Open air study This week we have been leveling the site, making it possible to do mock ups and preparing for the foundation work.
Every friday the mothers have a meeting at five, discussing the past week's events, and organizing for the week to come. Today they could have the meeting in the new study center. Even though the roof and walls were missing, everyone agreed that the location was spectacular. We had just begun working in 1:1 with furniture, bamboo poles and ropes to sketch out the footprint and sizes of the new building on site. This is the easiest way for everyone, including us, to feel the spaces and understand what's going on.
Yes ma'am! We gave and update on what we had done the last week, and said that it had been great to dig with the hard working fathers.
This week we have continued the digging process, and are now almost done with leveling the area between the two old foundation walls, as well as removing large piles of soil and trash dotted randomly around the site. Digging is a good workout for the body, but after a while it becomes tiresome, especially for the mind, and a couple of the fathers were happy to start working on a new suggestion box with Ivar. Having zero bamboo skills Ivar quickly became superfluous, and simply had to sit back and watch the guys do their magic.
Mr bamboo Nestor seemed happy to finally be able to use his crafting skills.
After the mothers were finished with their meeting and it was our time to talk, it of course started raining, and we had to swiftly carry the furniture into the old study center, and continue there. Pointing out of the windows we asked about the distance between the closest footprint and the existing kitchen. We quickly got the answer that it was too far away, especially when it was raining. Most of the mothers suggested that we should build a kitchen in the new study center. We explained that first of all we already had a new fully functional kitchen, and there was no money to build a new one. We also explained that if we put up to many buildings, the park and the views will be destroyed. Also, the kitchen would only be used a couple of hours every day, and then just stand in the park as an obstacle, while the study center is flexible can be used all the time.
Ladies first Filipinos really, really hate to get wet!
It was a bit of a relief when the they understood more about the conditions of building in the park. This also seemed to trigger the creativity of the mothers, who now started drawing and thinking of other solutions. The most common suggestion was to build a covered walkway from the kitchen to the new buildings to avoid the rain. We said it was a a realistic and good idea, but that we really wanted other alternatives as well. Nerren explained that in the hospital she is working, the food is always moved in carts. With a big umbrella or roof attached to it they could avoid the rain, and the cart would also help organize the food and the cutlery. One trip would be enough, and the mothers would not have to walk back and forth like they had feared. Another interesting idea was that we could stretch a rope from the kitchen, and then just slide the food across the courtyard. It was a fun session, and we hope the soon-to-be-finished suggestion box will be filled with even more ideas!
Sketch it! Language barrier is no problem when people lose the fear of drawing.