Housebuilding days are retreating into the past, but the children still play and work in their houses. Here are some pictures of the four houses we have built.

 This is our first house, it was originally built in my home in Satwa, then it was uprooted, moved and rebuilt in our new home in Al Barsha. Eventually it was dismantled to make way for the third of our houses. It was a hit, simple to make and gave hours of shelter and fun to all the children. 
Most of the supplies for this house were bought in the camel souk on the Al Ain road, some in Satwa.
The children made huge needles out of pieces of bamboo and used them to sew the barasti to the frame.

Bamboo needle

The original house was moved to Barsha, then taken down and recycled to make the 3rd house!

The 3rd House

 The 2nd House
This is a sandbag house.... a solid brick wall with foundations was built at the back of the house and then the round structure was built using sandbags filled with sand. The walls were then covered in a combination of lime, sand and cement.

 The final house built in 2012 is tree house!

As you can see from the pictures the houses were built jointly by our children and their parents. The children designed the houses and kept journals of their work. 


  1. Very cool Mel, great to see these photos, they were fun times!


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