of the funniest things from a trip ever occurred, and I’m sick that I didn’t get it on video.  Some background - when I lived in Uganda, I was eternally being called ‘Brian’. The name Brad is not really used in Uganda, so most of the time Ugandans had a hard time even hearing the differentiation between Brad and Brian. Never has this been more clear than in this instance.

Before I got up to spoke, one of the ministry leaders sought to introduce me it went something like this:
“Hello boys and girls.” - Joseph, one of the American ministry leaders, said.
“Hello Papa Joseph” - the unified response from the nearly 300 students was impressive sounding
“I want to introduce you to the team who has come to help us build you a new school. This is their team leader. His name is Brad.” - Joseph explained.
“Hello Mr. Brian.”  - The 300 students happily answered back together.
“No, listen. His name is Braaaaaaad.” - Joseph calmly explained.
“Briaaaaaaan.” - 300 little voices together
“No, listen carefully. Braaaaaaaaa-duh.” - Joseph, though calm, was still determined.
“Briaaaaaaaaaaaan-duh.” - We all laughed and the introduction was complete (or as complete as it was ever going to be!)

Guess what the team called me the rest of the week?
These kids were so polite and respectful, and seemed genuinely
interested in what we had to say. I can't imagine kids back in
the US or UK being so interested if a visiting African man was
up in front of their school talking.
The school of 285 kids, staring up at some weirdo named
'Briand', who's apparently very particular about his name
being pronounced correctly.

Such lovable kids!
Saturday March 2nd:

Well, this is our main work day, and as I probably could have predicted, the power is out. Arrg! The guesthouse we’re staying in is at a monastery and operated entirely by nuns. But impressively, they have one of the best power and water back-up systems I’ve ever seen. For water, they have 8 enormous rainwater storage tanks. For power, a very nice and large generator, as well as a bank of batteries operating as an inverter system (batteries charge when national power is on, and then run the site when it’s off). Unfortunately, also predictably, both of the power backup systems are currently inoperable. Yikes! We have some battery power on our laptops, but this will run out in a couple of hours. Stay tuned!
For as rural as our guesthouse was, I don't think we could have
imagined staying at a nicer place. It's simple, but clean, quiet
and flush toilets and showers. So nice!
One of the levely nuns who took such good care
of us at the St. Stephen's Bon Repos Guesthouse
in Butende, Uganda
On the guesthouse grounds, where I sat, writing this blog.

Well, as it turns out, after a 5 hour outage that started early in the morning, power returned in the early afternoon and stayed on. This was a very good thing, as we had a ton of work to do. In fact, many of the team members stayed up until 3am working. Had the power not returned, we would not have been able to finish our work here. Thank you Lord for answering that prayer!

Sunday March 3rd:

Per usual, we attended church Sunday morning. It was a small rural church, and though we were nearly 30 minutes late (Africa time!), the entire congregation (60?) were all out front waiting for us to start when we arrived! Too funny. It was actually a very subdued African service – nothing at all wrong with that of course, just a noteworthy difference from the typical lively African service that goes on for 3-4 hours. As it was, we were done in an hour and 20 minutes, which was good because we had a lot to do to be ready for our 5pm final presentation to the ministry.
The team, along with the ministry leaders and the family of the
church's pastor. Two things are givens when Westerners visit
an African church: 1) you are going to have to take a picture
with the pastor; 2) someone from the group is going to have to
get up front and speak...

The list of rural African churches where I've had to get up and
speak is growing. You can be praying for these churches! :)
The presentation went well, despite the projector failing us (the bulb shone our slides blue on the wall, which would have made for a depressing feel in the room I think! J) So, we placed 4 laptops around a circular table and just had people press the keyboards simultaneously (or nearly so) for the next slide. It worked quite well.  The ministry was very grateful and excited for our team’s work. And actually, since we were working right up to the presentation, I hadn’t yet seen all the work that was produced. It was very impressive indeed what the team had done in such a short period of time. Really, up until Friday, sorting out the master plan had taken all our efforts, and so producing final drawings and sketches was accomplished between midday Friday and Sunday afternoon (with the power outage and church service included). But having 5 architects on the team paid off, as they were able to produce more work for a presentation than I’ve typically had on most trips, where I’ve usually only had 2 or 3 architects.
The team worked all over the guesthouse campus - here, the
architects found an inspiring and mostly shady spot
Meeting with the ministry throughout the week ensures that
we're heading down the right path.
...meetings and more meetings...
...and more meetings. (The interns love this picture because it
makes me look completely aloof! I admit it looks bad, but if
you want to know the full story...I'm actually holding baby Zach
in this picture, and had been walking around to get him to fall
asleep since both of his parents were presenting their work to
the ministry for feedback. It worked, and he felt fast asleep, but
the sun kept peeking through the clouds and I was worried about
him getting burned. In this shot, I'm looking at the sky to try to
figure out if I should head back into the shade or not based on
what the clouds were looking like. But yes, on the surface, I do
admit I look like I'm completely useless in the work at hand!)
The work room
A project leader's job is never finished. It's a tough job... but
fortunately, little Zach was a big fan of the Veggie Tales music
I had on my computer.

Intern Dan presenting to the ministry his findings on how to
convert the sewage generated on-site into biogas for use as
cooking fuel in the kitchen, thereby saving money on purchasing
cooking fuel (charcoal, etc.) as well as alleviating some of the
strain on the site's wastewater system. And, the compost byproduct
is a super fertilizer for any crops being grown.
Getting that presentation done always brings a sense of accomplishment, even though our work is far from over. But knowing that we have a path forward to complete the report by mid-May is a freeing feeling. It’s a fast turn-around time for us, but fortunately these three interns are proving to be top notch. I have been very impressed by all three of them so far this term, so that’s a big blessing, and gives me hope that we’ll have no trouble finishing on time.
(L to R) Interns Dan (from Colchester, UK), Jonny (from Northern
Ireland) and Matt (from Toronto, Canada). Top notch guys, other
than Jonny's unfortunate and blind allegiance to Liverpool FC.

Steve Hoyt, who has now worked out of our East Africa office
for 8 years, was my project leader on my very first project trip
back in 2006. Steve's a great friend now - he stopped by our site
for a couple of hours to show his own Construction Management
project team what an EMI design trip looks like.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Uganda Project Trip - Part II

Joe and Elaine Griswold, founders and directors of RPU and MSA

 Tuesday February 26th:

On this project, we’re working with an organization in Uganda called Tree of Life Ministries, which partners with a USA-based ministry called Real Partners Uganda (RPU) in operating a nursery and primary school called the Mustard Seed Academy (MSA). Having been started 4 years ago by a couple from New Jersey, Joe & Elaine Griswold, who were touched by the poor quality of education they encountered unintentionally while on a tourist trip to Uganda, the school is now home to 285 primary school students and 160 nursery school students. While a 3-acre site has been purchased and is being developed for the nursery school, the primary school is still held on a small, poorly equipped site that is leased.

The temporary classrooms where MSA now meets.
With the growing numbers and success of the school, the ministry has now purchased a few plots of land nearby totaling 11 acres and has asked EMI to come master plan and design a new primary school and secondary school to begin to move the school into for this coming school year. With their lease expiring on their primary school site at the end of the year, the ministry hopes to have a large classroom building built by the end of the year to move the school into starting in February 2014.

The MSA primary students praying at the end of their school
day. The temporary classroom buildings can be seen behind.

So back to the trip, this morning we finally got to do our programming meeting with the ministry in the morning, and then the surveyor went out and did the boundary survey. We have the blessing of using an RTK GPS survey station on this project, which is a first for me. This piece of equipment can cost nearly $20,000 new, but this is a slightly older model that was donated to us by a company in Canada that knew one of the East Africa office staff members. I walked around with the surveyor as his official ‘hacker’ – which is to say, I carried a ‘panga’ (an African machete) around and cut down some small eucalyptus trees that were blocking him from getting a reading. Eucalyptus trees are very easy to cut down (it only took 2 whacks to bring down a 3” trunk, and not more than a dozen whacks to bring down a 6” trunk with a 20+ foot tree towering above). But nevermind the efficiency of the panga, it made me feel pretty manly to be out downing trees. (By the way, lest anyone think I was needlessly ‘murdering’ innocent trees, eucalyptus trees are an ‘introduced’ species in Africa that can actually damage the surrounding ecosystem. They suck up water like few trees can, and they grow like weeds and tend to choke out other species. The ministry plans to get rid of them on the site anyway, and reintroduce native species.)
Cutting down the trees - I suppose it would look a bit more
impressive if I'd had to remove my backpack to fall the tree.
I can assure you though, it took extreme manly qualities to
chop these trees down... but I was able to do it anyway.

Who wouldn't want a picture with
a friendly foreigner carrying around
a huge knife?
By the end of the day, I was feeling the effects of the heat after a long day in the sun. Apparently, I’m out of practice from being in the UK - my pale white skin serving as sufficient visual confirmation of that.

A beautiful forest...of non-indigenous species.
One other notable thing from the day, I was reading my bible during a brief break in the action (I honestly don’t do that very often, just open my bible and read it for a short spell in the middle of the day), and I came across a very familiar verse in Psalm 51 (verses 10-12). In fact, it was made into a song by Keith Green many years ago – “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Now I have listened to that song many times through the years, but to my knowledge/memory I haven’t really taken notice of the meaning of these verses before. This time however, when I read this passage, I felt it immediately spoke to me in a couple of ways. Firstly, a pure heart for God is something that should produce joy, and God wants us to live in that joy. And second, it takes a willing spirit to be able to experience that joy. Sometimes when I come on trips, I can get very task-oriented and focused on the project, and during any down time I tend to just think about Alisha and the boys back home and start missing them and feeling sorry for myself, waiting to return home. But on this trip thus far, I have really felt a strong sense that I’m to live in the moment, and not think beyond the day I’m living.
Setting up the equipment on site...

I realize that probably sounds very basic to most people, but when I am separated from my family on these trips I sometimes have to battle a dark, inner struggle with missing them and just wanting to get back to them and our ‘normal’ life (ha – normal!). Of course I am able to hide it and still function as a team leader, and I sincerely doubt anyone could know from the outside that such a battle was raging on the inside, but it’s definitely a struggle I wrestle with on project trips. This time though, I really wanted it to be different.
Surveyor Adam and his captive audience. If you ever want to
draw a crowd in Africa, just set up some fancy equipment.

Very fancy equipment - the RTK GPS station.
Alisha and I talked about this before the trip and it was encouraging to come to realize that sometimes, talking and communicating with home a lot during a trip can make it harder on both of us. So this trip, we decided that I should really focus on only the day I was living and not worry as much about contacting home, and in doing so, to have joy despite the struggle. Seeing this verse was a good reminder and confirmation that God was leading us to keep that mindset. Fortunately, the miracle of the iPhone allows us to iMessage all  over the world, so while contact was reduced, we could still get a message to each other when necessary.

And I have to say, thus far, for this trip, it has been much easier to be ‘here’ than it normally is. I hope I can keep it up - one day at a time.
Heading out to setup for the survey

Thursday February 28th:

Yes, I know I’ve skipped a day. But I think I’m going to be changing the format here and just report on trip highlight and/or lowlights. It feels more interesting to me than a chronology. But catching up to the present, we had our first presentation back to the ministry after the architects came up with an initial master plan scheme.  The ministry absolutely loved it! It was clear that our architectural team was very skilled and had done an excellent job of planning out the site.

However, right before the meeting, Rob and I (Rob is a volunteer architect in the UK office for this year, and a good friend) had a discussion about the site being over-programmed and crowded. One thing that is unusual about this site is that it is split into two, with a piece of land between that is not theirs. Rob and I discussed and ultimately presented to the ministry that we felt it was important for many reasons that they acquire the land between their two sites.  They had previously tried to purchase it, but the landowner, sensing that some westerners were planning a big project, raised his price to absurd levels.

We advised them of the many concerns that we saw with not having the land: they would have to provide double utility services since there would be no way to connect water, power or sewer lines across; the potential exists for a neighbor to move in and build something they wouldn’t want near their site (some past examples I’ve seen happen are a mosque, pig farm and noisy retail and nightclub buildings; there would be security concerns and challenges with having to secure two separate sites; the master plan as they want it ultimately doesn’t really fit on the site, and thus there will be a loss of program.
(L to R) Architects Tim, Rob and Jana work away on a master
plan scheme to present to the ministry.

They heard our concerns and said they would think and pray about what to do. Then this morning, I went out to their apartment to meet with them and they confirmed that they had contacted their board back in the US and all agreed to pursue purchasing the land in between. It meant that our preliminary master plan would need to change, but overall it was a relief as it gave us more space and flexibility to work with.
Meeting with the ministry leaders to present the master plan.

One interesting thing that the ministry is doing this week while we’re here is to finally be able to test their current students for HIV/AIDS. The results from the first day of testing the nursery school students was not perfect, but was very good and significantly lower than the positive rate in this region of Uganda, which has one of the highest rates in the country. They were generally happy with the news, and any students who may have been positive can begin treatment soon. And, with the drugs for treating HIV having improved so much in recent years, the prognosis is actually fairly good.
One interesting, and somewhat disheartening thing about that though is that the fear of contracting HIV has diminished in the region. Since the medications for treating HIV/AIDS have improved so much, it's not necessarily viewed as a death sentence to test positive anymore. So in regards to changing risky behaviours, it's actually becoming a new obstacle in the fight against the spread of AIDS in Africa.
The students head down the road, single file, to the testing center.
Part of me was sad to see it, but at the same time, it was a good
thing that they would find out and be given treatment if necessary.

Happy, though clearly not understanding what they're there for.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Uganda Project trip – March 2013

The team (L to R): intern Dan, Rob, intern Matt, Alan, Jingo
John our driver for the week, me, intern Jonny, Jana, Tim,
baby Zach, Izzy and Angie - more about them in my later
posts from this trip.
(*Note: If you want to view any of the pictures closer, simply click on the image.)

Sunday February 24th:
I think Alisha and I have tried something different each time I’m heading out on a project trip in hopes of finding a way of doing it that will be easier. To date, no such luck. This time, since Alisha’s parents were leaving the same day a couple hours after I departed, we went to a hotel for the night near the airport since our car wasn't big enough to fit all 7 of us plus all the luggage (and also, Heathrow is a two-hour drive from our house, which makes for a very early start for morning departures). So Alisha’s parents were led by Brodie on the train and tube in London and Alisha and I drove with the other two boys and the luggage to the airport. We did have a nice evening in London, stopping off at the Science Museum for a bit (Museums are free in London!) and then dinner at a noodle bar.
But when the time came the next morning to say goodbye, it was once again just as hard as it always is. As the boys get older, it’s getting harder on them I think, or at least they communicate their sadness much more openly. It weighs on me, as Graysen becomes inseparable from me the last 24 hours, crying off and on, and Jonah just gets quiet and says things like “I hate this life”. I think Alisha and I as parents sometimes underestimate how difficult this ‘missionary lifestyle’ is on our kids, and that it’s a sacrifice for them too. I don’t just mean me leaving for a couple of weeks a few times a year, but also moving around for the past 5 years, and then me running off to some far off lands while they’re left behind in a different far off land.
Jonah especially notices and misses what he thinks is a ‘normal’ lifestyle. Of course, when we’re back in America, he doesn't really feel like he fits in 100% there either, so defining what’s ‘normal’ anymore is elusive. This is basically summed up in a book called ‘Third Culture Kids’ – which is a great book for parents who have raised their kids overseas. The gist is, missionary kids don’t fit in – not in their country of residence and not in their home country, and thus they are a part of a ‘third culture’ which is basically their own (and their siblings). Having once again moved overseas to a new country and culture this past year, it seems that we have permanently cemented our kids into the status of ‘third culture kids’.
Fortunately, a quick Google search found me
nearly the exact site I saw from the plane, though
you'll have to imagine full cloud cover blanketing
the full area, apart from the peaks you see here.
But back to the trip, after a final goodbye at the airport (Alisha and Jonah delivered me via the Underground while the other two stayed back with Grandma and Grandpa), I met up with part of the team flying out as others were on different flights. After an hour delay on the runway (always fun when you have an 8 1/2 hour flight ahead), we took off. Within an hour, I was looking out at the snow-covered peaks of the French Alps sticking up through the clouds (I could kick myself for not taking a picture out the window!). A couple hours later (3.5 hours into the flight), the map showed us flying over Benghazi, Libya, where the US Ambassador was slain last September with much controversy following in the news.
I find it amazing to think that we live just a 3 1/2 hour flight from such a place. Growing up and living in America, one gets the feeling that anything that happens outside of the Western Hemisphere is on a completely different planet. I never dreamed I would actually pass overhead or even visit some of these places you hear about on the news. I’m sure given the last 5 years of our life, you might not think much of reading about me flying to this place or that place all over the world. But the reality is, it is still a big deal to me! I’ve been to a lot of countries and places, but I still feel like a rookie in travel. It just shows how powerful growing up with one perception can be and how it’s next to impossible to change that paradigm in your mind. I’m still a home-body at heart.
Our flight route from London Heathrow to Entebbe, Uganda.
You can see Benghazi, Libya (marked by the red Google 'A'
marking) just to the East of our flight path.
If you could pardon me for spiritualizing this for a bit, I would point out just how difficult it is for our Christian faith to be received by so many around the world on the very same grounds. Growing up feeling like they have to earn God’s favor, or follow a set of rules and customs to be found good enough, or that they don’t matter very much and their life is meaningless – beliefs that enshroud most other religions in the world – this seems like an enormous paradigm shift for them to overcome. And yet, here we are setting out to try to provide hope to a group of kids in Uganda by giving them a school that is safe, clean, is inviting, allows them to feel proud, and even teaches them to take care of the environment (God’s creation) by using new technologies to run the school – biogas from cow droppings to fuel the cooking, solar power to help run water pumps and other items, rainwater harvesting so the groundwater table isn’t overtaxed, and other simple ideas that can help make a school function well.
Our old neighborhood in Muyenga, Kampala. Our house
was down this road on the right, past the white house you
see to the right of the road a ways down. Our boys named
this street 'scary hill' since it turns to dirt just above where
I've taken this picture and becomes very narrow, windy and
difficult to pass.
Same old Kampala - so much to love, and so much of a
stench to be repulsed by.
Anyway, those are my thoughts as I fly to Uganda for this trip (currently over the southern portion of the Libyan Desert). This world can feel like a small place from 35,000 feet up in the air going 530mph, though looking at the map on my screen and seeing myself getting farther and farther from Alisha and the boys, it can also feel fairly immense too. I sure hope the next 12 days are a good experience, but I also hope they pass very quickly!
The newly rebuilt gazebo at the EMI East Africa office in
Kampala! So much nicer than the original structure, and
bigger too, which is important considering that nearly 30
people gather there each morning for prayer!
Monday February 25th:
Waking up in Uganda was a strange feeling! Partially because I had gone to bed at 3:30am, but more so because it felt like I was home. It was a busy morning, and reminded me that leading trips when I was living in Uganda had some perks - namely, I could take care of all the little in-country details before the team arrived.  So, before heading out of town, we had a number of stops to make, not the least of which was a very fun stopover at the EMI East Africa office which probably lasted 3 times longer than it should have! The team had a good attitude about all the stops, especially when one of them was for lunch, so after all the errands, we headed out of Kampala a few hours later than we were supposed to. How quickly I can readjust back to African time. ;)
We arrived at the site and the slower pace continued, as we walked the site and talked with the ministry. However, the Ugandan general manager of the ministry was not available, and thus we weren’t able to do our all-important programming meeting as we’d planned. Oh well, if I’ve learned one thing on trips it’s that you have to stay flexible and expect things to take longer than you think.
Our vehicle for the week - a matatu. What it lacks in pizazz,
it more than makes up for in lack of comfort, unreliability,
and an overall poor safety record. However, with that
said, I've yet to meet a matatu driver I didn't like.
Arriving at the guesthouse 20 minutes from the site, we were pleasantly surprised to find a very nice (and big) two-story building, shaped kind of in an H-formation, that would be our living quarters for the next week. It’s run by a group of nuns from a monastery that is on the other side of the property. We were shown our rooms and I was quite happy to be given my own room (along with a few other team members), with my own little bathroom. Such a luxury on a project trip!
The team seemed happy enough with our wheels.
After dinner, the team’s tiredness was beginning to show so we turned in for the night after an abbreviated ‘get to know you’ meeting. Going to bed at 11pm felt early since I am still on UK time (3 hours behind).  Something I’m thinking about on this trip is to really try to be present here, focusing on the moment at hand and taking things one day at a time. So often I can either get preoccupied with missing home or be thinking too much about the product we need to finish by the end of the trip. Instead, I want to really learn all God wants me to on this trip, especially as I interact with those around me.
Traffic on the roads was heavy.
I sent an email out to the team a few weeks before the trip and told them to come to the trip with no expectations of how they will be helpful. It’s likely that God wants to use their technical abilities, but it’s also just as likely that God wants to use them in the life of another person, either a teammate, or a local person they meet.  I was reminded of this email by one of the volunteers, and I realized that I had forgotten about sending it, but it was a good reminder for me to heed my own advice and look for ways to invest in the people God’s placed around me this week.

Touring the existing nursery school campus - this site was
not a part of our work on this trip. (The large concrete
openings are a new experimental bio gas system - more on
that in future instalments of this trip blog.
A shot inside one of the classrooms of the school. I'll talk in
more detail in the next blog about it, but our team's job on
this project was to design a new school campus for an
existing primary school of nearly 300 students. Currently,
the school meets in these very run down, leased classrooms.

It's impressive how tuned in the students are in the classroom,
which is hot, dirty, dusty and poorly lit. Even so, these
students recently placed 2nd out of 30 schools in the district
on their national exams. If this classroom was in America,
can you imagine the mass exodus of students into home-

Next time...I'll introduce the project and ministry we were there to serve, but first...
...Introducing Zach Butcher, the youngest and easily most
popular member of our EMI team.

Baby Zach was a mega-star around the Ugandan children,
most of whom had never seen a mzungu (white) baby before.

By my count, I hadn't worn a hat in over half a year, and yet
on this trip, I wore one nearly every day. Perhaps some
sociology expert out there can tell me why I did this, since I
can't really say that I know why myself. Was I: a) trying to
appear taller and thereby obtain more esteem as a project
leader? b) using the hat as a coping mechanism for missing
my family? c) hiding the growing number of grey hairs
creeping onto the scene lately in a last ditch effort to maintain
a young persona? d) lazy and taking full advantage of my
short, 'project trip haircut' where it doesn't hurt my head to
wear a hat?