First day of work

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Cambodia, Cambodia 2011
Tags: , ,

Waking up at 6 AM is never going to be something we enjoy, though the hot temperatures and the excitement of our first day at the project do help. After a quick breakfast we headed off to the Atvea project, where Sally showed us around. The project is run on and around the land of a monastery and includes, amongst other things, a nursery, a primary school, an orphanage and a clinic.

At both the nursery and the school the children get free education, focusing on teaching them English. Classes start at 8 AM, when the kids first have to wash up and brush their teeth. To reach as many kids as possible the school offers morning, afternoon and evening classes. Though the Khmer people are used to primary school, nurseries are new to them. The nursery allows the older kids (6 years old and up) to go to school, instead of having to watch their younger siblings, while their parents work.


After our tour we went off to the building site. Today we were starting on a new project, building a house for a family with five kids.  The shack they’re living in at the moment is falling apart. Furthermore it’s situated on a piece of land that floods during the rainy season, which causes the wood to rot.




We started out with cutting down the pillars, so as to move the shack to a different part of this family’s patch of land. As the family needs somewhere to stay during the building process, just demolishing the shack is not an option. The building of a house takes about 5-6 weeks. Sadly we won’t be able to see this house finished.



Apart from the volunteers the project employs local carpenters, plus the family who will live in the house is expected to help with the building process. As the father of this family is a construction worker by trade, his skills come in handy. When the time came to move the shack the neighbors helped out, and amazingly we managed to move it in one piece. Once the shack was out of the way the trucks with soil could start driving up. To raise the ground level so the house won’t be standing in the floodwater we’re going to need about 10 truckloads of soil. Today we got 6 truckloads in. After we’ve raised the ground we’ll start with the concrete blocks for the new pillars.


Here’s a picture of the last house that was built by the Atvea volunteers, to give you an idea of  what we’re aiming for.

  1. Riekje says:

    Keep up the good work! a house on stilts would look good in my volkstuin. Unfortunately the planning commission are never ever going to allow it…

  2. Susanne says:

    Hoi Devie! Wauw, ik ben onder de indruk. Wat een mooi werk! Ligt je hart niet bij dit soort dingen? Mijn hart wordt er in ieder geval wel blij van 🙂 Veel bouwplezier en succes! (Vooral leuk voor die mensen als dat huis er zonder tegenslag komt te staan…) Groetjes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s