A volunteer’s reflections

When Susie asked me to help her build her mom’s sandbag house, I was excited for the opportunity to participate in building a house. I spent a couple of days assisting on a strawbale house a few years ago, and the brief time I spent there had sparked an interest in natural building. My fondest memory of that time was having mud fights once we had finished plastering the walls, and I was hoping that working on Susie’s mom’s house would involve some good hard work, but also some fun.

After the first day, I was concerned that my body was going to need to be stronger to be able to manage on site. Quite quickly I noticed that I was coping just fine. Although some activities forced me to use muscles I hadn’t stretched in awhile, the activities keep changing, so I didn’t feel like any activity was a real exertion. We spent time filling sand bags, then throwing the bags and placing them along the foundation lines, then flattening them by hand, and the cycle continued for most of the day. With each round, the activity became more familiar and more fluid. It was fascinating to see how quickly we learn from experience.

It was thrilling to see how much can be achieved in a day – we literally watch the house go up bit by bit. I was also surprised to see what a difference just two or three extra hands can make. After the first week, the foundations are finished and we ended the week with a swim in the sea – with a whole school of dolphins swimming past.

I feel so grateful for this time. I have loved spending the time being active, talking to inspiring people as we pack sandbags, eating delicious lunches (thank you Fritz) and seeing first hand what it takes to collectively build a sandbag house.

Thank you Susan – you and your family are a true inspiration – you make me really believe anything is possible! I wish I had more time to spend with you all. I would highly recommend visiting the site and spending some time there.


One response to this post.

  1. Carly, you are the best trooper that anyone could ever ask for. Thanks for the great support to the fam. x


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