Do you have memories from your childhood of playing in the mud? I know I do. Fun times in the backyard making mud cakes – squishing and squeezing the sludge between my fingers and toes. And then my dad coming with the garden hose and squirting my sister and me until we were clean enough to come inside and take a shower.
As an adult, though I avoid getting dirty and I really don’t seek out the feeling of squishy mud between my toes anymore, in all honesty I do think there is some truth to the quote, “The most memorable days usually end with the dirtiest clothes.” It was true for me growing up, for sure.
This was also the case recently for some of our boys who got an opportunity to experience the initial stages of constructing a mud house as part of the new Clay House Project at Wycliffe Thai. Wycliffe is eager to develop and pass on the knowledge and skills involved in building these mud brick houses as a practical solution for a strong, durable, and low-cost housing.
The boys got to help with the process of making the mud bricks, and you can see from the photos that they had to get actually get down into it, to really be able to help. Stage one included preparing a stomping pit and filling it with soil and water. The soil and water had to be in the stomping pit for at least 2-3 hours to break down the hard soil and make it easier to mix. The stomping process lasts until the soil breaks down into small pieces and becomes smooth.
The boys’ responses confirmed that it was a really fun learning experience. They hope to go back soon to see the progress as the structure of the mud house takes shape.