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The Umbrella Library

The library which is situated underneath our Umbrella office at the Amadablam house is in need of some organising and brightening up. We have arranged to have new 2 new cabinets made for the books and other equipment. Each one with a lock and glass panels to show off the books.

Thanks to Luke Kranker a past volunteer for the designs. They look great!!

While we wait for these to be made (nepali time) we decide on what we could do to brighten the room up a bit. We have a whole wall to play with so it’s going to be BIG!!!

Originally we decided on a map of the world to cover the wall. Then we said that would be a bit boring. All the kids have globes or books in their house or school so it was nothing new.

So we decided on something different. The mural is based on a famous picture that shows from the very bottom of the sea up to our solar system.

We took the basic principle of it and made it our own. We decided that we would draw from the bottom of the sea up to the solar system, including as many fish, mammals and birds as we could fit. And with the sun high up on our left we would start with the desert then to African plains to rainforest to mountains to more climate friendly lands and then to the arctic cold with Pluto the furthest planet just above us in the far right hand corner.

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Before
Before
press
After
After
during
The sketch
The sketch
nearly
Nearly there...
Nearly there...
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Finished Product
Finished Product

We started drawing the outline on a Friday and continued again on Saturday.  What started as an idea had manifested into a large project very quickly. The more we drew, the more ideas came to us and in the end we had to stop.  We stuck with what we had and the next thing was to paint it. So we called in cavalry. The rest of the volunteers were on hand to get the wheels in motion. So on the Sunday we started painting, each person taking a section or animal to paint. All the while children were watching or asking questions as we transformed the bare wall into an almost walk in world. And every so often we’d here them say “sister, brother so nice so nice”. As the days past the picture was slowly coming together. Each day each volunteer found some time between there usual volunteer duties to add some colour to it. Each day the room got a little bit brighter until finally it was completed. It had taken us ten days to complete.

So at the very top of the wall we had the solar system starting with the sun all the way across to Pluto on the right. Underneath this we had the clouds and below them some birds native to each terrain. Then we had a 6 different landscapes spread across the wall with different animals to represent the different climates. And below that we had the underwater world. In all there are 46 different animals/birds/fish.

Everybody was proud of their work and so they should be. It was a great effort from everybody and all the kids were very thankful for it.  We waited a few more days for the cabinets to arrive. And when they did they made a huge difference. The library was finally completed. The children now have a spacious, bright and colourful room to read in. Our work here is done, now to the next project!!!

Thanks to everybody who was involved in this project which will be here long after all of us have gone.

Karl O’ Byrne

Umbrella Volunteer