It’s the next day and I’m supposed to head to San Hose in a borrowed pickup truck. Before I do though I’m going to check the roads. A kilometer down our gravel road the rain has gouged out over a meter of the road base. Small rivers run every 50 meters making the ride very tricky. Some of the road is like a creek bed. Even the large embedded boulders have been scored out of the road. This explains the lack of traffic on our track. The local bikes have skinny; mostly bald tires and cant handle the heavy stones very well.
In town I head to the police station. At the front of their HQ I stop and ask the duty officer if the road to San Jose is ok…he laughs and says “No Good! 2 bridges dead!” Bummer! No San Jose for the next week.
The next bit of good news is there is another typhoon heading our way on Saturday. Time to buy some dry goods and stock up in case the bridge on our track goes.
At the farm we have 2 bamboo and thatching structures. Ruby, our volunteer from Australia is building herself a hut we codesigned with her. Our idea is to build a building using local resources that can resist a typhoon. If it survives the typhoon season the locals will use our methods to improve or replace their homes.
Firstly we agreed the design should be curved so the hut is a basic oval. Curved surfaces are stronger and divert the winds around instead of taking the brunt head on.
Secondly we build the roof with a 45-degree pitch, the optimal angle for thatching. If you walk into the hut and look up you can see heaps of sunlight peeping through the thatch. Even so under a downpour, there are no drips. It’s amazing really. Somehow the water moving down the thatch skips over the gaps at 45 degrees. I see many houses here with a lesser angle now have a breached roof.
We also use bamboo pegs instead of nails. The pegged joints are also bound with nylon strapping. The building can take a hell of a pounding and these joints will just flex and sway. The pegs are 18mm down to 10 mm in diameter.
The next improvement is the plastering of the walls with a mix of mud, rice husks, lime, sand and cement. Once applied, this plaster gives the walls the mud brick look but best of all it gives the wall super strength. Clay usually cracks as it dries but with the rice husk in the mix it takes up the movement when clay expands or contracts. The final result looks earthy and it breathes.
Our Green Warrior Saturdays attract a crew of locals who love to learn different skills each weekend. We hook in and complete a project as a team and finish the day with organic cocktails made from mainly local ingredients. Last weekend we ended our work session plastering Ruby’s cabin with a mud fight. After a day rendering a mud hut, having a mud fight and finishing up with a few cocktails, the crew wanders off home. I can hear them laughing as they disappear into the twilight. Lots of laughing happens at Green Warrior Field School.
Here’s the recipe for a great cocktail we invented.
It’s called the SPERMACULTURE
Ingredients: a blender
3 young coconuts
Half a bottle of cappuccino flavored rum
4 table spoons of local muscavado sugar
a heap of ice chunks
Open the young coconuts and pour the coco water into the blender with the coconut flesh. Blend this until it looks like…milk?
Pour in half a bottle of the coffee flavored rum. Add the ice and the 4 tablespoons of sugar. Blend the lot until the ice is like a snow cone.
Serve it quickly before the ice melts. Add more rum if required!
Next week Ill give you the recipe for our latest favorite…HOT DOWN UNDER!