BUSY BUILDING BUNGALOWS!!
We’ve had a busy and eventful few months with group after group coming to contribute to the Eco-Bungalow project. The project is located in the village of Long Lao Mai in the Luang Prabang District of Laos. Everyone brought with them their creativity, imagination, and an eagerness as only seen in the likes of volunteers!
With that, all the walls have been plastered twice over, creating a lovely earthen color, which is defined by the amount of lime that lightens the natural red of the dirt. The outdoor showers have walls, the bathrooms have plumbing and toilets. The lofts have been realized with the construction of its floor and bamboo hand rails. We’ve even started working on lighting and electrical!
Read on for the intriguing details of life in the village along with the Eco-Bungalow construction….!
After the walls went up, our next biggest hurdle was to get two layers of plaster on the walls in order to smooth them out while adding a little color to them. Our team experimented with a few colors and voted on what we liked for the exterior and interior walls. As with anything mud, drying time is important before the next step or next layer. There is shrinkage and touch ups will have to be made as needed.
With this process, the villagers of Long Lao Mai have the opportunity to learn this technique of building. There were about 7 villagers who participated in a one-day intensive training on the basics of maintenance of a clay house. There is slowly talk and interest in this kind of construction as more is learnt about it.
One of the teams that followed the students from Sweden was a group from Australia who were in for an unforgettable company team building experience!
On arrival, they made themselves at home, taking advantage of the break times to explore Long Lao Mai village and nearby villages. Low and behold! What did the group find…a place to chill and drink cold beer, not so different from a bar! And so, the “pumpkin bar” was founded. Easily identified by the stacks of pumpkins near the side of the road as well as the fact that they served cooked pumpkin with their drinks, the Pumpkin Bar is stocked with soda and cold beer and petanque balls! A small discovery that makes village life feel a little more special.
One group of volunteers wanted to do more while in the village. They set up hourly seminars for four days in a row. Each seminar was an informative, fun session which was translated to Lao by our guide. The topics covered included hygiene, sports, foreign culture, and geography. What a wonderful way to engage the children and the villagers. Great idea, Team!
Unprecedented was a small grouof our latest helpers. A family of four with two small children, ages 4 and 6. It’s never too soon to learn what it means to be a volunteer in a developing country!
Becoming more and more an annual activity is Tiger Trail’s own direct contribution to projects was our Team Building day. Twelve staff members from our Tiger Trail office piled into a minivan and spent the day doing what we could to help get the bungalow done.
A busy few months and still more work to be done!