Warm weather is finally here in Chandrapuri, bringing with it a flurry of activity. The government seems to have realized that monsoon season is quickly approaching. Road construction is going on everywhere, finally with heavy equipment and an influx of new Indian workers. Our construction has picked up again too with the arrival of two experienced supervisors from Kerala, Shiva Das and Ramakrishna. Nine houses have now been bricked to a level above the doors.
Today was “all hands on deck” as we carried pans of sand and gravel to mix the concrete by hand. Once started, we can not stop. The entire form must be filled in one continuous pour for maximum strength.
Today we learned about lentels. No, not lentil as in dahl. You know the concrete shelf above the windows in most of the ashram flats? That is a lentel and it has a function besides storing unwanted items. It is the band of steel reinforced concrete providing needed strength to brick construction. This is what will give our houses earthquake resistance.