Saturday, April 9, 2011

New GVI Base, Construction Begins

Last week preparations went underway to construct a new base for the Thai Elephant Project. Our plans are to build a new base hut with a separate meeting space, a bathroom complete with everyone’s favourite, a squat toilet (good for the thighs) and showering area, a fire pit, a small kitchen (so we can express our culinary genius at breakfast time) and new huts for volunteers to get a good night’s sleep in (essential after a long day following the eles in the forest).Last week, Chat (a local villager) began clearing and burning one of his fields which he is kindly letting us use as our new home. This week work began on preparing the foundations for a new base hut and the beginnings of a new toilet. Jonathan, GVI intern, tested whether the hole was big enough to hold our load. In only two days eleven holes have been dug, each at least three feet deep. Today we helped to drag eleven huge trees and hoist them up into the holes. Clearly, the villagers would have struggled without our help and mighty strength. Once stable, Pa Root (local hunter/builder/all rounder) ensured each pole was level. Smaller trees were then nailed to the outer posts to secure them. Once in place, the foundations were filled in with soil. We are all very excited to help with the construction and can’t wait to move into our new base hut which the villagers say will be ready next week. Keep checking the blog to follow our progress.