Thursday, November 8, 2012

Estudio Damgo - First Day on Site

Today we had our first construction day on site for Estudio Damgo (Dream Studio).  Estudio Damgo is the first design+build studio ever taught in the Philippines.  Ray has been the lead instructor since last Spring when they organized the project to design and construct a daycare classroom for a small rural community in the foothills outside of Dumaguete.  The site is about a 30 minute commute from campus. Our transportation for getting to this remote site is an open air dump truck.  As we leave the city and climb into the rural countryside, the roads become more narrow, rocky, and steep.  We follow the Okoy river for most the way.  Evidence of washed out bridges are now under construction from past typhoons and flooding.  At one point there is a stink of sulfur, where a huge geological vent steams through holes in the rock a few meters from the roadway.
Above: The usual suspects from left to right in the bed of the dump truck: Efren, Rick, Von, Jay (back), Leigh, Daryl, Ray (back), Cheyenne (front), Rhea (back), and Al.
The new daycare is located on existing elementary school grounds.  When we arrived on site, the kids were shyly interested about all of the commotion.  Soon enough, they were back to being playful, curious, and slightly mischievous by running around us and some of the kids were lighting off fire crackers nearby.  We'll have to make sure the kids stay clear of the construction area when things get a little more serious.

Our first task was to clear out existing plantings and rocks located where the new daycare will be built.  We accomplished this in about an hour!  Good work guys.  Afterward, the elementary school teachers invited our group to eat freshly made chocolate rice, white beans with sardines and cooked rice.  I only ate the chocolate rice.  Yum.  Everyone was pleased to have that late morning snack before we made our return trip down the hill and back to campus.

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