Friday, May 23, 2008

playing in the mud

Our first Community Impact day in Chiang Rai! We are helping to build a clay house at the Arts & Culture Learning Center, which is on the grounds of the temple we slept at the cast’s first night here. It is a center that supports the abolition of human trafficking, and the girls that come there are from hill tribes in the northern region of Thailand that are at risk to enter the sex trade to raise money for their families.

This center houses a few of the girls, who travel to tribes to educate other young people. They also create art in workshops, and the traditional clay house that we are helping to build will be used as an art gallery.

Today we chopped down bamboo, split it into eighths lengthwise, and wove it to make a grid that will be the infrastructure of the clay walls. Then we helped to break up the dense chunks of clay mud, mixing it with water and grain to make it the correct consistency for building the walls.

Stomping in the mud, on a tropical May day. Does it get much better than this?

Maybe… we’re riding elephants and hiking to a waterfall tomorrow.

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