Learning with Seenappa


He joined the community as a daily wage labor while we were constructing our community kitchen, Ambrosia. Working with mud and construction of earthbag was new for many of us, including our head mason. Seenappa started showing his wisdom of mud by thinking and not blindly following our instructions – he would share his opinion on the techniques, and understand what are we trying to achieve. Soon he became one of the leading brains behind the building. After the fall of the first building during the construction, he was one of the brains to re-construct and learn from our past mistakes. He was being respected for the skills he exhibited.

After the building work was over, he joined the community as a man Friday. He would use his wisdom to work on any repair – he showed his skills in carpentry, land work, plumbing, electrical and working with any new material.

He doesn’t know Hindi or English, and we don’t know Kannada or Tamil – mostly we use few words, sometimes translations and drawings to communicate with each other.

As part of our learning process, we put up a constraint that no building in Aarohi will be of the repeat technique/material of the construction. This brought an opportunity for him to work with Bamboo in creating an absolutely unknown structure of hexagonal dome using mathematical concepts. We shared some pictures, some videos, some conversation, and some drawings – he would draw in mud or make a sample as a demonstration of his understanding.

As we made a few more structures at the campus he got to converse with wattle and dob, dry toilet construction, large scale hut construction. In between when he gets space of nothingness at the campus he does not shy away from re-creating with waste material

He starts with YES!
He shares his opinions
He manifests his understanding by action
He does show fear of failures
He is extremely hard working

Imagine Aarohi, a learning community, where we all learn from whomsoever we can!