Friday, June 11, 2010

PROJECT UPDATE: The Saman Mit Community

PROJECT UPDATE: the Saman Mit Community

We are growing quite attached to the Saman Mit Community and are very excited to be working with them! Shortly after arriving here in Thailand, we met as a team with their community leaders and discussed the needs of their co-op community. They expressed several needs that we felt strongly we would be able to assist with so ideas were considered, team leads were assigned, and projects were born.

[PROJECT: Finance Class]

One of the projects we are doing with the Saman Mit Community is a household finance class where we teach basic finance skills such as keeping records, income vs. expenses, how to save, budgeting, etc.

[PROJECT: Operation Watchtower]

Another project we are doing with the Saman Mit is assisting with the construction of their Watchtower so they can better oversee the co-op lands they farm. After a very successful campaign with and the support of over one hundred donors, we now have in place the money we need to fund the building of the watchtower and construction should start here in a few weeks.

[SERVICE PROJECT: Planting Rice]

One night after Finance Class, some members of the community approached our team and invited us to come back the next day to plant their rice fields with them. Of course, we jumped at the chance!

We arrived bright and early the next morning and they showed us the secrets of planting rice in Thailand. Though our technique wasn’t quite as honed as theirs, we did our best and were very pleased with the results.

After a long, hot morning of planting, the members of the community were very sweet to make us an authentic lunch and give us the opportunity to try some new dishes.

Kenny jumped in to help them prepare the goy. It’s a simple recipe, really:

1 Bucket of small, live fish ~ fished from a nearby pond on the rice fields (heads popped off, guts squished out, rinsed)
1 Bag of live red ants
1 Handful of a myriad of spices
1 Sprinkle of MSG

Directions: Pop the heads off the small fish, squish the guts out, and rinse off the remaining bodies. Put into a bowl. Add live red ants. Add a handful of spices. Add a sprinkle of MSG. Mix by hand. Enjoy with a side of sticky rice.

They also made us several other dishes in addition to the goy: fire-grilled fish, papaya salad, green mango slices, sweet fish, squid, and sticky rice, just to name a few.

We learned an important lesson that day though; if you are wondering how to say “fish eyeball” in Thai after watching someone else eat one, you should ask Dave. If you ask a community member, they may mistakenly think you want to try one and pluck it out of the fish for your dining pleasure.

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