10.11.11 | Jumping into the action – seen from the perspective of Jostein Fardal

10.11.11 | Jumping into the action – seen from the perspective of Jostein Fardal

I came to Tacloban in middle of the heat of battle. Alex picked me up at the airport and we went straight to Streetlight after dropping off my things at their apartment. I was quickly introduced to the fathers, the children and the people working for Streetlight. Everyone was full of energy and it seems that they are all happy to be part of the making of a new study center. The sound of shovels digging the earth emphasizes the feeling of something that is starting to take shape.

The last weeks Alex, Ivar and Trond have been working with the building permit, while the fathers have been preparing the site by digging the ditches for the foundation and making the iron reinforcements for the concrete. The project is now at a serious stage where many final decisions have to be made and many details have to be solved before commencing the real construction. How deep are the niches in the wall? Do we use bolts or nails? How does a bamboo roof work?

Since there are many things happening at the moment, the trio has divided their tasks in order to work more efficiently. Trond has been in charge formaking the layout for the building permit and update the final changes. The last days they had visits from a local engineer, a plumber, and an architect who have given them many advices. Ivar has been checking out materials and construcion. He built a 1:1 model of the space between the roof and the on top of the haloblock wall in order to experiment with different dimensions and ways of constructing it. How can this be an intimate space suitable for the children? What is a comfortable size for a space with no given functions?

Alex has taken care of organizing workshops and they recently had one with the mothers. Theywant to include the mothers as much as possible and one possible approach is to make them help with the interior design. They discussed furniture and how to arrange the interior space through games and drawings. Alex, Ivar and Trond made lunch for the mothers, consisting of a traditional noodle dish and Norwegian style pancakes, which seemed to be a hit. Alex also assisted Nerren’s workshop with the children who where playing with ideas for a new hammock and a tree house next to the shore. After the workshop the children went to test the 1:1 model and gave some feedback about the sizes, although some commented on why it was built on the basket court.

As an overall I must say it was really interesting for me to jump into the middle of the process. I think the guys have triggered some buttons that make things happen more easilier now. There are still some challenges yet to solve, but the guys are learning every day through what they do together with the community. Best of luck to you all.