As the workshop comes to an end, there was a party where everyone from the village and nearby villages are invited to participate. Organised by the project team and hosted by the students, the party was an entertaining event that brought the village to life, in contrast to the normal quiet ways of the rural life.
As a project team, we organised and ran a community workshop with the villagers. This workshop was aimed at gathering more information about the village in different areas – water usage, historical information, crafts making, agriculture and skills. During this workshop, the men and women in the village were separated as that was found to be the most effective way of engaging both groups from the previous workshop. Children in the village, whom the women were often tasked with taking care of, were arranged to watch a movie in the same building so the women could be freed.
The traditional way of connecting timber to brick in the village was to simple place it on top, there is very little concern for the potential horizontal forces during mud slides and other natural disasters. The solution that we introduced was to have metal plates connected to the timber and casting the metal plate into the brick column with concrete.
The village development project has currently planned for a kindergarten to be built next to the Guest House in order to regenerate it and give it a new function. However, we still need to find out whether that programme is feasible and appropriate. Visiting an existing kindergarten and primary school in the next village (30 minutes away by walking), it was interesting to step out of the project and evaluate the most appropriate way to conserve the Guest House and whether the solution is really to build another school in the area.
Kindergarten, with school bus that picks up kids from Fairy Water Village.
We ran a small mind map workshop with some villagers. While talking to them and doing the mind map, it was obvious that there was a main road that connected the different villages together (in most of the drawings, this road was in the middle). Fairy Water Village and the market is usually at the centre of the drawing. Then following that there is a branch down south to reach the Guest House. When further questioned, it was interesting to find out that for them, the centre of the village was the market area, not the Guest House. If we are to inject public programmes into the Guest House, a kindergarten for example, how do we make sure that the Guest House is not so out of the way that people will not actually come to use it? How do we then attract people to go out of their way to use the building?