Today I drive with Regine to attend Kevins workshop on building with bamboo that he is offering for NGOs and anyone else interested. Kevin is a specialist in building with natural materials such as straw, bamboo and even rubble reuse.
Even though his “camp site” is only 20 minutes from Regine’s house, it takes us over an hour to get there due to the heavy traffic. Lots of little hand painted “buses” abound – individually owned businesses. Each have different messages written on them creating unique themes and adding lots of color to the streets.
concrete. Kevin explains that every single housing material needs to be
maintained, whether its bamboo, wood or concrete.
Most people think that modern housing in the US is made of concrete. In actual fact the houses being built in the US are primarily done with wood structures (2x4s), covered in plaster. In the case of bamboo houses, the bamboo replaces the wood and can also be covered in plaster. Kevin does a good job of giving the basic biology of bamboo as well as illustrations of what has been done from small housing to large cathedrals in Latin America and China.
After the workshop is done, Regine and I drive to meet Ben for lunch, catching up with him after his meetings. Driving through Port Au Prince there are large trucks moving debris which block the narrow streets, and progress is typically slow. There is much to see from the car as we move through different neighborhoods. Regine points out where tall buildings once stood and there are some buildings that are completely wrangled and collapsed into strange forms. After lunch we head home as I have a much needed massage awaiting me. Later Blake joins us with his stories of his interviews with the embassy and his afternoon, riding in a UN truck. He has been very adept at getting interviews with key people, campaign managers, the U.S. ambassador etc. It will be interesting to see what coverage he gets after this trip…