91. Construction for Dummies 2.0: From Bamboo to Mud

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Written on the 6th of April

It was a surprisingly relaxing and easy journey… for me at least. Louise however, as the one in charge of the only working phone, found it a bit more stressful. After a final breakfast at the bamboo farm, we packed up our stuff, said goodbye to Milk and Batman and headed, somewhat fretfully, towards the new farm. Although this place is situated in the province directly below the bamboo farm, we had to make a giant loop around. A giant loop which ended up taking 10 hours or so. From the bamboo farm we lugged our backpacks up to the main road where we spent the next hour attempting to flag down the passing minivans. After two driving right by us while gleefully returning our waves with accompanying sniggers, we managed to get one. Relying completely on the friendliness of strangers, we arrived at the bus station… Where we waited another hour for another van. After less than an hour, we were at another station. Do you get the picture? A lot of waiting, not so much driving. The credit on Louise’s phone kept on mysteriously running out, so we were unsure about how we would actually manage to find our host. Eventually we got a hold of him and let him talk to the bus driver. After what felt like a life time we arrived, starving and parched, at Chachoengsao where we met Rae – our new host. Along with another volunteer, we squeezed into the pickup truck and drove an hour away, to Rae’s farm.

I slept so well last night – exhausted from the long day of transit – and was awake and ready for a day of work by 7:30. At this farm, we are getting a truly immersive cultural experience. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, consisted of rice, vegetables, sauces and salted fish. We have also been left on the farm with our host’s parents, who do not speak a word of English – it is amazing how much can be conveyed through body language. We have talked about everything from how us Europeans must find Thailand very hot, to how to open a strange corn drink. We started off the day of work by helping Rae with his soap production. We pasted, poured and cut, ending in beautiful specimens of bottled liquid soap. The rest of our tasks can be summed up with these pictures.

Yes, we spent the day mixing mud and rice husks with our feet. The mud is being used to create bricks for these awesome structures.

We also got to help shape about 120 bricks, which will take a month or so to dry, depending on the sun intensity.

We also met these cute little pups, who had the most glorious puppy energy.

Oh, and there is no internet here, so you will be receiving these updates sometime in the future. Maybe we will even be in South Africa by then!

//Niamh

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