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Re: GSBN:Euro help for Russian project

Dear Catherine,
may be you remember me. We've met in Denmark last summer.

I'v been in former Soviet Union several times. I'v been together with my
wife in Altai mountains
on the Russian side and Kazachi side as well. On the Russian side we
traveled from Novosibirsk to Gornoaltaisk and we spent great time with
Buddhist community
in Askat helping to build their meditation center there. We used large
wooden logs. I speak Russian (since we were forced in the Czech Republic to
learn it) and could spare the time from 24th of May till 5th of June and
from 11th of July till the end of August. (First weekend in July I'm going
to lead a loadbearing SB workshop in Austria.)

I live in Paris and I'm designing straw bale buildings as well as building
them. Right now I'm helping with Martin Oehlmanns SB house in Plozevet,
Brittany in
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.ecopanneaux.com/galerie/martin/";>http://www.ecopanneaux.com/galerie/martin/</a>

I worked several times with Tom Rijven here in France, with Herwig van Soom
in Belgium, Lars and Tomas in Denmark, Barbara and Bee in England.
Currently I'm studying postgraduate program for MsC Environmntal and Energy
in Center for Alternative Technology in Wales and I'm planning to write my
thesis on moisture related problems in straw bale walls.

I would be interested to go to Altai, only I will need to have all expenses
covered. Especially in May I'd need to buy return airplane ticket to
Please let me know as soon as possible, because I'd need to arrange for visa
still this week.

Best regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: billc_lists@...
To: GSBN@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 7:54 AM
Subject: GSBN:Euro help for Russian project

> (Sent for Catherine Wanek.  If you get a bounce message when you try
> to send to the list, feel free to let me know or send it to me to
> forward on.  We've been having a little trouble with mail routing.
> -- BC)
> Dear European colleagues --
> Builders Without Borders is consulting with a group of Russian
> eco-warriors about building a straw-bale visitor's center in a fairly
> pristine and spectacularly beautiful area of southern Siberia known
> as the Altai region.  We actually got to meet face-to-face with the
> wonderful team, when they visited the U.S. in 2003, for a natural
> building colloquium and a tour of some strawbale buildings.  They got
> their hands in the mud and stacked some bales for the first time and
> were hooked.  (You know the feeling.)  Also, they got to meet Matts &amp;
> Judy, David E, and many more knowledgeable strawbalers who helped
> with advice.
> This year they have things lined up to actually build.  There are two
> U.S. translators and a couple U.S. strawbale builders (engineer Jeff
> Ruppert and Paul Koppana) who have committed to going over in July to
> help with the construction, though funding is not completely assured.
> We plan to create a workshop around this opportunity, and help to pay
> some of the BWB expenses from this.
> However, the Russians still have many questions, and some preliminary
> strawbale work has given them doubts and second thoughts.  (I am not
> actually clear about what went wrong.)  Also they are very unsure
> about using earth plaster now.
> To try to help them long-distance through translators is difficult,
> so I thought perhaps there might be one or two European strawbalers
> who would be willing to visit Russia in person sometime this month to
> help figure out what the problems are and give them advice and
> confidence.   BWB has very limited funds, but we could reimburse
> partial expenses.   Of course, if someone got involved at this, the
> design stage, they would be most welcome to return for the building
> process... and hopefully be paid a small stipend plus expenses.
> I don't have all the on-the-ground details, but I just heard that one
> of the U.S. translators is going to travel to Russia in the next week
> to meet with them.  This may be the best timing to go, but perhaps
> impossible to get a trip (visa?) together with such short notice.
> Still, anytime in the next few weeks would probably work.
>   Is there anyone from the GSBN who can help, or can you recommend
> someone that could help?
> Best Regards,
> Catherine Wanek
> Administrative Coordinator
> Builders Without Borders
>   www.builderswithoutborders.org
> Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
> signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not
> fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not
> spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the
> genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of
> life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity
> hanging on a cross of iron.
> --President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953 speech
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