Kitchen Walls collapsed

On Thursday we reached till the roof level, the bamboo order placed after lot of search and negotiations………….and about to start roof work from Monday. On Saturday morning we saw, three walls collapsed, the entire structure was down.

My first reaction “what can I learn from it?”One of the child who is working on the project, shared “I have learnt to accept failure, first I was disappointed, now I am looking forward to restart. Good it fell down and not when we would have done the whole work and cook inside”. She called up her mentor, took his view, both contemplated “what and how?”

As a guide of the project, lot of thoughts came in my mind

  1. Is it loss of 2 and ½ lakhs?
  2. Or it is saving of another 2 lakhs?
  3. Is it loss of money or learning experience?
  4. How do I define the cost of learning ?
  5. What this broken structure can teach me?

I have not done anything, I want to take my time to understand the process. May be, another opportunity to look at it differently.Looking forward to tomorrow.

Some thoughts two girls working on the Kitchen shared

Astha– Now the walls are ready to get the roof and we are so excited I had also started to imagine us use it I was feeling very hopeful just a week to go!!! After a few days I am really upset to see the kitchen collapsed and one wall was broken to the foundation, I lost hope. After a few days I am a little encouraged by Sriram uncle who is saying he will build it again and he is very confident and I had thought of trying another material but he wants to try again with the same material and now he is telling us it will be ready very fast this time!! with little hope and commitment we said yes.

Asawari – The structure had reached roof level and I was so happy and was dreaming of me eating in the kitchen. The bamboo was ordered and on it way and we were going to start putting the roof in few days. Alas! The structure fell, it just collapsed overnight. I was horrified; I couldn’t believe it and thought I was surely dreaming. I thought why the structure broken has, it was going so well. I accepted the failure of the kitchen even though I am very very disappointed.

I want to make the structure again. I have to think and understand the mistake we made and make the structure again, taking care of the mistake and other things. I want to make the structure without fear or anxiety that it will break again but with confidence that I had for the previous structure.

At times in past aditi aunty used to tell us “structure is not fun”. I used to feel, I am taking the project seriously”. At times I used to get anxious and think, structure making is very very complex, only adults can perform it. At times I wished, let aditi aunty only make the structure and let me take a more simple project. I continued with the help of Aditi aunty, Sriram uncle and Rajesh uncle.

Now I am thinking, Did I miss something? Did I make the structure without any seriousness that’s why it fell? Is structure designing for adult, is it for professional architects and civil engineers? Am I too young and I don’t know the skill to be able to make a successful structure?

I have few reasons the structure could have broken – too much weight of the roof triangle or as the structure was build slow; the lower bags torn with UV rays and stopped supporting the structure. Since the structure collapsed, money, effort and material has gone waste. Getting funds is difficult for me, I unhappy to get more.I am sad but still I am happy that it collapsed now instead when we put the roof or worse we are cooking, eating inside.Some questions I have to myself.

  • How is this experience helping me to understand myself and the structure?
  • How would have my experience be different if the first structure would
  • have been successful, would have my learning been less/different?
  • How can I understand the science behind the fall?
  • What should I do now?
  • What should I do different?
  • Should I continue with the same material,structure or change the
  • material and structure design?
  • How will changing help me understand earthbag material?
  • Where should I change my working style so kitchen can benefit?
  • When should I restart the structure, immediately with energy or after
  • some time of thinking and researching?
  • Who decided the mistake,who will decide in the next building what
  • mistakes I am making?
  • Who should re – design the structure me or a professional?
  • Why is science important in the structure?
  • What else I can do to make support the making of the next structure?
  • What if the next structure also fails?
  • What if the funds are low/nil?
  • Why is funding a challenging work for me?

I am still understanding how to move ahead. Sriram uncle is confident to rebuild the structure the same way with a few changes. Rajesh uncle is also coming to visit and help us out.

Lets see what will happen.