Day 4 in Chiang Mai at the 2009 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Southeast Asia

Jo-An Turman is in Thailand for the 26th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. She is our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. As you will read below, so much is happening every day! Continue to check back for more updates from our Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. staff building at different locations throughout Southeast Asia.

Last night we were taken to a restaurant in Chiang Mai and treated to dinner and a traditional Thai show but the highlight of the evening was when we all got a chance to light balloon lanterns.  We released them into the clear Thai sky one after another, about 50 in all.  It was a spectacular moment. 

The weather today is absolutely perfect.  It has cooled down about 15 degrees and is comfortable. Our HFH GLA house is really coming along.  After our morning prayer from one of the Thai partner families in Thai we began our work.

Today we are placing the roof tiles and finishing all the grout work. Laura, Nikki, Isabel, Veronica, Vicky and Deanna are the best grouters in Thailand. Our fearless crew leader, HFH GLA board member Jay Stark, is making sure we don't fall behind, yet do quality work.  Our other board member, Ken Walker and his daughter Deanna, are such valuable members of our crew and Global Green's Matt Peterson and Laura's aunt Vicky never stop working.  Two other members of our build team include Lynn and Kem, friends of Jay, and some local Thai laborers and students.  Our translator is Oay and she is helping us more than she will ever realize by helping us communicate with our partner family and the Thai volunteers.  Our partner family is perfect, hardworking and so grateful.   

Our sponsored house is surrounded by the Cory Aquino memorial sponsored house from the Philippines and the India Builds house.  Across the street are other affiliate sponsored homes: HFH of Toronto and Canada, HFH China and several others.  There is a new and large community center in this housing community and beautiful paved streets. Later today we will paint the interior walls.  I am officially the concrete supervisor, mixer and grout bucket filler at our house, as well as attending any media events.  I love it!   

In the backyard (open field) are several white water buffalo roaming around.  Such an incredible site to see everyday.  The students from the universities are volunteering here as translators, bus and tour guides.  They are fantastic and so helpful. 

Tonight we have a Taste of Chiang Mai and our affiliate sponsor dinner.  Tomorrow is a big day, we have to finish off as much of the house as we can before the end of the blitz build week and take photos with our partner families with President and Mrs. Carter before packing up to return back to the states.

This has all been an incredible experience.  Our work truly changes lives. Can't wait for tomorrow.


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