last day before we head home

October 5, 2010

Laos. Snake whiskey. A quick cross into Burma. Elephants and longboats. It’s been a full day and a half. We stepped into Laos today, a first for me. The team were a bit confronted I think by the kids who met our boat as we came up to the pontoon. They were bedraggled and grubby and helpful and then they were begging. Even with a framework for aid and devlopment and a steady sense of what I think about supporting child begging I find it hard- and so did the team. It seems so wrong that children be caught in the middle of poverty and their capacities so managed by the adults in their world.
The afternoon was a whole different world. We went to see the two sites that Rod and Sue have been working on. Then we called through their house! I was thrilled on every count. They are amazing people (they would hate to know I wrote that) and doing a terrific job. Their home is lovely and a fine place to stay for anyone wanting to come out and help…..
We all went out to dinner tonight and then most of the team hit the night markets…. Tomorrow we will meet again to debrief over breakfast and then head to the airport. We look forward to talking to all of you about our time over here and hope you can join us next year, or Rod and Sue earlier.
We know you may be thrilled or may be bored at the thought of all our chatter and our photos, but we hope you will take the time to listen to our hearts to hear what God has been doing in and through us and those we have been with for the last week and a half.
Lots of love and thanks for following and for your prayers and comments


October 3, 2010

well, after being ‘traumied’ (Irish for traumatised) by the sweet Thai massage ladies we were treated to a return journey in the van with Roland at the helm. He has laid rubber in Wiang Papao. Which is no mean feat comsidering it is a lumping great 12 seater van…… One day we are laying cement and the next we are laying rubber…..

tonight we are going out for dinner with Supote and Mam and some of the staff from Peace Church. We are ‘frockin up’ into our new Nail Poverty tshirts which look rather suave I must say. I spoke in the sunday class for leaders this morning with an interpreter. We had fun. I hope it had some value for them, it was certainly a privilege for me.

Love to all back home, Mon

Last night we went to the village church. It was an amazing experience for us both. It was fantastic to see the whole community being together and us being a part of it. This morning we had an enjoyable time at Peace Church. Two little boys took great pleasure in distracting me (Roland) during the service by poking my hands and pulling at the hair on them.  Apparently giant hairy white people are a noveltyJ

I  (Sue) went out to take part in Sunday School for the kids. Kym came and helped too. We had plenty of fun and the flowers and the glo sticks were popular. Later today we all experienced our second massage (very enjoyable) and I even had my nails done- a first for me (Roland) no kidding ( it was really Sue)

Looking forward to tomorrow as we see some of the sights of northern Thailand. We are going to miss the lovely people we have met here.

Roland and Sue

Was a great feeling when the last of the concrete went down yesterday. I don’t think I have ever sweated this much or been this dirty. I found our time at the home church a wonderful experience. We survived the ride up the hill  and down in the back of the ute.  On the ride home  Arjay  sang hillsong it was pretty special. This mornings church service was emotional and exciting. I really enjoyed helping with Sunday school. I just wanted to take the kids home. We have had fun with massage and nails. I will be sorry to leave the wonderful people we have met.

Kym


Grand Finale.

October 2, 2010

Hi there! Well today was the grand finale on site ( at least for us…)

We laid the last of the slab for  Supote and Mam’s house. When we arrived at the site this morning, there were still a number of tasks needing completion before the cement truck arrived. We got stuck into it and finished them at the moment the truck pulled into the gates. Fantastic.

It was a real joy to see the slab down. Rod is coming back during next week to put a finishing few mm on the top- to allow for polished concrete floors in the future.  To know that the project has had a real boost is very heartening.

Our moments with the Thai guys and girls have been getting more and more lively as the days have progressed. There is laughter and joking, efforts to learn language from them and us and a chance to hear their stories.

Tonight we went up to a village house church. Rough road is an understatement….. It is a small gathering of villagers- comprising up to five tribal groups. It is a precious thing to be invited into their space and shown hospitality as they made room for us and welcomed us. The stars are VERY bright out in the village. A lovely vista from the back of the ute!

We are all a bit tired and have had a superb Thai massage- we intend to head back for another tomorrow. We are looking forward to seeing some of the country over the next three days, especially what Rod and Sue have been doing and where they live!

Mon

Hey everybody,

Today was a brilliant day. We finished off the last of the slab, messed around with the locals, got an authentic massage (painful) and finished the day with a great meeting in the local village church up in the hills of Wiang Pa Pao.

Dinner tonight was spicy Thai style, no knives, forks or spoons just roll up the sticky rice with your fingers and dip it in other tasty dishes.

Heading to Peace Church in the morning.

-Graeme :D


Some photos.

October 2, 2010

Even Supote is learning Irish

September 30, 2010

Language – what a barrier…what frustration! Yet somehow we still manage to communicate with counting on fingers, gestures, diagrams, and lots of smiles and thumbs up. In spite of that, together we achieved so much today. The main team set up the form work for the remaining side of the house. Lots of levelling, lots of cutting of timber planks, lots of drilling and screwing, lots of hammering in of pegs to keep it all in place…then came the sand for the fill in the middle of the house to bring it up to the right level in preparation for the concrete pour tomorrow. I (Hadyn) and Tip finished off the components for the louvers that will cover the end of the house that last year’s team worked on. This is to stop the rain from coming through. Didn’t finish…but got a good start. My MIG welding still is pretty poor…but if you melt enough metal, it seems to hang together even if it looks poor (actually, Roland had a different description for it). We are off tomorrow, will miss the team and the task, but we have added our “teaspoon” to help put out the fire.

Mon here. Well, last nights highlight for me was the language lessons form Grainne. I can now speak several words of “Irish’. These include yebeegeejit. (You big idiot), and a couple of others I forgot already. I am so good at yebeegeejit that now whenever Grainne wants to call someone a big idiot she just yells ‘MON!’ and I yell out yebeegeejit. It passes the time. As well as the shovelling of sand, sawing of wood , eating of food, tying in of reo (reinforcing for the unitiated), whic also seem to make the day fly by. We are very excited to be doing another concrete pour tomorrow and a third on Sat morning. The slab for the house will be down!

Last night during debrief, there was a plan hatched to create a spud gun which will send piglets flying from their current home to thier newly dug ‘pig hole’ on the new site. Very very thrilling aid and development work :)

Loving being here and loving the team and loving Supote and Mam and Doug. Loving the God who makes us a family all over the world….

Love Mon

Roland here, they’re being mean to me. Grainne is being a nasty wench, all I do is work hard all day and what thanks do I get, rude comments about the noises i can’t help making. I’m sad, I’m going to my room to hug my pillow, SUE WHERE IS MY BOTTLE???!!! I want my pink comfy slippers.

Roland.


Its gone off…the concrete that is.!

September 29, 2010

Another great day on the site. Form work set and then the big pour. Controlled chaos as the concrete flowed…and then the formwork blew out and we had to dig 10 tons of concrete out (well, it felt like that). Fixed the formwork and continued with the pour, the barrowing and the levelling. Up 6, down 10, up 8, down 3, up 1…perfect….Roland is just a BIT pedantic about levels. I spent some time (5 minutes) being taught how to MIG weld by Rod…then I had a go and then taught Teep, one of the local Thai guys how to MIG weld…blind leading the blind. His welding was better than mine. Think I’ll go back to supervising…those who can do…those who can’t, teach. Had a great game of cricket with the Thai kids at tea time at the church.  Hadyn.PS.  Roland says that he is an anti-blogger…think that means he can’t type…but he’s not bad with a shovel, a level and a drill.

hi – this is Karen. what a great day! it was 37 degrees in the shade at 4pm and we sweated our way through concreting and grinding and all sorts of  other buidling type things! i learnt to grind metal today! fantastic meals again – such tasty food beautifully prepared. and so muuch fun, laughter and good spirits we  were almost drowing in it!   everyone a bit manic tonight what with the heat and the excitement of getting the footings half done! thanks for messages and prayers. therre is so much to say but its hard to find words at the moment. just very glad of the opportunity to be here with this great team and these generous hopeful Thai people.

hi everyone(graeme here)

having  a great time working with the locals and the team(half the team is mad so makes it interesting…)  on the project here. been a very hot day but we managed to get the concrete poured and the supports off, ready to do the rest tomoro.


September 28, 2010

Hi everyone – today we arrived in Thailand and we are so very glad to be here with the rest of the team. Highlights include the most beautiful drive from Chiang Mai to Wiang Pa Pao – so green and lush but before that Doug took us to visit the two blocks where Rod and Sue have been working and to the near by school. it was so good to see these places in real life – especially Rod’s Shed :) then on arrival at Wiang Pa Pao we saw the home the team worked on last year – difficult to explain the joy of seeing this place with my own eyes. Dinner at Peace Church and the chance to hear more of the story of what is happening here to make a difference for children in difficult circumstances and with so much generosity with time and resources and spirit. Looking forward to cement work tomorrow!

Karen and Hadyn

Sawadee ka

Kym here, The second day has been really good. While quite a few members of the team have been doing formwork I have been doing little bits (nip noy) like helping out here and there, cutting wire, best of all using the drop saw(oh the power). My highlight was travelling Thai style in the back of the ute and it has just been great interacting with the locals.

Love Kym

Well today saw the formation of a number of traditions for our team. All instructions, once given are immediately repeated in a song of similar lyrics. Some alterations are allowed. Even Supote is now joining in!. Poor Graeme had a booboo (cut) and after a proper dressing form our first aider, he received ‘extra assistance’  from Roland in the form of an electrical tape tornique.  This needed removing at the end of the day and our resident ‘nurse nasty’ (Grainne) wanted to ‘remove it’….. The glint in her eye alerted Graeme to her impending delight at inflicting him with large amounts of pain and he ran off at high speed.  All is well with the team. They are all mad. Even Kym.  Except for Sue and Sue.

Love Mon

Sadly its all true…

-Graeme


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