At the ICBIE, the throngs of students are matched by a large number of workmen and laborers, who are working on two big projects. One crew is busy mounting scaffolding, scraping and repainting the front facade. Although completely restored only two years ago, the pristine paint job had been gravely compromised by the corrosive salt spray that whips up off the bay, and the big gray blotches were becoming a real eyesore.
With this needed facelift, the elegant facade of the ICBIE will once again symbolize the optimism and the purity of our ideals, besides showing off our beautiful building in the best possible way.
The other project is considerably more ambitious, and it marks a new stage in the Institute’s growth, one that will expand our resources, both culturally and financially, with the reconstruction of a whole block of new mini-apartments in the Art Hostel. The back courtyard of the ICBIE, when we purchased the property, was inhabited by about twenty squatters, who lived in rows of crude little rooms situated along two sides of the quadrangle. A complete renovation of the rooms on the back side of the property is now underway. This is how it looked a few months ago:
Instead, this is how things look today:
In order to protect our current guests from the dust and confusion, a temporary barrier has been constructed, separating the work site from the art hostel.
When completed, the new mini-apartments will double the number of guests that can be accommodated in the art hostel. This is an urgent necessity, as the new partnership with Rhythm of Hope, but also the growing list of friends who are eager to visit, has exceeded our current capacities. The socially responsible tourists who elect to stay with us provide a substantial part of our operating income, and if we can significantly increase this financial resource, we can also reward our faithful young people, providing them with paying jobs.
Two other tidbits of news: Mary Overby has completed her English lessons, and that was occasion for another diploma ceremony and party. We thank her for her wonderful work, and wish her the best of luck in the future!
The last news is the most tempting of all. It’s MANGO season, and the tree in the back courtyard is performing admirably!