So much strange & crazy

One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live


Today, I was supposed to go to San Juan Mixtepec, a village outside of Oaxaca, to build houses with Adobe for Women as part of an article I’m writing. However, the road was washed out from all the recent rains.

This is what the structure looked like when we first arrived.

This is what the structure looked like when we first arrived.

Instead, I went to another little village, San Pedro Apostol, and volunteered with a group of architects to help build a small recreation facility. I was told that when finished, the structure will look the basically the same as the picture, but have a clay-tile roof.

The architects and architecture students had been working on the project for a little while. They’ve posted pictures on Facebook, through the “Es como vivir afuera” group.

I never knew bamboo was such a tough wood. It’s light; I could pick it up with no problem, and drilling was a cinch. Hacking and chopping, on the other hand, was more difficult. Using chisels, we chip-chip-chiped the necessary shaping into each piece of the ceiling.

I also found that I have not appreciated all the work that goes into the building process. The hours of work we dozen-or-so people did produced only partial rafters on one side of the structure.

What the building looked like when we were finished, as a storm rushed toward us.

What the building looked like when we were finished for the day.

Despite our slow progress, the people of the village appreciated the work the architects were doing. A few community members prepared a tamale-and-pozole lunch for all of us, which was hungrily scarfed down.

As the picture to the right shows, however, our afternoon work was cut short as a storm blew over the mountains.

All in all, I felt it was a good day’s work. I like the occasional physical labour. It’s a nice change from the computer screen, telephones, tough interviews and deadlines.

Here are a few more photos from the day:

We chipped away at bamboo with chisels and wood hammers.


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This entry was posted on July 10, 2011 by in Journalist Diary, Photography, Travel Tales and tagged , , , , .
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