Posted on 16 Feb 24 in Volunteering

Liberty is our new WASH volunteer in Thailand. She is also the granddaughter of a previous KHT volunteer, and we are glad she chose to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother and come to Mae Hong Son! You can read Liberty’s first diary for KHT below:

“I wake up to the sound of cockerels crowing. That means it is time to get up and have breakfast: lots of rice, some omelette and of course a hot chocolate. Next it is time to get to work. We (me, the KHT staff and many of the villagers) get into the pick up truck and off we go to the water tanks, passing by other people who already making their way up carrying their tools and ready to get started. There is a pause while the day’s tasks are worked out and then it is time to begin. The tanks are built in layers out of concrete so work is started on the next layer. Climbing on an impressive scaffolding structure, the concrete moulds are shifted and repositioned to the new level.

Meanwhile I help to prepare the concrete, moving stones sand, water and cement. It is mixed by hand in a pit in the ground by the tanks and once it is ready, it’s all hands on deck. A production line of buckets is formed; empty buckets passed down, filled ones passed up. After all our hard work it is time for a break and someone has bought ice lollies. Yum! 

At lunch time we go back to the village for a delicious hot lunch, cooked on the fire. Today was noodles with fish and a green spinach-like vegetable. After all that working and eating I am exhausted – time for a rest. After a quick 40 winks on the church balcony it is back to the tanks to do the remainder of work for the day – moving materials, sieving sand and starting digging the pipeline.
In the evening, a while after we have all got back, it is time to start making dinner. The style of cooking is so different from what I am used to so when I help prepare the food I am under instruction to make sure I am doing everything right. People bring ingredients, dishes themselves and sit around the fire as the food is cooked. I never know who will be joining us for dinner, but it is always a social affair. The plates of food begin accumulating on the table and we are invited to eat (Oh my!). Everyone is given a bowl of rice and a spoon and takes food from the middle of the table. Today it is fried fish, chicken curry and stir fried fern. Once everyone is finished and all the food is cleared away, I return to my host family for some quite time watching Karen weaving before I am off to get some rest to prepare for another exciting day.

Fishing On Saturday:

We finished digging the pipeline a bit early and whilst resting in the shade I was invited to go fishing! I get on the back of the motorbike and in a couple of minutes we have arrived at the fish pond. Half the village is already there it seems, but the water is still and I haven’t missed anything. It is a lot cooler by the pond in the shade and the afternoon heat is lessening. Then the fishing begins. It is done with round nets edged in a fringe of chain to weight then down. They are thrown into the water and then slowly  pulled up to trap the fish inside. There are some younger men who have a rope attached to their net and have thrown it from the far edge of the bank. No success so far. An older man tosses his net in from just beside me. It sinks down into the water and I think that this must be an accident because how will he retrieve it now. The old man, however was prepared for this. He removes his trousers and wades into the water in his shorts, locating the net and carefully pulling it out and to the bank.

There are about 5 fish in the net. The two little ones are thrown back into the water and the others are untangled and popped into a bucket. The fishing continues until the bucket is almost full. I am surprised at how many fish are in the pond, but I am told that this isn’t a coincidence. The lady sitting next to me owns the fish in the pond and feeds and looks after them. Once all the fishing is complete, she takes the bucket and a large leaf. Carefully, she chooses some fish, wraps them in the leaf and gives them to one of the villagers. The fish is distributed and the lady is thanked so off we all go from the pond back towards the village knowing fish is on the menu for dinner tonight.”

We are so glad Liberty is enjoying her experience and getting to know the Karen. Stay tuned for more updates from her!

You can apply to volunteer with KHT today and you can support our work by donating now!