Monday, April 11, 2011

Earthships Changing Haitians' Lives

I was just sent this video, by my friend and filmmaker, Paul America. It is an amazing video of the work they are doing in Haiti and how they have changed these peoples' lives. It is a bit long, but worth watching.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Interns

"If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail." -Winston Churchill
Here they are:
my fellow interns
my comrades
my brothers
my sisters,....

From across the pond, came three of the loveliest boys.
Russell, my mate from Australia, always available for some funny words, or simple, heartfelt advice.

Sweet little Martin, from Edinburgh, who is always happy and always smiling,... and always funny. This is him doing the robot.

And Oliver, "Oli", who I didn't get to know very well or get an individual picture of, but I enjoyed every minute I spent with him. Here he is (in the red jacket) with all the other boys.

Ben Gluck, from New York, is a kind cook. Apparently he had a hand in feeding everyone while in Nogal. Here he is cooking for a party at Seth and Damien's house. Might I add, he is talking on the phone the entire time! Amazing!
Then there is Louisiana Ben. He is the youngest of all of us, the most excited and has the most energy. He taught me how to pound my first tire,...the last day of my internship!
Here he is (in brown shirt) happily showing around some of his friends.

Then we have the elusive Astrid, from Oregon, who is Chilean. Astrid is a very interesting girl, very sweet, soft spoken artist. I got the pleasure of having Astrid for a roommate my last few nights in Taos and I was so happy to have her around.

Miss Kat, originally from Edinburgh as well (she and Martin were born in the same hospital a few years apart), but living in Mexico. Kat came in quietly and stayed behind to continue on in Taos. She has a dream and a goal: to build sustainable hostels for travelers. Here she is with Jimmy.

And of course, last but not least, (I hope) is me. I am Jana, from Texas.

In all our glory and all our charm, here we are, the interns of May 2009. What a lovable group! In our best Charlie's Angel's pose,....

But it wasn't just us, and we can't forget those who joined us.
On the "unofficial", but very important, intern roster we had a few others.

Ann, from Boston, who came in the name of Jimmy, with Erin in tow. (sorry didn't get a picture of Erin). If we were all one body, Ann would have been the skeletal system. Always supportive and strong. Lots of great advice. Great girl! Here she is kicking ass in a volleyball game with a double rainbow behind her.

Here we all are eating sushi on Ann and Erin's last night in Taos. Also in this picture is Heather, also from Boston, in the pink sweater, who showed up a few days before we left and took some amazing pictures.
And of course we weren't as soar as we could have been if it weren't for Erica, from Orlando, our yoga instructor and spiritual guide. Here is the beautiful Erica, my partner in coffee shop crime.
And last of all unofficial interners, hanger oners, and earthship family is our friend, Paul. Attacked by hummingbirds, camera in hand, acrobatic-ing, and acting like he really didn't love us, even though we KNOW he adores us, he is silhouetting a gorgeous sunset,............ and we say goodbye,..for now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Final Week of the Internship

Oh, the last week, so sadly it came.

We started the week off trying to work on the roof, but everytime we got up there, a rain shower came and ran us off. One day hail showed up, so we grabbed our tools, covered our heads and ran. Once inside, we began digging trenches for the planters. Here is a pic of Honey on the roof wondering why we all went inside.

Here you can see Tim was building a step out of cans and tires in order to create a landing in the path up the tire steps. First he builds the can walls to make a perimeter of the area, then he begins to fill in with mixture of concrete and stones. The stones are used as filler so not as much concrete has to be used.

I failed to get a shot of the finished step, but here is a larger one coming out of the Euro.

Speaking of the Euro, on Thursday everyone moved to the Euro to help the crew get a good push on the project. Here is Seth and the girls playing in the dirt. The planter is massive and runs the entire length of the building.

I was put in the back with Ted, Navy Mike, and Ben. Our mission was to bury the three large, 1500 gallon water tanks with dirt.
In between the tanks and the building was a 10' deep trench which needed to be filled first. I began hauling dirt with a 10 gallon bucket from the front of the pile. We realized this would take weeks to fill this way, so Ted got on the dozer and began pushing dirt up to us, as we shoveled it over the tanks.

We didn't end up getting it all done, but we did get most of it done.

Ted bringing us dirt.

On our final day of the internship, I finally pounded my first tire. Little Ben from Louisiana taught me how. We did the best we could on the garden wall, but we were completely distracted by the film crew in the distance. That and Navy Mike continually yelling down from the roof, "Don't look into the camera!" "Cut! Cut!"

The rest of the crew worked on the roof while Ted was away playing movie star. It was finally a rainfree day and they were able to get most of it done.

What a view ! I hope these guys know how lucky they are!

Well, this ends the blog about my internship with Earthship Biotecture.

It was an amazing experience.

Since it wasn't all work and no play, I will post a blog to show the fun we had.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Doors of Taos

I have realized many cities have their unique aspects involving architecture. San Diego has its lush courtyards, Austin has its weird fences, and Taos has its beautiful doors.

Here are the doorways of Taos, which open wide up to all possibilities,....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Week Three

Well, it has been a few weeks since "Week Three" of my internship took place. I ran into some trouble while trying to do my blog that week, so I skipped it and then when week four rolled around, things got so busy I just couldn't get to an Internet cafe to catch up.

So here it is, Week Three, three weeks late! Better late than never, hu?

During week three we worked on many things. We started the week with a broken window, but I won't say who did that! I was going to take pictures because a 4'x8' piece of double pane broken safety glass with the sun shining through is quite a sight to see, but I didn't want to upset anyone, so I didn't document this huge boo-boo. Regardless, work was done on the front of the building. Ted gave me a break from the hard labor and had me help him with placing the sheet metal onto the front of the building. It had to be cut and bent so that each piece fit together, covering up any exposed tire or wooden surface. I learned how to bend sheet metal. I also learned how to rivet the pieces of metal together, and got my boob caught in the tool during the process. Apparently it is a common thing to get some part of your anatomy caught in the rivet tool. OUCH!

Anyway, here is the product of our labor:

The next day, a man and woman showed up who were renting one of the earthships. The man ended up staying with us all day pounding tires. This was a somewhat common occurrence on the jobsite: random people showing up to help. Amazing! Here is the difference between a pounded and unpounded tire:

Tim and I worked on the tire garden wall on the west side of the building. Lucky Tim, he got the inconvenient task of training me for most of the internship. I don't think I messed up too much stuff. But he was patient and a good sport. Here he is contemplating how to proceed with the bottle wall which will go on top of this garden tire wall.

He had me porcupine nails all along the top of the tires so the cement for the bottle wall would have something to grab.

This view shows the other side of the garden tire wall and the start of the bottle/can wall running underneath the rainwater drain. The black covering is the EPDM used on parts of the roof.

As I was standing around, I realized the "bushes" I kept overlooking along the fence line were really stacked up tumble weeds.

As the week progressed we moved up to working on the roof. We got the roof inspection for the electrical so it was time to cover it all up. Honey Bear, Ted's dog, came to work with him everyday and she really loved sitting up on top of the roof and hanging out with us. It was good because we didn't have to hear Ted yell "Honey Bear" all day while searching for her!

Here is the whole crew laying the perlins down on top of two layers of 4" thick rigid insulation. The perlins act as anchors and give something on which to attach the Pro-panels.

It was very challenging working on the roof because the rainy season had just started. It seemed every morning we worked on the roof and by lunchtime we were scrambling to cover it up again because of the pouring rain.

I was very happy when Week Three ended, not only because of the torrential downpours, but because Peter and his mom came to visit. Here is Peter is the Hut, lifting his collar for the cold weather!

Our course I acted like a tourist with them and we went to several "Peter" inspired places. Here is the adobe church we visited. We talked to a lady in the gift shop and she said the whole congregation gets together every June and restucco's the church. Sounds like so much fun!

Peter, his mom, and I went to a very tiny restaurant in Taos. I mean extremely tiny. There were only four tables, and if I didn't know any better I would believe they were cooking our food on the roof! The food was incredible and Dolores got the biggest smoothie I have ever seen! It was a meal in itself.

While we sat at the restaurant, bikers continually rolled past making way to a motorcycle rally somewhere (still couldn't figure out where they were all going!)

As we left the restaurant, I snapped this picture of the courtyard and gate. Typically lovely Taos.