Tammy's Volunteer Tour

An Online Journal of My Volunteer Work in Tsunami Affected Areas in Asia

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Digging Holes!

January 27, 2006

WOW what a week! I have lots to report and I will attach a picture to this email for you :)! I have been having a great time!

The work on the island has come to a halt for now since we have caught up to the contractors.

This week I have been cruising around to other sites... Tap Tawan - I was compacting kitchen floors in the third phase(third building site). This means the first and second phases has been finished and families have moved in...how exciting is that?!

For a couple days after that we were digging sewers for Naem Keam and they were disgusting! I was digging while standing in some sort of muddy sludge right up to my knees... mmmm yum! NO!

Most of the holes needed to be 2 meters deep and 3ftx7ft in order to drop 6 concrete rings into them to act as holding tanks for sludge. The challenging part of the job was digging while the unknown fluids seeped into the hole through the clay. hahaha Yes.. gross but we all made the best of it!

I had a day off today and decided to work with the environmental clean up team for the experience. The people were pretty cool and the work is very different. I was basically cleaning up debris of the tsunami .. things like flip flops, clothing and building material. I found it surprising how much debris we had to, and still have to clean up. This project will take a long time before the beaches are restored to what they once were.

Today I heard that one of the volunteers had left because the work they were doing had struck them on a deep emotional level. Their group had been removing building material from the water and they found remains. After a year of work, there are still so many areas left waiting for our attention. Today I released the remains of a man from his button down shirt into the waters and I said a prayer. I didn't share this with anyone I was working with incase it would have upset them but I am sure they all shared the same experience. You see things here that give you insight into what happened on December 26th/05 and how horrific the numbers are of families lost.

Other than working I have been reading a bit and spending time with Ning (one of my Thai girlfriends)and having a few beer with friends I have newly met and old ones I have gotten reacquainted with.

Merideth will be here next week (A girl that I work with) and I am really looking forward to that!

The weather has been wonderfully hot and the water is like a bath (first time in the water to actually swim was today.)

Oh yeah... I picked up my clothes from Phuket airport cargo when I arrived (these are the ones I left in Chiang Mai last time i was here) ... LOL only to find out they sent me some checkered pants and this butterfly clown like shirt... some other wild tops straight out of the 70's that were probably owned by some joker! Funny thing is they fit me to a T! hahaha So I have been sporting them once in a while because everyone seems to love them.. hehehe

P.S. I almost lost my left foot.. and I got a tattoo! I was digging in the septic hole with this crazy thai guy. He took a shovel, faced my way and just went for it.... well while filling his shovel with *&$!@, he also ripped the nail off my toe and his shovel stopped just before my ankle....

...yes I still have my foot, but I'm sure you can imagine the words that came out of my mouth!! ;)
Now the tattoo is on the top of my left foot (post shovel incident) and I designed the symbol with the help of a Thai artist here. It means Year of the Dragon, because that is when I was born. I was tattooed in the traditional way with bamboo and it hurt like whoa! I couldn't be happier though... take a look


nixgreen said...

hey tammy
was googleing n came accross ya blog
looks awesome u dirty ho!
nikki -from ko ko khao -

10:25 PM, April 24, 2007  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Please click on the "Make a Donation" button if you would like to help buy supplies. (I've authorized Arcana Media to collect money on my behalf)