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14th of July Last day of build

After along week of work everyone was knackered on the last bus trip to the build site however we all fronted up to finish what we started. During the last few hours of the build  there was a huge surge of energy as we aimed to get the jobs done before our build time was up. After we where given the times up we madly rushed around trying to tidy up the house and put the last finishing touches to the houses before we presented them to the families. 
The handing over of the house to the people or the house ceremony was an incredibly beautiful moment. Especially after reviewing the photos I took seeing the smiles of pure joy on the faces of the new home owners was an amazing moment. also seeing the looks of achievement of the faces of the students as the saw the real fruits of the weeks hard labor.
After we went to each house and handed the families the keys to there home we had a small party which was an awesome ice breaker for some of us who had not been able to know the family's fro…

12th of July

On Wednesday morning we went to a school a few minutes away from our build sites. We split into groups and sang songs, played games, and tried to teach them some English as well. After that we moved outside to play some more games and give the children a small gift each. The kids loved the hokey pokey and heads shoulders knees and toes. We all had a great time and loved having the opportunity to spend time at their school.
After being at the school we went to have lunch and spent the rest of the day building again. Unfortunately our building was cut short due to a storm and heavy rain.
We walked to a western restaurant for dinner and everyone was very excited to see some good they recognized from home.

13th of July

This morning we all got up for the fourth day of building. The group had breakfast and were keen to get the day underway. We all got sorted into our groups and boarded the buses after a short devotion before heading to each build site I am apart of the first wood house where we have just recently finished shaving all the bamboo. The bus trips in the morning are long but a good time to have another sleep and rest your eyes before the building starts. When we arrived at the build site we were welcomed by the family and people around where we are building. We were all energised and keen to start hammering the bamboo onto the floor to get the floor done before the end of the day. Before we went to the big tent go lunch our group had a bit of a hiccup where the bus actually got bogged when trying to pass a motorbike with a big load. We had to get out of the bus to push the bus out of the mud where we were caught. The family watching us stood close by and had a laugh and then apologised for…

Sunday Never to late

Today, our third day into the trip was the most relaxed so far. We started the day with breakfast in the lobby of the hotel and chose from a variety of different breakfast foods that seemed more unusual than yesterdays. Once everyone was ready with their backpacks and stocked up on water we boarded the busses and headed for the Lutheran church in the out skirts of the city. Once we arrived we took off our shoes at the door and were greeted by smiling faces and friendly Cambodian kids running around and giggling, we found our seats and received a warm welcome from the local pastor. The band took their place behind the instruments and began to play, the songs whilst in a completely different language still encouraged everyone to dance, sing and clap as the Cambodians were doing. Despite the language gap the feeling of sharing the common passion for Christ seemed to bridge that gap enough for everyone to enjoy and think about the message the pastor was conveying. Pastor Orn Daniel talked…

Day 2, 11th of July

Today we on the brick house we finished the floor by laying down rocks and compacting them into the soil floor. We then made a large batch of concrete by shoveling 14 buckets of sand and three bags of cement on to the ground before mixing it all up on the ground. We then started a bucket line to lay the concrete down over the rocks to complete the floor. Then the walls of the building needed to be completed so we began laying bricks to build up the walls using cement to fix them together. This took a lot of time and perseverance. Today was less full on our site than the day before and we took the opportunity to sit down more often and interact with the local kids. This was really enjoyable.
Today we also got to go and see the current house of the family we are building for. Seeing this first hand really help us understand what they have to live with and how much a secure home means to these families.

Day 4, first day of build

Today was our first day on the build site. We were running rate like usual (due to traffic) so unfortunately we arrived and started late. Before building we were introduced to the Cambodian families that were receiving the houses and we spilt off to start the work. Two groups were sent to work on a wooden house while the other two worked on a brick house together. We worked on one of the two wooden houses primary smoothing/skinning the bamboo which will eventually be used flooring for the raised house. This was done using machetes which is where we have our quote of the day from Travis “kids be careful with the machetes”. Throughout the day we also had to work around challenges such as water filling into the whole that we dug for the septic tank to go in. however to very wet and muddy works managed to get the job done. Lunch was delivered to us in woven baskets and we had the choice of a range of curries, stir fries and noodles. We also ate fruit throughout the day including mango-stei…

Day 2 July 8th

Today was our first fully day in Cambodia and a very full day it would be with the visit to the killing fields, torture museum and finishing with some retail therapy. The torture museum was the first stop on our agenda and as we began the tour with our guide we began to really know what Cambodia had been through. We learnt a lot to say the lest and saw and heard things that are beyond comprehension. It was so sad to see what humans a capable of doing to each other. However, it was great to hear from one of the 14 survivors of the torture museum as he told his story about how he was treated and how his ability to repair typewriters saved his life. We then headed to the killing fields where the realness of the Khmer Rouge (the massacre) began to hit home. We were individually walked through the complex and told the stories and last moments of thousands of innocent Cambodian people. We saw things and too difficult to describe but were able to see why this country is where it is and how fa…