Earthquake Relief Trip

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This past Friday the Kopila Valley 10th graders embarked on an 11-day field trip to the Kathmandu Valley to assist with earthquake recovery efforts and explore the surrounding areas. For many of them, this is their first time visiting Kathmandu!

The area we're assisting is Dhulikhel, Kavreplanchowk, about 1 hour east of Kathmandu. The majority of homes in this area are traditional mud and stone structures, which were the most affected by the earthquakes. During the trip, the kids have been learning about rammed earth construction techniques (the same technology we're using to build our new campus!) and assisting in the construction of a rammed earth home. They've also had meetings with leaders of the reconstruction efforts and visited a research center for sustainable development for mountainous regions, all while fitting in fun side trips to religious sites and royal palaces. 

Our Director of Sustainability, Jamie MacDonald, has been sending updates from the field. Yesterday he let us know that 10th graders are having the time of their lives! We gave the students a camera and told them to go explore the area. We love the photos they took and the time they’re getting to spend with each other outside the classroom.


For almost all of the kids, this was their first time sleeping in tents. Its a good thing instructions were included.


Group work.

The students were split into 4 groups and given the task of making a rammed earth block using a few pieces of plywood, a handsaw, hammer, a few clamps, sand, clay and gravel. Its amazing what they were able to come up with!


Working with Abari engineers.

Abari invited a structural engineer, Francis, to teach the students about rammed earth construction. Here, he’s analyzing the blocks the students made. Everyone is anxious to know who did the best!


Suraj testing the strength.

Surya testing the compressive strength of his team’s rammed earth block. They were all amazed at how much it could hold.



Abari arranged for a yoga session every night overlooking the beautiful terraced hills of Kavre. It was a great way for the kids to relax and have a laugh after a long day of learning.

We can't wait to hear all of their stories when they get back!

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