Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 20, 2006

(Kate examining a new technique for roofing the vaults)

Since the last posting, Kate has joined the efforts to rebuild the burned villages in the Sudan. She trained at the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture in June and we both went for a refresher course in September. We took tons of pictures of the buildings and the details this time to make sure we have references for when we start building our school.

(The outside of the school will look similar to Calearth's 'EARTHONE')

The more I looked at the exteriors and the interiors of these beautiful desert 'sandcastles' the more I realized that the structures themselves lend a peace and psychological comfort that will be a vital healing mechanism for the returning IDPs and the war-traumatized. We really hope that the people of the region will embrace these structures as a new era for peace In Darfur and all of the Sudan.

(the inside of EARTHONE)

Human, an alumnus and part of the project to rebuild houses in Pakistan after the earthquake, was there with some great pointers for getting the local work force mobilized. He had glowing reports of the care and precision with which the locals built some beautiful houses in Pakistan. We all got together under the trees after long days of hard work and enjoyed some music.

(Human - in the multicolored shirt - and Nader - in the blue shirt - are conversing in the background)

The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture attracts some pretty wonderful people. I, and all who are privileged to study there have gained from Nader Khalili's insights, his wisdom, and delightful renditions of his own translations of 'Rumi'.

(Kate joins a couple of the other apprentices relaxing with the drums)

Nader, has a great chapter in a new book called 'Design Like You Give a Damn'. The book has some amazing pictures of the domes built in Iran. These houses are bigger than the grass houses that are the Sudan and ultimately will prove more economical (they do not have to be rebuilt because of rot) and safer. Nader has been a huge support and with his help, Kate (who is now ASP's resident architect) has produced a design for a school that we hope will be taken up by Unicef and the Sudanese. In the mean time, we plan to make our way back to the Sudan to start teaching and building together with the Sudanese. We are really excited about this creative opportunity and cannot wait to see each of the buildings take on the characteristics of the regions.

No comments: