Friday, June 1, 2012

Cocina Mejorada Follow-Up

Sara Jane and Carrie (another volunteer from the department of Lima) came over one Monday to help me build Dina's cocina mejorada (improved kitchen), making my Mother's Day gift complete, and making Dina super happy. Now the kitchen isn't filled with smoke everyday, she uses less wood, and she also claims to be able to cook faster. Pretty cool. We just need Roger to cement in in, and make it look nice*.

The steps were pretty simple, and we were able to do it in a couple of hours. Look for a future video explaining the process, the features, and the Dina's testimonial.

Sara Jane more posing than working. Lucky for us, this wasn't the norm for her. 

Me not really helping Sara Jane

Sara Jane leveling the platform. 

The girls digging the trench for the ashes to fall into. Notice the black on the walls from the years of cooking with a chimney. Imagine Dina's lungs.  

Sara Jane assembles the fire platform on top of the trench where the ashes fall. The fire is built on these bricks, then there is about a 10-15cm gap of just re-bar for the ashes to fall through. 

You can see the trench at the bottom, and the Sara Jane is working on enclosing the fire compartment with more bricks. 

Birds eye view showing the gap in the fire compartment where the ashes fall down into the trench. After this step the  whole thing is lined with adobe and the cooking iron and chimney are mortared in with mud.  

Mudding it in. 

This gives you a better idea of the final project. The bottom  hole is where the ashes are scooped out after the fall through the fire compartment. The second hole is where the fire is built, directly under the cooking iron. 

Celebrating the final product.

*Roger made S/.600 a month at the restaurant that he worked at, but there wasn't too many customers lately, so money has been tight, limiting his ability to get paid and make home improvement projects that he wants... so he left the restaurant, and Yuracoto, for "las islas" (the islands). There are various islands off the coast of Peru where, large flocks of birds migrate and live, leaving behind a significant amount of droppings. These droppings are then collected and used for fertilizer, and migrant workers (usually from the small villages in the Sierra), are paid S/.1,200 a month to do the collection work. Roger left on May 28th, and hopes to be back in August with plenty of money to do the home improvements he wants.