mari, one of the NTNU 2nd year students, being welcomed by kiran

22.10.12 | day one ‘building community’

We’re really excited about the arrival of our NTNU / AA Visiting School participants, who will be with us for the next two weeks. Each day, one of the participants will be contributing a blog entry. Here’s the first, by Simen Bie Malde – a 2nd year student at NTNU.

Today was a very interesting day for us. We started off the day doing yoga as the sun rose above Dehradun. After an hour, we had breakfast on the roof and then we went off to Chander Nagar, the Nanhi Dunya school we will be working with. The trip in itself was quite an interesting experience for us, with horns being honked everywhere. We met with the school teacher and some of the children – though right now a lot of them were away because it’s festival season here. It was really nice meeting them and we received a warm welcome. Afterwards we had a tour of the site. Though there is enough room for all the children, the learning conditions are very bad. The buildings are old and worn, and the roof leaks. We also visited the slum area around the school. The living conditions are of a different world altogether from what we’re used to.  In spite of the conditions, everyone is so happy and welcoming – it’s quite bizarre.  Hopefully we will give them something they will enjoy, and we hope what we are doing here will generate a sense of community for the families attending the school.

Our task is to design and build a pavilion that will be used for Alex, Ivar and Clem’s main project as a laboratory. Furthermore, it should also serve as extra resource for the school in terms of a crafting area, film screening and Chai making spot. We were divided into four groups, and by the evening every group presented an idea for a design which we discussed together. I have to say it looks promising so far, and it seems we are all on the same page regarding the general ideas of the building. Tomorrow we will refine our sketches and agree upon a design which we can start building on Wednesday.