Yesterday the students of Living Routes (an organization which takes students to ecovillages around the world) paid us a visit. As a part of their program they were willing to join the International House and participate in some of its projects for a couple of hours.
Manu’s original proposal was to do something with the discarded pottery they’ve been collecting to prevent it from ending up in the landfill. One first idea was to create some kind of artistic mural with it, to hang it somewhere in the new dormitory.
After discussing what would be the best and easiest way to do it, we came up with the idea of making cement tiles (with the moulds they used for the paper mache tiles) and do a design on it with the broken pottery. So Leonardo, B. and I got everything ready for the experiment.
But we all know flexibility is a good quality to develop! When the students arrived they had other proposals in mind, so after some talking we figured out what to do.
As a part of the Earth Day (which will be held on April 22nd), the Living Routes students are going to make a presentation on waste before the Auroville community. They were very interested in knowing more about the International House and its Zero Waste philosophy.
They interviewed B. to find out more about the different projects that are going on at the IH in terms of reused and recycled waste materials and then they went on a tour around the IH taking pictures to the paper mache tiles, the tetrapack panels, the petrol hoses, the earth blocks with objects inside which cannot be reused, the instruments for the musical wall, and so on. So many interesting things in the IH!
By the way, we had our first jam session with the instruments! It was fun! Do you want to hear how it sounded (included the new “Ping-Pong Pipes”)? Here are some videos!
Andrea, one of the Living Routes faculty, also came up with the idea of using the discarded pottery to make a mosaic with the wording “International House. Zero Waste Community”, which could actually be used for the presentation and as the entrance welcoming sign to the IH. But since we only had one hour left, we dismissed the idea and went for the back-up plan suggested also by Andrea: using the pottery to build a boundary for the recently planted flowers at the entrance. Great idea! And very convenient too, to prevent motorcycles to run over the flowers, right, Andrea? Hahahaha!
So while some of the students were getting their presentation together, a second group folded their sleeves up and built a very artistic and colorful boundary for the entrance garden. Good job!
It’s interesting to see how this area is getting more and more attention and improving quite fast…! Even B., after his interview, came over and started to cut the thorny branches that were left and to prune the bougainvillea. And it seems we may be getting a new beautiful bougainvillea and some palms soon… Meanwhile the “Progress” and “Sri Aurobindo’s compassion” we planted seem to be doing quite well in their new place. They definitely look happy to have a decorative and protective boundary made of nice pottery!