We started the day with Karen building a sand support for the front archway. It took about an hour to build up the sand in the right shape and have it be just wet enough to hold it’s shape and not too wet for water to seep out the bottom.
We then covered the sand with newspaper so that it will be easy to separate the sand back out when the arch has dried a bit. Dre mixed up some more clay/sand mixture and we set about making the arch out of bricks for structure, with clay/sand for the mortar, and then ended up covering all the bricks with clay because it just looked better.
We made a hole for the chimney too, which we will add soon.
Then was the big task of mixing the clay/rice straw mixture for the insulation. We managed to get about 90-95% finished when the rice straw ran out, luckily though some people across the street were replacing their roof today and so we asked them if we could use the old roof, which is made of some kind of plant frond similar to a palm frond and more thick and sturdy.
So we chopped up their discarded roof into the clay mixture and proceeded to finish the insulation layer with clay and someones old roof! Only in Laos….
Today’s finished product is here: