Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Cafe

Things are going well, I have started to read through all of the documents on the internal network and get the lay of the land. I have also spent some time at the vocational training site and spent a couple days digging through dumpsters with the eco-rangers. The program is developing slowly and on a very small scale right now. We do recycling for the Sheraton and we steal (with permision) all of the carboard from a hospital, among a few smaller recycling accounts. Soon we hope to develop the hospital as an account and help them developing sorting processes so we can collect their waste, but we need to refine the community based model and establish a few community depots for sorting before we can go after any bigger accounts. It is a good process, we are learning a lot of ways to be more efficient.
The Cafe is one of our most flexible accounts, we own it. We don't own any of our tools or other facilities at this point, so this is a great place for us to develop ideas. Also it is very comfortable and a short bike ride from my place (my place now has a name, Rainbow House).

Here is the front of the EG Cafe. The first floor will eventually be a public cafe, Philip and Zach live on the second floor which is also where the office is. The whole house is designed for passive solar heating and cooling, facing south to get the low sun in the winter with long overhangs to shade the sun in the summer when it is higher in the sky. Everything in Jordan is built with cement blocks which get cold at night and hold that temperature during the day when it heats up. This means that you shower at night in the winter because it is a little chilly in the morning but during the summer you shower in the morning because you can't get cold water at night since the cold water tank is baking on the roof. The garden is very active and growing, we will add some green growing things on the roof eventually and if we get really ambitious maybe some vertical growing systems. We have figs, apples, lemons, berries, grapes, and all manner of vegitables.

In the corner we have the 'wednesday well.' As I mentioned a LOT of water is lost in Amman. We live on a big hill so a lot of that water runs under us. We noticed a line of plants growing under our wall and found that some of the water collects there. We directed it to the tank in the corner and filled it up in 3 hours. So now every Wednesday the tank will fill up (that is when the municipality fills the tanks on the roofs).

This is taken from the roof, a nice view of the whole front garden. And the truck.

Inside the cafe. We also store and sell some of the crafts from the MPA (Marketing, Packaging, Access) program. It is a women's income generating program in some communities around the vocational training site. We have a TV and dvd player that someone left on our doorstep. The word is out that we like garbage and broken down electronics, so neighbors leave things on our balcony now. Recently someone left a dvd player with an american plug, we have no idea how it got here as even with a transformer it won't work , but it will give the electical training class something to work with next week. Apparently they can convert it to work here.
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