Read English translation below.
Reën:Gister (15 Nov 2013) het dit 30mm gereën.
Ons dak is sowat 7m by 30m, dus 5mm reën vul ons watertenks met ongeveer 1000 liter water.
So 30mm/5mm gee ons 6000 liters.
Die tenks se kapasitiet is 30000 liters en is 2000 mm hoog, dus elke 1mm is die ekwivalent van 15 liter.
So 6000 litre/15 litre sal ons 'n styging van 400 mm in die watervlak gee.
Dit is die hoeveelheid waarmee ons tenks se water vlak gestyg het. So ons vang elke druppel reën.
Koerant:Verder was die Aardskip vandag (16 Nov 2013) ook in die koerante (Volkblad, Beeld en Die Burger).
Werk:Die week het ons ook gewerk aan die herstel van die skuifdeur. Die wielletjies moes sand in gekry het en het opgepak. Nou werk die deur weer pragtig.
Verder het ons die lig by die badkamer spieëlkassie se bedrading afgehandel, die skakkelaar op 'n beter plek geplaas en laastens het Retha die bottelmuur klaar gepleister.
Rain:Last night it rained 30 mm.
Our roof is about 7m by 30m, thus ever 5mm will fill our tanks (reservoirs) approximately with 1000 litres.
So 30mm/5mm gave us 6000 litres.
The tanks when full is 30000 litres and are 2000 mm high, thus every 1mm is the equivalent of 15 litres.
So 6000litre/15litre give an increase in water level of 400 mm.
That is the amount that our tank's water level rouse by, thus we capture every drop of rain.
Article in this weeks Saturday paper (Google Translated):
"Where the earth's ship landed" by Sandra Troskie
Orania in the Northern Cape self determination extends as far as to live completely independent of the electrical-, water supply- and sewerage grids. Sandra Troskie went to visit that earthship neighbourhood.
Wow, it looks unsightly ! "My spouse complains about the whole squadron pylons marching on the Karoo Landscape. You get used to that titanic steel rubbish from Eskom, but so far their advance was mainly confined to our nation's highways. This is the R388, a dirt road between De Aar and Hopetown.
Like Koos Doep (famous song writer) warned years ago with his "Footprints on the Moon" that civilization sowing its seed of development, night after night. And by the time we wake up, "breaking the earth's crust with steal sprouts where ever you go."
My melancholy snappy response: "Wait for Shell or Falcon or Bundu Gas, only their planned ten drilling rigs on a 300 ha stand here!"
This is one of our major issues, the proposed exploration of shale gas in the Karoo. He is obviously an agricultural economist and therefore realistic about the demands of the modern economy; I (so I gather) a Donna Quixote in madness fight the drilling rigs of progress.
Live months in a shower of rainBut just a day after my husband (and Koos Doep) convinced me there can be no escape for the Karoo from the capitalist caterpillar forces, I heard at the first session of the Karoo parliament of an earthship.
"Why should waste be a problem ?" Ludwig Everson asks while holding an empty blue plastic bottle - that curse of our modern world through the air waves.
"Old tires, cans, bottles, plastic ... We must only learn how to recycle."
With colourful photos he demonstrated how he harnessed rubbish to build his and his wife, Retha's special house in Orania.
"Energy? Why should we have a problem with it while the sun ?" He continues.
"The sun never get blackouts. And he'll be there when the earth no longer exist."
Later that night I nagged the Everson's to go and look at this exceptional home.
"Of course, " Retha and he agrees generously. "Come drink coffee at our home."
Coffee at the Everson's is more than an old coffee cup, we realize when we stop in front of their house in Orania. It's more a demonstration of the most basic claims of an earthship: It operates independently and is ecologically sustainable.The water with which the coffee is made from rainwater collected from the roof. udwig takes us to the six green water tanks where 30,000 litters of rain is stored.
This water is, according to him is used four times: 1) First is filtered for drinking and cooking purposes, 2) then it is grey water and led to their indoor vegetable garden where the roots of the plants filter the water, 3)
then where the filtered grey water is used to flush the toilet and 4) last end up as black water in the septic tank.
But this is not the end of its use, now the solids are separated from the liquids. From solids bio-gas is manufactured and voila! - A stove that functions without shale gas.
The liquids are absorbed and filtered by the roots of the trees again and so prevent groundwater to be defiled.
The effective use of their water - a scarce commodity in a semi-desert Karoo resulted in that the Everson's can survive for months on just one shower of rain.
Bottles create slightly sacred feeling in the house.
Ludwig run water in a black kettle and placed it in their solar oven; a stainless steel dish focuses the sun's rays on the kettle with great effect. With this oven, the family not only make coffee water, but also cook meals.
While the sun proves itself as a formidable candidate for clean energy, Ludwig took us on a short tour around the outside of the house.
"The temperature of the earthship needs to be regulated and so insulation is important. That 's why our back is built on the slope of a hill. To the east and south the outside walls is built with sandbags still needs to plastered.
"You can see how thick the sandbags are. It creates a thermal mass that stabilize the temperature further.
"Initially we plaster the walls first with a mixture of soil, straw and shale; then with a mixture of sand, soil and lime, this results in the natural earthen colour."
My husband asked if cement to be used. Well, Ludwig added, but minimal: "I used less than seven bags of cement in the entire building process so far. Actually just for the support poles and the sliding door foundation."
We returned to the front and left side of the house, built with massive double-glazed windows. Ludwig took the black kettle from the solar oven and invited us inside. While Retha, transform the water, without shale gas
boiled water, in four cups of delicious coffee, he takes us through the inside of their earthship.
The interior walls are constructed of recycled cans and bottles and like the exterior walls plastered.
Glass bottles in some places are used as natural glass tiles, which gives the house a slightly sacred feeling.
The earthen floor is oiled and polished. Retha created a lovely mosaic mandala on the kitchen floor with broken tiles.
Solar panels are on the roof and the angle of the roof is planned to keep the sun at a safe distance in the bloody Karoo summers.
But in the winter the rays creeps a generous 5m deep in to the house; a sunny corridor they especially utilized for their indoor vegetable garden .
Pumpkin runners with yellow and bright flower, creating a lush curtain between the family, which includes Joanelle (21) and the 19-year-old Arno private residential area and the outside world.
In between a wide variety of other vegetable and herb plants are also in the planter.
The knowledge and technology to live ecologically sustainable and independent of fossil fuels is clearly there.
With newly acquired hopeOn the way back from Orania I listened to "Footprints on the Moon" with different ears.
"No way , Koos Doep!" I rebuked him (and myself) with my newly acquired hope "to stop capitalist caterpillar, the world just need dreamers".
And because I know that I am far from being so brave as Ludwig and Retha Everson - "people who are willing to blaze new trails to track."
Sandra is a freelance journalist from Stellenbosch. She and her family relentlessly recycle and shower with water-saving shower heads.
Ludwig, Retha en Arno Everson