The Korean Invasion

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Cambodia
Tags: , , , ,

Well, that went a bit different than expected. After doing the prep work for two days the Korean back up team showed up on Wednesday. We had high expectations of a group of well organized Koreans ready to step in, the reality was a bit different though…

One day, you’re out there building a house, the next, you get overrun by a dozen moping teenagers who radiate that they do not actually want to be there and drag their feet. Sound a bit harsh, but hey, we should have known. Teenagers, or more precisely fourteen-year-olds city kids on a school trip in a third world country.

Of course, after a while they did manage to get some work done, but we had a bit of a hard time with it, as we’re here to work hard and doing our best to get this house built within a week. We hadn’t planned on having to instruct and motivate the kids, or on how much they would slow the build down (which meant that local workers had to finish parts of the projects in the afternoon heat, which could have easily been done in the morning under different circumstances), and with less tools than people there was frustration all around.

At the end of the day it is groups like this that fund the bigger part of the project in the long term. So we realize it’s a good thing they’re coming out here. But on a personal level, had we known the group was coming, and how it would have turned out, we would have planned to come in at a different time. There’s about fifty kids here at the moment (but only boys on the building site*), and though they have little experience, and very differing levels of eagerness, the good news is that it seems like we are going to be finishing the house in time. So that’s good.

Here’s some pictures of the progress we made on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Prepping of the stairs.

Prepping of the stairs.

This was what the chiseling was all about.

This was what the chiseling was all about.

Recycling nails means getting them out first.

Recycling nails means getting them out first.

Putting the frames together.

Putting the frames together.

Before putting the frames up there's a blessing by one of the local monks, to ensure good luck.

Before putting the frames up there’s a blessing by one of the local monks, to ensure good luck.

Part of the house blessing: building money into the structure brings prosperity.

Part of the house blessing: building money into the structure brings prosperity.

Raising one of the frames.

Raising of the first frame.

Those little facemasks did not last long in 40 degrees celsius.

Those little face masks did not last long in 40 degrees Celsius.

Oops! We forgot to chisel one of the parts out.

Oops! We forgot to chisel one of the parts out.

Kylie instructing Koreans on the proper use of machetes

Kylie instructing Koreans on the proper use of machetes.

* As a side note, it turns out that there’s girls and boys here on the school trip, but that a lot of assuming by different people has lead to only boys on the building site.

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Comments
  1. Mam says:

    Oh ,indeed it all seems totally different than last week and you don’t sound negative, just honest and disappointed . Too me, it seems rightly so- not the nationality just the incredibly large group of folk.

    Love mam xxx

    • jadeontour says:

      Oh, the nationality isn’t a problem at all. And as these kids are from the international school in Korea, they’re all fluent in English, so that’s not an issue either. It’s more of an expectations thing, we’re here to do things, to build. And all these extra (unskilled) kids are slowing the proces down. But they pay, a lot, so the project wants them to have a great time so the school will come back next year and pay again….. We’re just frustrated about it all.

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