Sawadee Ka from Thailand! Our most recent endeavor has been a very fun one - playgrounds! We have been working on refurbishing a hazardous playground for the village of Ba Deng, and we are also building a playground for the village of Huai Bu, which has a very rusted playground at the present time.
Since I am the project lead for the two playgrounds I have been very involved in their construction process. This has given me a first hand look at how rewarding, challenging, and frustrating development work can sometimes be. The Ba Deng playground refurbishment has been relatively smooth, but the Huai Bu playground has been more challenging. Huai Bu has a very serious water shortage issue in the dry season so they asked us if we would assist them in building a water pipeline. We happily agreed, but this brought up an issue because the village leader would not grant permission to let us start building the playground until the water pipeline was finished. After many obstacles and setbacks the water pipeline was finally completed, but then we were unable to speak with the village leader about the playground again for a while due to various issues with his schedule. I was starting to get very discouraged and began thinking that this project that I had been working on for over two months was not going to happen. However, he was finally able to call us back last week and he gave us the green light to begin the playground!
All of the frustration from the roadblocks to this playground melted away as soon as we saw the children playing on the base of the tire pyramid!
The original plan I proposed for this playground involved a tire dome, but the metal mesh in the tires made that very difficult. So instead of a dome, Marissa and I worked together to construct this awesome tire pyramid!
We have been working on refurbishing the playground for Ba Deng since the first month we were here. Our biggest obstacle was building a structure to replace the rusted metal slide and this is what we came up with!
There are endless emotions being felt throughout our team as our time here in Thailand comes to a close. Among the list are excitement to see our loved ones again, heartache to say goodbye to the beautiful people we have grown to truly love, and anticipation to finish the projects we have been working so hard on for eleven weeks. Countless roti trips, visiting the ornate temples, our daily scenic drives to the villages filled with lush greenery as far as the eye can see, eating Dairy Queen in the back of the truck, spending time with ridiculously cute Thai children, and the radiant smiles of our villager friends are just a few of the countless things we are going to miss so deeply when we leave. I think I speak for us all when we say we will never forget that one time in Thailand. :)
--Chelsea, Thailand Team Member
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