Early this summer the HELP International Thailand team drove high up in the Northern mountains to a village called Pa Shi. The villagers there were very kind and friendly. They told us about their desire to install a new water pipeline and filter that would provide them with clean water in a more quick and efficient manner. We agreed to work with them and provide part of the money for this pipeline and filter. A few weeks later, we brought long blue pipes, sand, cement, and the filter parts to Pa Shi. It was a two-day project.
The first day we unloaded the sand, picked up large rocks, hoed up dirt, and built dams in a river creek with the rocks, dirt, and cement. Half of our group worked alongside the river making dams and fitting the pipes into the dams. We made a long assembly line and carried heavy buckets of sand from the truck to the stream. The other half of the team worked on the end part of the pipeline where it connects to a new filter. We removed rocks and brush, hoed the ground, mixed cement and assisted the Thai village men in constructing the filter. They showed us how to use sticks, rocks, and banana trees to create a cement base. Running through the base, were two pipes: one to bring in the unfiltered water and one to release the clean water. We stacked wide circular cement tubes on top of each other and the villagers cemented them together to prevent water leakage.
The second day in Pa Shi, we connected the pipes from the dams to the filter. It was a whole team effort as we maneuvered the pipes down the river and glued them together. By the end of this project we had become very comfortable and close with the villagers who had helped us. They drove us back to the village on their motorbikes and gave us a bottle of honey and a bag as a gift. It was an emotional ending to a great project of working together HELP volunteers and locals and to see the teamwork and gratitude we had developed for each other.