Sunday, 11 July 2010

Travelling Back To BanLung

Today we were up early and down at the school by 7 to help put up some of the A-frames for the building; it was a lot more rewarding than the earth moving and the progress that is being made now is seriously rapid, and very impressive to see. These guys are essentially building a school with a box of nails, an axe and a few chopped up trees; I can safely say that it wouldn't meet building regs in the UK though!

After an hour or so, we packed up our kit and loaded up the hummer for the long journey back to Ban Lung. The children were all out to wave us off as we drove out of the village; the village chief said to us "please come back soon; the children are like clothes; if you don't keep caring for them, they ruin". It's great to see what kind of impact we have had and that they are so keen to welcome back more support in the future.

The hummer journey was pretty uneventful; just sore bums and masses of ants falling off trees. The only amusing thing was it getting stuck on the beach as it tried to reach the ferry to unload. That didn't matter though, we just took our bags and went across (mine got dropped in the water - luckily it is a waterproof sac!). Halfway across the river the monsoon began, and it rained big time! Tom, Alex and I drew the short straw and had to sit in the back of the pick up for the remainder of the journey back- ponchos came in very useful.
About 5 minutes down the road we had one of the scariest experiences of my life. The pickup swerved slightly to avoid a moped and then went into a huge aqua/mudplane skid - we went from the left hand side of the road to being in the ditch on the righthand side, then back again.
In the back we literally had our hearts in our mouths. Luckily the tyres gripped again and it was fine, but we all went very pale in the face!

When we eventually arrived back at Treetops it was a huge relief. I showered and shaved a weeks worth of stubble off, before having a sleep for an hour or so this afternoon.

We are heading out for a pizza this evening - we all decided that we needed some western food, rather than another meal of rice. Then we are hoping to stay awake to watch the world cup final (it will be a 1:30am kick off time for us).

It has been an amazing week and I have certainly seen and been to places that I have never dreamed of going to. These villages are fascinating and it's great to see that we can make such a difference to them.

Looking forward to a long lie-in and rest tomorrow - if a cockrel comes anywhere near my room...I can't be accountable for my actions!

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