Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.


December 11, 2009: Dream Home #1 Done!

Posted in Cambodia on December 15, 2009

All 20 of us were able to work today.
 

Team 1 finished the house at Site 1 this afternoon. There was quite a celebration. Beer, sodas and snacks were served. We gave toothbrushes to the children and Vy explained how to use them. Some of the men had a lively game of hacky sack.

The new homeowners performed an impromptu ribbon-cutting ceremony orchestrated by our teammate, Chamroen. The hostess welcomed everyone into her home with the prayer-hand gesture and greeting used here and we each returned the courtesy before stepping over the threshold. Prayer hands under at the chin and a slight bow are a sign of respect and used as a substitute for a handshake.
 

Members of Team 1 report experiencing mixed emotions upon completing the house - happiness for the family who will live there and sadness that their job was done and they would be moving on to another project They all felt a strong sense of satisfaction that their efforts vastly improved living conditions for the family.

Meanwhile, at Site 2, work continued on the tall house. The roof was finished and corrugated metal sides were hammered on, so it looks quite a bit more substantial than it did a day ago. The back side of the house is thatch, which will have to be applied when we return on Monday. Gaps under the eaves above the corrugated iron also need to be filed in. Some of us would like to paint the metal, which apparently is recycled, but there is no money in the budget for paint. We also have to finish hauling dirt for the floor. It looks as if Party No. 2 will have to wait until Tuesday.

The weekend is coming up, and there is a lot of discussion about leisure activities in the area. Most of us plan to take the half-hour boat ride to Rabbit Island and some people plan to spend Saturday night there in rustic huts that dot the shoreline. Jud and Bob plan to visit Sihanookville with Cheryl, an Australian woman staying at our hotel, and Tommy is taking a small group to Kampot to get supplies. We all look forward to our two days of R&R.

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