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.
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.
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: