The shelter group has focused its research on how the Maasai use natural resources to build shelter. Cows are essential to Maasai life and impact how they meet many of their needs. Traditionally, the Maasai use cow dung to build their homes. But, because we don’t have access to cow dung (and for other reasons, of course) we use clay to build our mud hut.
The shelter group kicked off the work with a hike along and in the Paint Branch Creek in College Park, Maryland. The bed of the creek is made of clay. Layers of colored clay are visible all along the creek.So we waded into the creek to check it out. We collected samples of each color. Friends wondered why the clay comes in so many different colors. After spending two hours in the creek, we dried off by hiking up the trail to a wider part of the creek. There, we found the clay in even more colors. Along the creekbed we collected treasures like riverglass, broken pottery, and what looked like carbonized wood. Just as we were about to leave, we found a praying mantis. Ryan was courageous enough to let it crawl up his arm and onto his shoulder!This week we have begun to build the mud hut. All friends will help build it today from 1:00 to 3:00. Stay tuned for more!