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 Childrens day donate
13 Jan 2018
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20% discount for returning volunteers

Week 1

Picture3Week number one was a huge success! The group that showed up to mirror at the same time as me was incredible. Amazing people from all around the world; England, Sweden, Australia, India, China, United States, Germany, Korea and Canada. Orientation was very informative and explains a lot about what to expect throughout your time volunteering. We spent most of our time this week working on rebuilding the road leading up to the Mirror Foundation. I'm not gonna say it was easy and the boiling heat didn't help, but overall it was a good work week.

An impulse decision was made to go play a football match at a local village against the local kids. It was about 50 kids against eleven of us. We left the pitch that day victorious with myself scoring the game winning goal. I was very proud. We also took a trip to the White Temple on Saturday morning. I can firmly say it wasn't my favourite. It does look quite interesting on the outside, but with all the Harry Potter and Transformers posters everywhere the only way to describe it is "cheesy." I think everyone should check it out at least once and gather their own opinion.  

After an easy three hour bus ride we spent weekend number one in Chiang Mai. Overall, week number one was great. 

Week 2

Picture5I can honestly say week number two was one of the most memorable times of my life. We went out on our first homestay. The drive to the village took about an hour. When we pulled into the village all the kids were running behind the truck with huge smiles on their faces. It was about 10:30 AM when we started work. Previous years the village had problems with water conservation.  

The plan was to build a dam so during the dry season the village would still be able to have access to clean water. They already had natural water purification systems installed so we just had to build the dam.

The hardest part was carrying all the supplies, buckets, hoes, sand, rock, mixing barrel, cement bags and fresh drinking water up to where we built the dam. It was roughly a 20 minute walk through the woods to where the path met the river. Then from there it was about another 15 minute walk up to where we planned to build the dam. It wasn't as hot because the tall trees kept it pretty shady. We began clearing out the area where the dam was gonna go. While a group of us mixed cement and collected rock. Another group created a steal frame that would be placed in the middle of the dam to maintain support.

It took us about three full days of work before we could consider it a fully functioning and effective dam. After our long days of work we ended it with a football match against the local kids. At the end of the night the whole village came together to chat and seeing songs. I can genuinely say it was the best experience of my life. When the end of the week rolled around it was painful leaving all the new friends I had made, but I truly knew I made an impact on their lives. We continued on to a monkey sanctuary that was an experience of its own. One of the monkeys felt really confident and stole my water bottle for about ten minutes before I managed to steal it back. Another monkey took an ice cream right out of Max's hand. After that we made our way to a local tea plantation. It was really interesting seeing the tea fields and getting to taste the tea. I definitely give week two a 10 out of 10. 

Week 3

Picture2Week three was harder than the other weeks, only because you became so close to a lot of the people from the start and multiple people left. We also gained a lot of new faces. Two new gentlemen from England, a girl from Ireland, another girl from Canada and one girl from Portugal. It was great to meet some new people and get to know them.

We spent the third week working on the reconstruction of the road at The Mirror Foundation and also attempted some controlled burnings.

This week was unbearably hot. It was fun taking the new group of people into town to show them around Chiang Rai, just like the first group took us and showed us around. It helps a lot when you have friendly people who want to explore and experience new things. At the end of the week we took a group trip to a local waterfall.

After a long day of working in the sun all I could ask for is a refreshing pool of water. For the weekend we took the new group down to Chiang Mai. We went to this cliff jumping spot called "the Grand Canyon." It was very beautiful and a nice sunny day. The new group thoroughly enjoyed the Chiang Mai and plan on going back there soon. I can confidently say week three was a blast. 

Week 4

Week four started out just like week three we lost a lot of great people, but i know I'll definitely be seeing most of them again soon. One of my friends Kanav Nayyar left for Pai and I'm meeting up with him in Bangkok to go on to New Delhi. Week four consisted of my second homestay.

It was drastically different from my first homestay. The village was much more unsanitary. They had pigs, chickens, dogs and cats running around freely. Our group was much smaller than last week so the work was a little harder. We groomed an area creating a field so the village could grow rice there. We began digging up dry dirt to flatten out a surface on the side of a mountain. It sounds a lot easier than it actually was because the dirt was so tough to dig up.

The first day we didn't really make a dent but we soon made progress of the next few days and ended up finishing on Thursday. At nights we really had to conserve water so we had to take bucket showers and really watch how much water we used. There was a local store but all the drinks were boiling hot, pretty much the exact opposite of want you want after a long day of work. The food this week was very delicious. The local Thai women who work at The Mirror Foundation made us delicious curries, roasted chicken, fresh fruit and you can always count on the steamed rice.

I would count this homestay as an overall success! I really got to know the new group and share some funny stories. It's truly amazing when a group of people who share the same morals and desires of helping other people come together.

Picture4Everyone's out here looking for a new experience and amercing themselves into new cultures. I'm beyond thankful to have this experience. Thank you Mirror Foundation for making this an amazing time of my life that I will never forget!

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