There has been progress on our building as you can see from these photos. The forest of bamboo internal supports is being removed and the external rendering has commenced. Initially, this is painted with a white primer which will get a top coat in a year or so when the cement has done whatever it is that takes cement a long time to do- dry properly perhaps?
We decided that the room which will become our work room needed more natural light than the original plan allowed. We are often without electricity, relying on natural light, so need as much of it as possible. The unrendered, exposed bricks you can see in the photos will be knocked out in the next few days and windows fitted. In Nepal, buildings are built extraordinarily close together. Sometimes walls may only have a few centimetres between them. This means that a window that allowed light in one month, can be totally blocked by a new building the next.
We are negotiating with the people who helped us with the land we are building on to buy the strip of land adjacent. This is primarily to allow us to run two cows and plant a small nursery for seedlings as income generation activities. We may also be able to follow up a long held interest in vermiculture. Some women in other areas are earning a living from selling the fertiliser produced by the worms. The other advantage of owning this land is that the windows allowing light into our work room will not be suddenly blocked by near neighbours. And we use that term literally.
Our street is a reasonably busy street, by our standards, which runs off the main highway but is currently unsealed. It is mainly traversed by motorbikes and the occasional rickshaw. Eventually, as more concrete homes are built, replacing the lovely old traditional timber homes on stilts, the road will be sealed. This is paid for by the VDC and home owners. More and more people are moving from agricultural lifestyles in the hills to highway towns like Birtamod where they see more potential for their kids. Who knows. We hope that we can move in in a couple of months or so. But there will be more photos before then! We continue to be so grateful to people who are making this possible. Alison Lee at Craftcast raised over $1600 with her raffle; Alison Gallant, Bettina Welker, Christi Friesen and the Travelling Necklace crew are regularly sending money they have raised. So many others send donations regularly. We hope these photos show that your donations are being thoughtfully and carefully spent. They can’t show our great joy but we are working on how to show that.