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Natural Building & appropriate technology’s blog 26

Article 26 of Natural Building and Appropriate Tech Internship


Here is the last article about the Natural Building and Appropriate Technology internship at Kotare Village, home of the Koanga Institute. And at the same time that I am writing, a gentle grasp around my heart.

The internship finished Friday the 26th of April. Some left and some stayed, a moment of separation where each one of us goes on their own road. But none of us will forget that we spent 10 weeks living together, sharing our joy and sorrow, learning about each other.

So what have we been up to in this last week?

Plaster Party number two! Silus and the plaster crew organised an other event in the seed room to lay down the second layer on the walls. Prepared as always we had a bunch of different kind of plaster to spread. This time they where the finished layer so we had to be neat and clear, trying to do the most beautiful job possible to leave a nice harmony on this place, protecting the seeds. And how impressed we where by the work of Shelly and here natural paints! For us she prepared a whole lot of different colours made with available natural material and we painted the wall with it.


Colours and creativity at place

And after a few days, the plasters still holding we discovered a nice surprise of Mother Nature.


Sprouting out f the wall.

We did spend a lot of time trying to finish the on-going projects which now will be relayed to the people staying at the Kotare Village. Specially the building, we have not been able to finish the sleep-out and it is all right. We all learned a lot about building techniques definitely and for me the main learning was beyond the techniques but to grasp the patterns of humans interactions and our ability of working together. As written in one of the first article:

–       It takes always more time than planned

–       It takes always more money

–       And we can always make a better job

I am sure that it is a never ending cycle but also I am sure that through a good management of people, we can infinitely tend to perfection through creativity. It has been such a pleasure to experiment collaboration with such a diversity of people.

In the last week we also saw new personal project like tanning and smoking skin in a natural way. The smoke is meant to water proof the skin and be an insect repellent.


The colour is also amazing.

A lot of weaving with flaxes, I found myself very enjoying this craft. And people ended up creating beautiful baskets and even a back pack!


Beautiful and useful

A big satisfaction of this internship was the learning and the doing, the theory and the practice. To actually understand something and the build it. And the real pleasure arrive when people are using your creation. When you can feel that what you have done is useful. A direct connection between the creator/producer and the customer/user.

Such as :

–       The ram pump

–       The solar ovens

–       The rocket oven

–       The Biochar stove

–       The rocket barbecue


Thank you Koanga institute for this life changing opportunity where we have been able to live a simpler lifestyle, to learn and make beautiful instruments that can make a difference in someone’s life and to allow this environment to create amazing relationships.


The last picture of the internship crew with the community members!

It has been a real pleasure to write down this blog.

I hope you enjoyed.


 ~Oscar Morand, 1 May 2013, Natural Building and Appropriate Technology Intern

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