AVA Blog

2018 705 Kids Coalition

Summer vacation 2018 for the students in Wagon Mound began late in May.  Kids that had been on the crew in 2017 arrived.  Many of our best workers and dearest young friends had moved.  We dearly missed them.  A total of nine kids and teens joined the summer 2018 project. 

The work was too heavy for little ones. Making mud bricks and rebuilding an enormous, collapsed adobe wall takes a lot of strength. Due to the slope of the land next to the building, rain water and melting snow would back up into the building. The kids collected and moved rocks then helped to build a new tiered-down rock foundation.  The kids helped to tier down the land alongside the new rock foundation. Whenever the sun did shine, the kids made bricks.       Our adobe bricks are made from an approximate ratio of 5 shovels of soft dirt + 2 shovels of sandy dirt + 1 shovel of sand + a good amount of chopped up straw and water. 

That is just the ratio. A lot of dirt, a lot of sand and straw goes into a big wheelbarrow and is mixed with water thoroughly by hoes and hands to a thick peanut butter mud consistency. The mud is plopped and padded down into the forms the kids made in 2017. After enough time for the mud to stabilize, the forms are lifted off the still wet bricks. It is amazing to see this. We feel great pride each time we lift the forms. From one big wheelbarrow we try to make six bricks at a time. Our bricks, 16” x 10” x 4,” are strong.  They are called colonial bricks.   The mud bricks dry a day or two flat in the sun.  Then they are turned on their sides to harden.  When completely dry, the bricks are moved to the wall being rebuilt, lifted and mortared into place.

Each brick weighs about 35 pounds. 

The mortar is a mud mixture of soft dirt, sand and water. Most all this work we do with our hands. Each day that the kids work they receive gifted stipends.  In 2018 we had no grant funding for stipends.

The kids formed the 705 Kids Coalition and a gofundme campaign. We raised $900.00 from very kind friends. Thank You! Most of the work in the summer of 2018 was done by myself (a 70 year old grandma), Davian and Eli – both superfine 15 year old teens. In the cold of winter the work had to stop. This spring, 2019, we start again.  Kids bigger now and strong enough will make bricks.  We will work together to lift the bricks into place for the wall is getting high. It will take several strong kids to maneuver each brick up the scaffolding.  If grown-ups want to help, that’s fine.  But, grown-ups must volunteer. We don’t have funding for grown-ups. For the kids we shall restart the coalition campaign.    

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Rene Rosa

Rene is vice-president and co-founder of A Veteran Affair. Being a self-taught artist, she writes essays, poems and has a manuscript screaming for time and attention to be completed.

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2019 4:12 pm Published by Tags: , , ,

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