Friday 27th June 2014
Today, our final day, has been big but also one of the best. We worked in the village as usual dividing our time between the kids and the construction project. Our aims today were:
1. To finish the concrete foundations for the community building we have been working on and
2. To install the new paneling we made earlier in the week on a house in the village. The house, which is really just a small, roofed room, is the home of an elderly couple and their family. They have both been suffering from health problems, which has made it difficult for them to support their family by fishing. Altogether eight people live in the house.
We worked solidly all day but as the afternoon wore on it looked as though we wouldn’t get it all done. With an hour to spare the cavalry arrived – the group who had been working with the kids came to our rescue, riding in on white horses (actually they were bicycles borrowed from the kids at the school) to lend a hand. The whole team found extra strength and dug, shovelled, mixed and carried until we had all six concrete foundations finished. We also replaced the battered and leaking wall panels with our snug new ones. By this time we had reached a record level of dirty, sweaty, smelly griminess but the grateful smiles from the couple made it all worthwhile.
This evening we remained in the village to say goodbye, eat with our new friends and have a party. There were speeches, a beautifully elegant apsara dance by the young girls a delicious meal. This has been an eye-opening, challenging, rewarding and above all fun experience for all of us. What better way to celebrate and say goodbye than an all-in dance party on the basketball court with Alex and [Prince] William DJing? We danced the night away, enjoying our final night together but not quite believing that tomorrow we would all be off on our next adventure – back home to university, summer breaks or travelling on.
From John and I thank you all for your enthusiasm, the fun, your easy going attitudes and mostly your hard work. You have already made a difference in the lives of people (and elephants!) who need a hand. Keep on doing what you do! 🙂