Playing in the mud-building our house!
Dear friends and family,
We hope you are all staying and healthy and that the situation in your country begins to improve.
As many of you know, towards the end of January, Myanmar was beginning to contain the 2nd wave of Covid which has spread through the country. Unfortunately, Myanmar now faces new challenges. On February 1st the military gained country of the country resulting in a very unstable country and civil unrest. If you are unaware of the situation please check your international news in order to see the current political condition of the country. We pray for those brave youth have lost their lives of over the past month working to restore democracy to the country and keep them and their families in our hearts.
Due to the current political situation and unstability in the country we have chosen to focus our energy and time in the village at Whispering Earth Training Centre. Regular phone, internet and power outages contribute to the many challenges we face once again here in Myanmar.
Treated Bamboo Viewpoint Meeting Hall
We are so pleased to share that we were able to build our first treated bamboo house on the new land over the last 2 months! The building was the first experiment with treated bamboo, a technique using borax treatment to prolong the life of the bamboo. We also worked with local village carpenters to teach them new techniques of building, joining and working with this treated bamboo.
It took some persuasion to convince the villagers that the bamboo would be strong enough with the new design, but they have been quite pleased with the new learning and the result of the building. We still have some finishing touches to put on the building over the next two months before the rains come.
First mud building at Whispering Earth
We are also so excited to share with you that we have started our first mud building on the training centre. Due to the political situation and uncertainty of security, we have chosen to start with a smaller building in order to ensure the completion before the rains in case we cannot easily travel out to the farm.
Together with the villagers we have been making bricks over the past year and have over 5,000 bricks. We have completed the foundation and are almost complete the first floor of the building.
It has been so fun to see their faces as we tell them that no cement, concrete, steel or wood support beams are needed….only mud, straw, rice husk and sand!!
We have been inserting recycled glass bottle windows and teaching them a variety of techniques in working with natural building including; adobe, cob and much more.
We are so pleased with the result so far! We will continue to work for the completion of the building for the next two months prior to the coming of the rainy season. We cannot wait to share with you the final result in our next report.
Dry Season Fire Break and Struggles with Water
As some of you may remember, we have at forest fires over the last two years at the farm. This year we have been working hard to plant a green or living fence around the property and to create a small fire break to combat the fires during the few months of hot dry season here in Kalaw.
Because we have been unable to stay easily in town and run Sprouting Seeds, we have spent more time out at Whispering Earth. With more people staying here and building this year, along with an exceptionally dry hot season, our water source which we borrow from the neighboring farm has almost completely dried up.
For the last month we have been researching and visiting various sites around the farm to see what options we have to get more water.
We are pleased to share that we will start digging a bore hole in the next weeks! This is process becoming more popular in the local villages.
This will guarantee us a sustainable and endless source of water on our farm. This will completely change life on the farm! We are so excited as we will not only have more water for building and simple living on the farm, but we will be able to care for our trees much better and also will be able to grow more vegetables, fruits and herbs on the farm throughout the entire year!
Although we face extremely challenging times here in Myanmar once again, we are focusing our energy as best we can on the development of our training centre. Our aim is to be able to continue to support the people of Myanmar as best we can and make our small contribution to the development of the country.
With warmest regards,
Whispering Earth Family
Fun for all ages
The building is going up!
Building the walls with glass bottles
So many things we can make with mud
Making cob is lots of fun!