Last weekend I had a wonderful time making mud pies. Doesn't that sound like fun? It was in the town of Straseni which is just a half hour drive from Chisinau. There is located in Strasceni a special place to serve older people who are disabled. And on the grounds of the Neohumanist Center we were creating structures made in an eco-friendly way out of local materials, namely sand, clay, straw.
Liliana Botnaru instructs a group of volunteers, both Peace Corps and local Moldovans into the art of making mud. Just add water and stomp. You can see it takes a lot of feet to build a village. Look at this picture of group feet per second. After some effort there is a whole wheelbarrow full. The person you see with the bright red sweatshirt with American flag, is Boris. He is really a college professor of cybernetics. But he's up for the adventure as well. In fact, he explained to me that when he was a boy in Moldova, this type of construction was sometimes used, especially to patch walls. He thought that it had gone out of style with the floppy disk drive, but no, here it was again starting all over. After making the mud, you have to apply it to your hay stack walls. This involves throwing as well as smoothing with the hands. But you can see we eventually end up with something beautiful such as this structure which will eventually become a shelter from the sun when a thatched roof is added. Another structure made here was an outdoor oven. We put that to work right away and our hosts made some terrific pizza. You can see from the expression on those faces, that it was very, very good. If you want to know more about eco-construction in Moldova, here is the web site: www.eco-village.md .