Build a Bamboo Shade in Afghanistan
We learned to build beautiful bamboo shades over our veranda (also known as a patio or porch) in Afghanistan. These shades are inexpensive, natural, and beautiful.
The natural colors of the bamboo, woven mats, and rope are relaxing and cool.
Best of all, Morning Glory vines can be grown to cover and provide additional privacy.
First of all, it is important to make the plan of how you want the shade to appear.
Next, gather all the materials.
Then make sure you have the help of an Afghan to construct the shade.
- Buria (woven mats)
- "Chajakee" - not sure how to translate this
- Rope, twine, or string
- Flower pots
Plan the base. Draw out the measurements for the space to be covered. The main vertical supports should be constructed every two meters.
Plan for the ceiling to be at a slight incline, with horizontal bamboo poles every meter or so.
We preferred to purchase large flower pots, and cement the bamboo poles into a small roghan (oil) can or bucket, then place the bucket inside the flower pot.
Then we filled the flower pot with soil, and planted morning glory seeds in it to grow up the pole.
- The horizontal poles should be placed every meter (3 feet) or so. You may not want to pound any nails into your rented house.
What we did is attached angle iron into the upper balcony, and simply tie the bamboo poles to the angle iron. This minimized the "damage" the house, and put the screw holes into a location which was not visible.
- Construct the bamboo shade frame, tying the bamboo poles together. One way to do this without nails (nails will split the bamboo) is to drill small holes into the ends of the bamboo poles and run wire through the holes to firmly attach the poles to each other.
We covered the wire with rope or twine, which added to the strength and was natural looking
- Once you have the frame constructed, use wire to attach the buria (woven mats) to the frame. These come in large rolls. They should be overlapping a few inches, and make sure to tie them securely down so they will withstand the khakbads (duststorms) which are almost a daily occurrence in Afghanistan.
- Lay the "chajakee" over the buria - this makes it look more beautiful and adds one more layer of shade and thickness to keep out a little rain.
(The picture below is not showing the suggested plan. What is showing here is the chajakee as the main shade, and you can see that a lot of sun will come through that. This is why the buria should be laid first, and THEN the chajakee. Chajakee is also great for covering the outside of windows in the summer. They allow light through, but keep a lot of the heat out.)
- Tie twine from the horizontal front pole at intervals of 6 inches down to the ground, and plant more morning glory seeds.
After a few weeks, you will have a "green wall" as privacy and additional coolness.
- Hang a ceiling fan to the middle of your bamboo shade, along with hanging flower pots and hanging kerosene lanters (monitored, of course) and this will be a great place to gather with friends and family after a long hot day of work in Afghanistan.
- Place flower pots around, a inexpensive iranian rug, comfy furniture or toshaks, and enjoy!
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