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13 Jan 2018
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20% discount for returning volunteers

Rushing out of breakfast to pack our bags for our first home-stay experience, we loaded up our bags on one truck and jumped on another. We headed to the Huay Mae Sai waterfall to relax and have lunch before beginning our challenging hike to the village which happened to be inaccessible by car.

After a 45 minute hike we got to the village and started settling down. Everybody was starving, so after making our beds and setting our mosquito nets we gathered on the porch of the bamboo hut to At first the locals were shy and even had a hard time looking into our eyes. There are clearly some cultural differences in such a remote place, for example: they had farm animals underneath the house and fed them through the cracks of the bamboo floor.

Sunset came shortly after our meal. The lack of electric power encouraged us to use our imaginations to keep ourselves entertained : Master Jeda showed us his best magic tricks, Ben cracked his best jokes and Henry got peed on by a innocent local kid.

Another unexpected event came up around 4AM during the pitch black night. Roosters here have another concept of time and woke us up in the middle of the night. Although some managed to sleep through the night: Andrew kept on sleep-talking and Felipe snored like a pig.

Locals woke up at 5AM to prepare our breakfast. With our batteries half charged we were on our way for our first day of work. The land was 30 minutes away but the incredible scenery made up for it. Our task consisted on building nine rice terraces on the family’s land. Basically we had to dig, drag, flatten, build up walls, clear out and REPEAT!

After a long day of work and a hike back through a rain storm, a must in a rainforest area... We were all eager to hop into the surprisingly westernized showers and pay a short visit to the squat toilets.

Despite the challenging tasks and harsh conditions we managed to achieve our goal in 2 days instead of 3 thanks to everyone’s effort and commitment.

The family showed their appreciation by giving each one of us (not all of us) a handmade bamboo cup and bracelet. Despite the language barrier the old man managed to explain through signs Special thanks to all the Mirror Foundations Crew, IVHQ, and everyone who took part in this amazing experience.

The Girls: Lucy, Daisy, Tara, Niamh, Zoe, Jenny, Claire, View, Mint, Ana, missing Jacqueline and Abby

The Boys: Curtis, Ignacio, Ben, Leo, Renaud, Matt, Max, Andrew, Graeme, Henry, Jeda, Felipe, Manop (Thai Super Man), Surachai (The Boss), Jordan (IVHQ guy)

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