edge of the arch and form-work

31.03.13 | day eight building community iii

Today’s blog has been written by AA Visiting School participant Maria Belen Sacheri, a recent architecture graduate from Argentina:

It’s Sunday! Our first week in Hariharpur is over. So many things have happened, so many experiences to be remembered! But there’s still a lot to build and learn! We started early, very early considering it was Sunday. But there was too much to be done! The trenches were finally ready, so we started with the compaction of the soil, for the concrete to have a strong support. Then the concrete came, and we all had to stand in line to take the buckets full of concrete to the trenches. Even the villagers who were around the site to watch us work helped carry the buckets. We all took turns spreading it, which was quite an experience for many of us who had only seen it done by labourers before. The mason then finished the leveling so that the surface was left ready for the fired bricks foundations.

After lunch we could finally relax! While the concrete dried we went on a road trip! We traveled Indian style: we managed to fit 13 people in one car! And giggling and talking, off we went to Nizamabad. Meanwhile Clem, Pankaj and Kritika completed the barrel vault mock-up, while the engineers, Alex, Leika and Ivar caught up with drawing and admin. Nizamabad is one of the three villages ITRHD is trying to promote, which has a very rich tradition in pottery. We were welcomed there with indian snacks and cold drinks, and we had a go with the wheel, making our own pieces of pottery! After some walking around and shopping, we faced a group of curious people of all ages, who had gathered around us to study and take pictures of the white strangers that had intruded their village. We really felt like stars!

Back in Hariharpur, we had lamb for dinner, and ended the night watching a Bollywood movie projected on the terrace wall.