This past March break I traveled to Thailand to do a community service project. I helped build a Community service center for the local sea gypsy village so that they could learn English increasing their chances of getting a job. I was with a group of 20 class mates, 4 teachers, and about 4 locals we where also joined by another class of 20 people. The village that we built the community center for had a population of over 100 people in an area about half an acre in size. The area around the village was covered in resorts that just squished the villagers into the small area.
We worked from 9 till 5 with a 1 hour break in between for lunch for a little over a week. It was very hard work in very hot weather conditions. I find it amazing how hard it is to do simple tasks without modern machinery to do everything for you. All we had was a stationary cement mixer that was a fair distance from where we actually needed the cement. In the time we where there we only made foundations of a wall and cleared out a hill to level it. It is amazing how hard it is to move a hill of dirt using hoes and buckets, a job that took us around 30 hours could have been done in 10 min with modern machinery. Even moving the cement from the mixer to the places where it was required a ridiculous more amount of effort then it would here. We created a line to pass the small buckets along to where it was needed it seems a bit dumb but it worked very efficiently. The job I happened to be doing was finding bags of rock and sand for the cement mixer which where in a huge pile. The bags where placed randomly making it hard to find what I needed since there was a lot more sand then there was rock. All the bags where tied up at the top and the only thing I had to open them with was a small razor blade.
The work wasnt the only hard part another big issue I had was the language barrier between me and the 4 locals. Out of my group I worked the most with them since I had the most unique job compared to passing buckets in a line. It is amazingly hard to communicate without words you try so hard to use actions but they just never understand. The trip was great and I recommend it to any one who has the chance to do it. It really does give you a different look on the world.
(hope this was better then my other blogs) :D