Here I am, back at Grassroots United home base, with Andy Mueller & Mark Phillips, and our Haitian crew, Jean Louis, Annio and Samuel. Martin left the same day I arrived, without a chance to see one another, so I trust he is safely back at home, relaxing and getting caught up on life.
I received the warmest welcome upon my return from both the international community and my Haitian friends- it feels great to be back here again! Lots of changes here at GRU- they no longer have the big generator operating all day, there is a large roof that has been built over the tool sheds, and the Earthship crew returned to finish the earthship, complete with systems. There is always something interesting going on here.
The ‘Ti Kay Pay’ looks fantastic- it’s really interesting to work on a project where the torch keeps getting passed back and forth. The base coats of plaster look terrific, and the foundation for the galeri (or porch) has been poured. Mark got the PV panel & wiring done, and Jean Louis was most proud of the shutters he made for the windows. Screening will go over the windows to keep mosquitos at bay.
Inside the building, there is a bamboo ceiling with light clay/straw packed in on top of it to insulate the living space. From our travels to the countryside, it seems that thatched roofs fare the best in terms of keeping the interior temperature down.
We put the finish coat of plaster on almost three quarters of the exterior of the building. We may be back to the drawing board experimenting with recipes. We used the rubble sand, which makes the plaster behave more like a cementitious plaster. In any case, there are more shrinkage cracks than desired, so we’ll do more tests. The rubble sand plaster fared well in the sample tests, but that didn’t translate over a larger area.
Mark started getting ready for the framing of the galeri, but not before trying his hand at plastering. More photos will follow as the building takes shape. It is a terrific looking little house!