First Full Day!

7 a.m. – we’re standing out front, waiting for the bus. We’re quite a site – backpacks, life jackets and “tourist” written all over us. There is a public address system lining the road. Tip, (“our” crusade staffer…and one of my roomies), translates that it’s about a Buddhist gathering for the Tsunami victims. She received the same message on her cell phone. Breakfast and then our tourist walk to the boat dock. We’re taking a larger generator with us today than the one that was on the island. Lots of cheering when that is finally loaded onto the boat. (It is really large – takes 6 struggling men quite a series of gymnastics to get it safely placed in the boat.) While we were breakfasting, the boats were being loaded with wood, ice and water for a month. (Okay, probably not, but it sure lookes like it! Especially since it’s all in plastic grocery bags – 6 bottles here or 24 in a pack.) Once we get to the island, everything has to be unloaded. The tide is out a little so we’re further away from the work site. We got things unloaded and then 4 guys were drafted to go back to the boats. They didn’t know they were going all the way back to the docks to load more lumber onto the boats – ended up being 8 boats more, full of wood. We spent hours unloading, and everyone helped. Set up a “fire brigade” system so people could stay in the same place – it was quite a production! Hoursfolks, hours of hauling lumber. Most of it we just stacked on a concrete slab that was at the top of the hill…certain pieces were taken all the way to the work site. All that was done on the houses today was the cross pieces were put up on Lek’s house. Tomorrow – real work! On a sad note, the generator refused to fire up on the island so it had to be taken back to be repaired or switched out. This time they strung it up like a dead animal, hanging from a sturdy pole, to make it a bit easier to lug back to the boat. They only took a part of it. After dinner, we dropped off Steve and Ryan’s crew. Loy yelled “20 minutes”. Chelsea and I flew off the bus and ran to the Internet spot. 20 baht for 60 minutes. Took me 8 minutes to get into AOL and then someone yelled “the bus is leaving!” I sent Kelsey a quick email and signed off. Back to the bus, and home to the suburbs. Why does bed sound so wonderful?

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