Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tipping Bucket Fundraiser: the Saman Mit Community

Read about their need for an observation tower and visit to make a donation of at least $1 to help get it built! We have four days to raise $950 and we need everyone's help!

Saman Mit is a farming community consisting of 148 families located 30 minutes outside of Chiang Rai, Thailand. They migrated from the Isaan province 33 years ago when their farmlands were flooded as a result of a government hydro-electric project that dammed the Isaan rivers. Many were left without homes or land to sustain their livelihood. The land they found in Chiang Rai was fertile and well suited for their way of life, but it was too small to support the community.

Acknowledging their plight, the government has recently granted them six square hectares of land to cultivate and develop through their traditional cooperative system of farming. They plan to increase their fish stocks in the ponds, grow trees to sell, cultivate and sell rice, potatoes, and other vegetables as they pursue a goal of becoming a wholly self-sufficient community.

However, to achieve their goal, the community needs to prove to the government that they are using the land wisely, developing it productively, and protecting it from any problems that may arise, such as wildfires or theft.

Through long debate and discussion, the village council has decided that the most effective way to watch over the land’s crop development, while detecting possible problems of theft from outside private farmers, is to build an observation tower. The observation post will be located high atop a hill that provides an ideal purview of all the lands within the 6 hectares of the co-op. The tower will be thirty feet high, built by community members and HELP International development volunteers. The community has come to HELP International looking for a partner to help with construction, fundraising, and business consulting workshops that aim to boost productivity, sales, and land efficiency.

Remember to tell friends and family about this fundraiser, too! Thanks!

Go to for more information about the non-profit organization partnering with us on this.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Square Foot Gardening...It's Just the Beginning

Friday, we presented square foot gardening to DEPDC (one of our partners). We believe that this will be a fantastic project to implement up at DEPDC and within the Mae Sai community. The reason being it will provide the children with nutritious foods to eat and teach them effective gardening skills.

We were trained this past week on the Child Voice Radio and how to DJ the English hour, which is in the morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. please tune in to KM 90 ghz to listen to DJ Free Styles and DJ Rhyme Time spittin it on the Child Voice Radio.

Soccer School ROCKS!!

As we pulled into the soccer school this past Thursday, the children were lined up decked out in their orange uniforms waiting to soccer it up. After some basic soccer drills and running the children to death they started a scrimmage. Unbeknownest to the Farangs (aka white people), the coach had defense versus offense and the defense was losing, surprise...surprise.

After realizing the defense didn't stand a chance, Dave and Kenny, two of the soccer camp coaches stepped in to save the day... only problem was... they didn't score a single goal. The defense still lost but walked away with smiling faces.

Over at the dance classroom, where parents and children gathered with interest, the girls and two boys jumped, twirrled and rolled across the dance floor, while Jordan taught them cool moves.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bloody shorts and sore bums

When Dave told us we were going to ride ostriches, we laughed at him. Ha ha ha. Then we pulled into the ostrich farm on Saturday and saw the bare bums of the freaky looking birds with only two toes, a really long neck and eyes the size of golf balls. Shawn and Kenny were the first to ride on these age-old birds, they made it look easy, despite the fact that they were wearing goofy helmets and riding bare back. It gave courage to the hearts of the rest of the volunteers. Thirty minutes and two casualties later, with sore bums and bloody pants, we rested under the shade of a pavilion while learning that one of the ostriches we had just ridden was undecided/confused about his/her gender. We all had a good laugh while heading to the restaurant to munch down on some surprisingly tasty ostrich meat. It was fun, weird and ridiculous all at the same time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Isaan Community

Today we met with a community from the North East area of Thailand where we are contemplating projects such as: 1) House hold finance 2) Constructing a watch tower 3) Planting trees
The Watch Tower project in particular will need extra funding which we are venturing a Tipping Bucket post in order for people to donate for the construction and supply cost.
The Tipping Bucket is a fundraising website that people donate one dollar towards a cost of a project. When we reach the goal the bucket tips and people are charged for their dollar donation. If the bucket never reaches the goal within a designated time frame, no one is charged for their donation.


We were able to do some service at a local Buddhist temple.


In our first week here in Chiang Rai we have met with multiple schools such as the Dong Ma Da School District and potential partners namely AidsAccess and the Developing Education Program for Daughters and Communities .

Living Quarters

Most all the volunteers in the first wave have arrived successfully in Chiang Rai. Pi Pi our own personal driver, cook and laundry lady has helped us immensely. We are staying in a lovely house with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms shared between the 13 current volunteers.