After three weeks of ramming earth and building form-work the end is finally in sight. It’s Friday, the home stretch, everyone is tired and ready to start their week off, but there is still at least one day left of brutal, manual labor. The question now is will we finish today, or … will we work another Saturday. As the pain sets into our backs it looks like or weekend will be cut one day short until we look over at the concrete mixer and think “what if we used that to mix earth instead of using shovels”? So, just to entertain our fantasy of finishing on time we put a test batch in to see if we could save ourselves some time and energy on the dry mix. After a few minutes of watching rocks spin around in a giant drum we had success. Now just to figure out if this will save us time. It did. We could actually move at about double the speed we were going before. Nothing could keep us from finishing on time now! Then the weather changed. The temperature dropped to a little below freezing or butts off, there was just enough snow to make everything wet and slippery, and the wind was strong enough do blow away our dream of finishing on time. But we pushed on. After taking lunch in the warm confines of the breezeway leading into the community center we hopped right back to it. Desperate to just be done we sprinted toward the finish, and we made it. Not just made it, but finished a few hours early. Now to take a much needed week of rest, and when we come back time to strip off the forms and see our final rammed earth wall … Finished!
London & Zhixiang