Read my blog, just love me or hate me! Thanks for dropping by! =)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mekong Build 2009: Cambodia (Part 2)

now, let's continue with our journey.. =)

lucky us, we have a twin sharing room.. room 250!

but if Habitat had saved on our lodging expenses and food,
we could have built more houses for the less fortunate.. oh well~

from Monday onwards (16 nov), up to Saturday (21 nov)
our wake up time was around 5.15am!
but as days went by, we woke up later..
meaning less breakfast time..
we had to drag ourselves up from the bed after a gazillion snoozes!

latest by 5.45am, we would be at the lobby's restaurant..
it was really interesting to see so much food for breakfast!
but as days go by, i kinda got fed up with the same food served..

my usual breakfast during my week there consisted of:
omelete, bacon, baked beans, ham, sausages, pastry and cereal..

our buses usually leave at 6.30am sharp..
by that time, the sun will be shining pretty high in Phnom Penh!
back home, it would still be pitch-black.. =P

i slept throughout the 1 hour plus journey on the first 2 days..
then for the rest of the days, i observed my surroundings..
people exercise in the parks along the Tonle Sap river..
passing by the factories and market area..
their so-called "buses" filled with school children or working adults..

it's basically a motorcycle with a small lorry-like trunk..
placed with several wooden planks as seats! no roof..
i think it can fit around 20 adults.. really sardin-packed! interesting?!

before arriving the site - Sra Prang Village in Oudong province..
our bus leader would wake us up from our beauty sleep..
most of us would be applying sunblocks on our skin..
especially on our face, ears, neck and hands!
maximum sun exposure in these areas you see.. XD

Day 1 of build (Monday, 16 Nov 2009)

walking towards the build site after exiting the bus..

we were greeted by a performing troop..

and not forgetting the simple opening ceremony!

we met our "housemates" and i was assigned to house no.8.. =)
the house i built was sponsored by Habitat For Humanity New Zealand..
so obviously the foreign volunteers i worked with were Kiwis!
4 of them actually: Larraine, Albe, Noel and Andrew..
local youth volunteers like Heang Siv, Mai and Net..
3 skilled workers who are paid USD5 a day: Kosal, Sreng and Non..
and our home owners: It Noy, Phally, Vanneth and Thavy..

all of our 21 houses started out looking like this:

the front of the house.. 1 layer of cement and 2 layers of bricks!

the back of the house.. toilet was already built with toilet bowls in it..

all of us are required to wear glooves throughout the build..
we carried bricks, soaked them in water,
placed cement then the bricks, then the patch up work..
the continuous bending down, squatting and standing up
was beyond imaginable.. a great workout!
by the end of the 1st day, i could hardly feel my wrinkled fingers..
and my hand shook while holding a 500ml bottle!

each brick was this heavy.. around 8kg!!!

hammering the bricks..

after placing the bricks on the cement,
we need to hammer it down to match the height of the string..
and sideways to make sure the stick on the adjacent bricks..

excess cement were removed and gaps were filled!

there are around 6 different types of bricks at our worksite..
the usual rectangular blocks of bricks;
rectangular brick with a depression in the middle on the top surface;
a cuboidal block of brick, half the size of the rectangular ones;
each of these also has similar one with a hole at one end!

the ones with the holes and depressions are for the steel rods..
which are placed in between the bricks for additional support!
i know that every 9th layer of bricks require steel rods,
firmly cemented into the bricks with depression..

this is how they the windows were fixed..

a few guys hold the window panes
and cement it to the underlying bricks..
extra cement are palced at the bottom corners..
a long bamboo stick is tied onto the top of the windows,
the lower end of the bamboo stick has a brick tied on it..
doing this, the window panes can stand while the cement dries..

Day 2 of build (Tuesday, 17 Nov 2009)

with bus B.. the banner was up during the 2nd day of the build

safety helmets were a must from that day onwards..
as our walls are getting higher, safety precaution is strictly adhered!

me passing a brick to Non.. a lot of stretching that day..

myself with the tools used while doing the cementing..

Mel doing the patching up work..

it was not just work, work, work!
we had time to play, enjoy and camwhore too.. hehe

Andrew and i "attacking" each other..

locked behind bars (of the door)..

Vanneth, the son of my house owner helping us out!

Day 3 of build (Wednesday, 18 Nov 2009)

we have 3 breaks daily..
morning break at 10am, lunch at 12pm and afternoon break at 3pm..
we usually have fruits with cakes/cookies for the 1st and last breaks..
lunch is usually white rice with 2 meat, 1 salad/spagetthi and dessert..
meat being chicken, pork, beef or seafood and always cakes!

this is me eating green banana for the first time!

house owners, volunteers, workers ate together during lunch!

our typical lunch box.. pretty filling!

ice-cold water and vitamin C juice are provided throughout the day..
staff and volunteers would push a cart full of them house to house!
soft drinks are also available during lunch.. nice eh?

but it is always back to work after the breaks.. duh~

Non doing the balancing act on the walls

i finally dared to climb up the scaffolding..
a lot of courage and strength needed!

and helped out with the patch work on top!

the scaffolds were this high and very flimsy..

the sun shine on us, the scorching heat was ease by the wind..
gone was the heat, and in came the dust into our nose and eyes!
we felt terrible at first and eventually got used it..
many thanks to the cold towels and face masks! =)

the medical center for any case of emergency!

i guess that's all for now.. wait patiently for Part 3!!!
p/s: pictures contributed by Giana, Mel and myself

Read Comments
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

No comments: