A report from Bonnie follows…
“Another average week at Ama Ghar…always the unexpected and a quick update of what has been happening.
Our bio-gas is up and working, currently supplying one burner in the kitchen. The exterior land around the bio-gas tanks and man hole covers will eventually become a vegetable garden, soon I hope!
Our large pile of excavated earth around the Bio-gas has been ready to move for a while. We waited for the local villagers to plant their corn and then they were coming to help move the dirt and rock.
Days after the corn plants had just grown out of the soil we had the largest storm anyone can remember in Godavari. Large “golf ball size” (no exaggeration) hail and a huge downpour. The main road was a one foot torrent of water capped with ice. I can attest to this as I needed to get off the Micro and cross the road to shelter. The good news, the new Ama Ghar weathered the storm very well with only a few minor leakages that we need to fix. All of Ama Ghar and the surrounding land was white with ice. All the new plants of our and the neighbors were pounded into the dirt, which became packed clay.
The villagers got busy re-planting the corn. Since we are always late in our planting we had not planted our corn yet. So we planted our corn and re-planted some vegetables. Local labor finally arrived and we are laboriously moving soil and rocks to various landscaping areas around the house.
We have also been waiting for a “mason” to come and finish various concrete projects. He was delayed because of the storm. The day he arrived he was bitten by a neighborhood dog. We spent the day looking for the dog and got the word from our neighbors that he was a stray so the mason went off for the Rabies series of shots. Two days later he reported again to work.
Today, so far so good, work getting done, no storms, no animal outbreaks and since our labor is local they will come to work for the next two days when the country has a nationwide strike (bandh). We have “Happy Bandh Work Days” as the children cannot go to school. The children and staff are all doing a lot of work to help with the finishing touches and seem to enjoy being involved. We are doing some creative painting projects, the boys have repaired some old chairs, Uma is busying making curtains, the boys hanging curtain rods and extra poles on the verandas to manage our wet laundry during monsoon. The younger ones sort the dirt rubble, the bricks and stones in piles and then carry to the various locations where we are laying drainage that looks like a rocky streambed! Needless to say, all of our working materials, rocks, are coming from the land.”
— Bonnie Ellison, May 25, 2011