Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:36 pm

Oh, also wanted to mention... all the blocks or brick you see are CSEB (compressed and stabilized earth blocks) made right here. Cool!
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:26 pm

Here are some photos of the basic 10-can stove build. This has been a pretty simple design that is being adopted really really quickly:
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This is all clay/ash core, simple cob surround, little space for wood storage during rainy season on the right there. The plaster is just clay/sand, 1:1. The plaster will crack, but if you just work a little more plaster into the cracks the next day and smooth it all over with a dripping wet hand, it stays nice. The interesting thing about this one in the photos is that the pot skirts were made from termite mounds.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:35 pm

And a finished (ish) picture of the bigger one with the griddle. WIll have to go back over the cracks tomorrow.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby DrewInToledo » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:45 pm

Manny,

In the photo of the 14 individuals, are you the one on the left?

Seriously.... fricking awesome dude. I can only dream that I could go with you on the next adventure!
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:56 pm

Haha, no, unfortunately I don't have many pictures of myself from the trip. If I can find one I'll put it up; you'll know me, I'm white as a ghost.

I have talked to a few of the guys since I've been back and they've got 8 stoves built since I left, with contracts for 3 bigger institutional style stoves. That's awesome, 'cause the institutional stoves (2 for schools, 1 for a mosque) have the biggest opportunity to make an impact... you know, on a wood:person ratio, as well as on the education side.

Shoot, Drew, I didn't even think of asking if you'd be interested in coming along. It all came together so quickly and funding got tight so it just sort of fell the way it fell. I think you could have done a lot of interesting things there. There's a lot of need for need for creativity like yours there. I did ask Matt at one point to go, but even that was a little late in the game and funding is always tough.
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby WiscoJames » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:54 pm

Manny - Who did you connect with to set this up? From time to time my wife talks about picking up and going somewhere that we can make a difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate than we are. If I can combing this mission with 'playing with fire', it could be a win-win-win. You represent the one in a million who actually follows through and goes on a mission like this. I hope to be another one of the people that makes it happen as well. You going to be going again yourself? thanks, WJ
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Re: Matt, Donkey & Hpmer Inspire Africa

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:52 pm

Hi WJ. I think it is a wonderful idea if you and your wife would like to do something like this. Teaching others to teach others is probably the most impactful thing you can do. The main goal for me was not to do anything for anybody but rather teach people to provide for themselves, using what they already have in a conservative way.

I do have some contacts in the NW part of the continent, but I feel like that is already done and there's little reason to go back. I'm working with a woman who is doing some natural building/rocket stove work in Cameroon, so she pretty well is covering the NE part. We're looking for funding to take the project to every country on the continent and have several leads. If we get funding, I'm really feeling like our stove building team would be the best people to implement the program because they already know the cultural preferences, lifestyle, etc., and they are so many thousand miles closer already it would significantly cut down on travel costs and make any funding we get go so much farther. Not to mention, this is their trade now, it just feels really good to see them doing it.

But, don't let me knock down your ambition. If your heart is in it, a good place to start would be the Global Ecovillage Network. They can connect you with someone who will host you in exchange for your teaching. Be prepared to sleep on floors, eat with your hands, and hear some heart-breaking true stories... and learn more about yourself than you might think possible. You may also never look at the developed world the same way again.

Another option is the Peace Corps. I had the opportunity to speak with over a dozen Peace Corps volunteers while I was there and teach them rocket building too. They are all taking it back to their own remote work locations. Even though their specific mission isn't rocket building, they have the opportunity to do this on the side and most are doing some other awesome permaculture stuff. Peace Corps will take you an your wife together. It's not an option for my wife and I right now but a few years down the road it will be.

If you're serious I'll send some feelers out to my contacts and I'll p.m. you with any prospects. Otherwise, if you have any experience with grant writing you would certainly be welcome to help us get this program going. The ball's in your court.
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