Sharing information and promoting earthbag building
|Dome Cottages in Thailand
Krpasundarananda is a Meditation teacher with Ananda Marga and has been a Monk since 1991. His first assignment was in Australia, then he was transferred to New Zealand where he worked for more than eight years teaching meditation at the universities, renovating a meditation center, organizing yoga weekends and setting up (and renovating) a retreat center. Then in 2000 he was transferred to Africa where he started to make newsletters like what is posted below. Though his main job is to teach meditation and help people to realize their spiritual goals, in many cases people don't have the minimum necessities of life, so social service has become important. As his background is engineering and he always had an interest in construction and alternative energy, he got involved with alternative building through an article someone forwarded him about Nader Kalili. In the last few years he has built many domes in different places around the world.
After a little more break in Singapore I was off to Thailand. The original plan was to use the dome building workshop to build a naturopathic clinic. Only the site was not yet suitable to provide accommodation for all the volunteers and trainees. In the end we decided to shift the training to Didi's children's home in Sanklaburi. Didi was also very interested and in need of some cottages to provide a bit better standard accommodation for the volunteers.
Brother Abhijiit designed the whole area and four dome structures would provide the living space. Again there were quite a few obstacles to overcome... when I visited 10 days before the program we realized the whole week next was a public holiday. We only had two days to locate the factory that produced this tubes we use for the building. I knew Thailand would manufacture them but where? Through internet and phone we got maybe 10 contacts but in the end all failed. Didi didn't give up and finally through a cement company we got the right lead. Next day Sarita' and myself went to the factory and found they had one roll exactly the size we needed. Normally it's a 10 day advance order!
The training and building went well with so many people involved. Few had specially come to do the training and others from the Burmese refugee community were very keen to acquire these new skills. Beyond this there where dozens of children who gave us such supply of mix that often we had a hard time to keep up. The children just had great fun and in the end a house to claim as built by them. It's something really great for a small child to build a real house!
We just completed the shell by the time I had to leave. I think quite a bit more has been done since but the final finishing can only be completed after the rainy season.
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