October - November
Back to Calearth, the second part of the Newsletter of my time there with about 3 month delay...
Last December I was in India in our Global Master Unit (Land community) Ananda Nagar. Our office secretaries asked me to do a presentation and decided to use this technique for a building there. I'll be going there in 10 days time and hope to start construction soon!
Last newsletter had a more detailed description of what we learned but there was no more space for many other interesting things. So below the missing bits and pieces.
|Museum under construction||Erosion control around the lake|
Above two of the projects out in the real world. The Hesperia museum under construction and the embankment of the nearby lake. Both would have been prohibitive expensive for the counsel to do. This is the same counsel that at first was so opposed to the construction techniques. The first sandbag building below, stood all the seismic and load tests.
|First sand bag building||Side trip to LA, helping Parvatii to make food
packages for the homeless downtown LA.
If I am correct this one is build with just sand in the bags, no cement used for stabilisation. And while testing the instruments started to fail instead of the building! The plaster has not been touched since 10? years to see how it wears.
One weekend I went to LA to attend our Dharma Cakra (group meditation) and had the chance to give Parvatii a hand. She has been preparing delicious meals for the homeless downtown, every week, for ten or more years now. All is prepared, packed and distributed with so much love that it has become a highlight of the week for many of the recipients. Not only providing a delicious and healthy meal but love, respect and care as well something they probably don't get any time else. Often other members or our Dada's and Didi's come along and play songs and chanting to really turn it in a full blown celebration.
|Rumi Dome||Open day at Cal Earth|
Nader Khalili's favourite building, the Rumi Dome. And indeed it is a very nice place for classes, meeting and just to sit and read. It's has a soothing effect on the mind both through the design as well as all the love and care that went in it to build it. Volunteers from all over the world working side by side.
Also the Rumi dome got the torture test by the seismic engineers and passed with readings well above the required. Remember the building codes are one of the strictest as we're almost on the St Andreas fault.
|Group photo at open day||Adobe dome to be fired on the right|
One of the weekends there was an open day, maybe 80 people passed through and got guided tour of all the buildings and projects. Quite a few of the former apprentices also took the change to come again and catch up.
|House with three vaults|
For those who don't like domes with round rooms there are the vaulted buildings with round roofs but rectangular rooms. This design is simple and elegant, go inside and you like to settle in. Its also simple to make. Moulds are needed to make the roof but this is also not too complicated.
|Air outlet||3000 sq/ft "Earth One" under construction|
One of the features of Naders designs are the wind catchers, a system to catch the cooler air above the building and vent it through the house to create natural air conditioning.
|Other sand bag building||Inside detail|
An other experimental design that past the tests. Here you can see the individual sandbags. The sandbags here are made from cloth with the idea that it would be more environmentally friendly. Later was found that the amount of chemicals used to prevent them being eaten by insects is way more harmful than the poly propylene 'tubes' used for the newer buildings.
|The Holy Resurrection Monastery|
In the middle Monk Basil from the monastery where I spend 10 days helping on their building. On the left is... me... next Tarvin who was supervising the construction at the monastery. On the right Nader Khalili and Iliona
|First try on a bread oven||half finished "Eco dome" at the monastery|
The monks did the same apprentices training the year before and had a try with dome building making a very functional bread oven. Later after all permits and designs were done construction on the eco dome was started.
It was great to spend time with the monks, though a different faith, they were very open minded and we found many more similarities between our practices and ideas than differences. I was also very happy to find that they were almost purely vegetarian and the monk in charge of the kitchen did a great job to cater for my even more strict diet.
|All the apprentices at our training|
Our nice little family, spending a week together. Now still in touch trough e-mail and I am sure those in the US meet in person as well. Hope to meet again later this year!
After my time at Calearth and the monastery I went to Boston. Christine, one of the apprentices, and her husband had invited me to come and introduce Ananda Marga at the interfaith program hosted at their house. They were with the Church of science, an open minded and practical branch of Christianity founded by Mary Baker in the late 19th century.
I had wonderful time with them and their friends from various other faith and spiritual groups.
Finally after few days in New York in our head quarters I went to Albany to do a presentation on the Super Adobe techniques for the yoga students of Viveka, one of our members. They also were very inspired and wanted me to come back to help build something...
Next to India for the yearly student tour. (with few stops on the way...)
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