The New Floor Project Begins

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November 15th 2014
Published: November 16th 2014
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We woke up early this morning as we needed to stop at Mega Home to pick up more supplies for the new Floor Project. We arrived back at FL just after nine this morning and the project was well under way. All of the boys above the age of about seven were hard at work already with Goin and Tin Tin (the gardener who looks after the two acre vegetable plat at the back of the yard). It was amazing to see them all working hard and having such a good time. There is no cement mixer. The concrete is a sand mix. The sand is brought into the room in plastic hand baskets by the kids and piled up in a heap and flattened until there is about half of a cubic metre of sand. Two bags of portland cement are then spread out over the sand and the entire pile is turned over 2 or 3 times times by hand shovelling. The centre of the pile of sand and cement dry mix is then is then dug out to form a depression to hold water. The boys then bring in buckets of water from the water tank by hand.
Making the FloatMaking the FloatMaking the Float

The kids are so interested in everything!
The mixture is then slowly mixed by pushing the dry mix into the centre of the pool of water and turning the mix over and over working it out the the edges of the pile. More water is added until the mix is runny enough to flatten out easily. The concrete is then carried by bucket to the next area of floor to be covered.

This process will be repeated over and over again until the room is finished. This will likely take about three days in total for the full 1250 square foot area to be finished. A ready mix truck would have had this job done in about 2 hours but they really don't exist in this area of Thailand.

It was a fun day. Ted and I helped out with the shovelling to some extent but we left all the sand and cement cement carrying to the boys. I built a wooden float with the wood and tools I purchased yesterday to make the levelling job easier. What a day! We just can't get over how happy these kids are and they worked so hard. There was no complaining or running off the job. They were very focused and interested in every aspect of the project.

We stopped for lunch at 12 noon and we all ate together in the kitchen where the cook and the older girls had cooked up a great meal of Burmese pumpkin curry, a spicy chicken, bean sprout, noodle dish served with rice. Very tasty. As usual, all the kids cleared and washed their own dishes and stacked them back on the shelf when lunch was over. Again no complaining from anyone.

After lunch Ted I took Ted for a walk to the Moei River and watched the Burmese people crossing the river in boats both ways going to and returning from the weekly market in the Thai village of Tha-Aad where FL is located. Lots of activity.

We mixed two more batches of cement after lunch and by 3:00 PM the floor was close to 50% complete. A little later Ted and I walked over to the local variety store and bought 40 juice boxes for all the workers and the little kids who had a lot of fun playing in the sand. The treat was a big hit.

Lots accomplished today and very satisfying for everyone involved.

Additional photos below
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