Crack of Dawn
Howdy again from Thailand! If you are super discerning or a little clairvoyant, you already know that you’re hearing from a new voice to the blog. The team has bestowed the honor on their traveling technical advisor (that’s me, David, in case you haven’t been paying attention) to speak on their behalf today… probably because they’re all too tired to type. I’ve sweated through my clothes every day just taking photos of all their hard work, so you can imagine where they are physically!
So in the wake of yesterday’s ridiculous heat wave, the team decided to hit the trenches, literally, at 6:30 this morning!
Guess you can stick that in your “Millennials don’t work hard” pipe and smoke it! These fine people are not just working their tails off, but they’re doing it with humor and a sense of camaraderie that makes it a sweaty muddy joy to be part of! And as a reminder of the reason why, a little dude from the neighborhood stopped by shortly after they started work by for some early morning play time! He’ll soon be able to get a fresh cool drink – thanks to PUC Thailand – without leaving the playground!
And so the day began with Ryan, Mika, Sarah and Patrick completing the trenches that tie the water service and drain lines into the distribution station. That before a spicy breakfast of pad thai, and then the crews split off onto their quests as decided in last night’s team meeting. The diggers returned to put finishing touches on the trenches, with Kan subbing in for Mika. They yearned again for that brief moment of cool they enjoyed earlier – before the Thai morning sun returned with a vengeance. The sink team of the day – Mika, Nick, Eby and Mook, harvested the sink cast yesterday and then went through their well established procedure to cast another.
Just a stone’s throw away under the basketball big top, Hannah, Rachel, Savannah and Dream went to work on mocking up the block walls for the distribution station.
They are anxiously awaiting the completion of our Thai contractor’s foundation work so they can move onto the slab, mix some mortar, and start laying block!
Meanwhile in the outback, Khem worked with the electrician to get the pumps and equipment powered up.
You can feel the electricity in the air. Not because the electrician screwed anything up, but because every facet of the project is coming together beautifully. Success is no longer a question, and everyone can feel it.
But the outback itself seemed lonely and confused. There was no mud flying; no tools broken. Its one ray of hope – the return of the team – is the trench backfilling operation to come. That is sure to be preceded by a monsoon downpour of biblical proportions. Mud is the mortar that binds this team.
The diggers, having dug it, then converged on the community room, where they affixed PUC Thailand stickers to the water jugs that they’ll soon be distributing door to door throughout the community.
You would imagine that to be a pretty full day, right? Well… imagine again! All that work happened before noon (midnight Texas mean time… all good things start in Texas!).
With the morning’s work successfully completed, the team opted for a much needed break while the Thai countryside magically transformed into an outdoor sauna. Heat strokes: Zero, shopping trip to Suphan Buri: One!
This (relatively but not really) old engineer has been involved in some very interesting projects, large and small. But in many ways this is the most satisfying one yet. It ain’t about the concrete and steel, or the bricks and mortar. It’s seeing every member of this team fighting for quality through the dripping sweat, looking out for each other, lifting each other up, making each other laugh, and stepping way outside of themselves to do something that really matters. Kudos and my deep respect to each and every one of them!
Ode to the Team
Eby our leader is soft spoken and kind
A better soul would be too hard to find
Savannah is also a quiet sweet voice
In picking your team she would be a top choice
Patrick’s not quiet – no not in the least
He’s our leader of games, our entertainment beast
Speaking of beasts, we can’t forget Nick
He’s two hundred percent in – to the mud thin or thick
Hannah’s hard work is structurally sound
Smiling and thinking from rooftop to ground
Rachel’s discerning, thoughtful and light
If you see her smiling, you know that it’s right
Ryan’s big smile is as bright as the sun
He works his tail off and still makes it fun
Sarah is right there in the mud and sweat bath
Meanwhile in her head she is doing the math
Mika shoots straight – you know what she thinks
Whether fighting the mud or casting the sinks
Our sweet Thai trio, Mook Kan and Dream
Take care of us all and round out the team
Much thanks to our hosts, the family and Khem
The spice of our life, we’d starve without them
There’s an obvious truth as this flag is unfurled
What begins at U.T. really does change the world