04.02.13 | day 8 building community ii
Today’s blog is written by Peter Abraham Fukuda Loewi, a sculptor graduate from Haverford College in Philadelphia.
I’m no stranger to manual labor. I’ve done competitive athletics my whole life, studied sculpture (large scale) at University, and have worked on production lines in factories. The funny thing about manual labor though, is the time it takes to feel pain. You can work for weeks on end without feeling anything, but as soon as you take a break, it hits you all at once.
So, our first (and only) day off was a tough one, most of which I spent on my back. At 1.93m (6’4”), lots of bending and lifting, shoveling, etc, really gets to you. This, paired with the start of a fever due to the constant change in weather, meant I was far from happy to get up this morning.
We spent the morning inside, the rain deterring most of our mud work, planning the layout of the exhibition. We split up into groups with the plan of the gallery space, and filled in how we thought the mockups should be displayed. After presenting, we all went to the gallery to mark out the walls, and broke for lunch.
About this time, the fever and muscle pain started to get to me, and a headache strong enough to stop an Indian elephant knocked me off my feet.
I went back to the hotel to try and sleep it off, while others started to sift more dirt.
After my 3 hours of napping (and everybody else’s 3 hours of sifting dirt, making bamboo joints, and unwinding rope for the jute jhalis,) I made it back to the British Council, still with a savage headache, but at least I was cheerful!
Not being able to help out with my usual back-breaking work, I helped unwind and separate the jute for jhalis into smaller rolls. It was a nice change from what I had been doing the first week, and very cathartic.
While a couple people worked on making a large bamboo frame for the jute jhali, the majority worked the newly sifted dirt into mud. Think mashing grapes for wine, but, you know, dirt for mud. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to hear so many poop jokes from a bunch of architects!
We closed the day the same way we began it, with about 10 minutes of stretching and aerobics to work out all of the kinks in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, legs and ankles.
Starting tomorrow morning we can start making the mockups in the gallery, which means it will be an early day!
On that note, its off to bed for my tired and sore (but cheerful and somewhat less feverish) self.