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One of our tasks in clearing the rubble was to save the whole bricks and sometimes any half bricks,
depending on the means of the homeowner, and to pile them up for future use in rebuilding. The rest
of the brick rubble we carted away by wheelbarrow, a very exhausting job as you can see by the "after"
photo of Dave Campbell, our founder and executive director.

 

Marc poses with a satisfied customer after we cleared her yard of rubble on our first day in
country. Surrounded by fairly primitive liiving conditions, we were stunned when the lady went
into the house and brought out her cellphone camera to get a couple shots for herself.

 

Here is one of the temporary schools that was set up after the regular schools collapsed. They
had two classes in the same room. With all us gringos working right next to the building, it didn't
help much with class discipline.

   

 

The families we helped were very appreciative and supplied us with bottled water and snacks during
work breaks. There were plentiful delicious fresh fruits, rice cakes, and even cooked items.

In many cases, they even supplied us with lunch and dinner. We tried to point out that we had lunch and dinner
waiting for us at home, but they persisted in the hospitality. So, some days we had five meals but with
all the hard work we both lost weight just the same.

   

   

On the jobs that were in the interior of the village, away from the main streets nearer the rice fields,
we had to trundle the debris quite a distance. You can see the long piles of brick rubble below alongside
the road. The chief later arranged a working party of local men, after they came back from work. Some trucks
arrived and they loaded all the rubble onto the trucks using bare hands, rice scoops, and straw mats!

   

The poster below displays instructions for building a temporary shelter from locally-available
materials.

   

Here are some scenes from a typical work day. Were were up to about 15 volunteers at a time, so
we had two teams out on different jobs.

   

 

Here you see rice spread out to dry on the paved surface of a small bridge. British volunteer Joanna, also
known as "Gimpy", came to us with a sprained ankle. She still wanted to help out at the work site, so we just
trundled her to and fro on one of the wheelbarrows, much to the amusement of the locals. Also shown here
is the box of real donuts brought to us from the big city by a friend.

   

In Sawit, you didn't have to move away from your front door to buy things. We had a constant parade
of ambulant vendors coming past. Here's Miaseh buying some of our daily food, and Marc returning with a
bowl of hot soup.

 

Below: a couple of passing blanket vendors.

 

 

We worked for several days near the small home of an elderly retired couple who watched us going by. When we were
done, they asked if we could help them clear their rubble. As we shoveled away the bricks from their yard, we kept
uncovering cockroaches which were soon discovered by the couple's baby chicks. We had to appoint Les as "chick wrangler"
to keep the little guys from being killed by our shovels.

The couple were not very well-to-do and their only possessions were two chickens and the chicks.
When we had finished, they presented us with one of their two chickens as a gift. Not knowing what to do with a live chicken,
we managed to turn down the offering without offending anyone.

   

 


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