August 7, 2007

07 the 3rd day workshop @ phi phi island: 29 july 2007

Our Survey Day

Before getting into the detail of what we did on the day, one very important detail has to be mentioned here: our food. With the generous support from Fa Diow Foundation and Laem Tong School, we got extremely good and fresh food everyday from the local fishermen and the super great cook from Phang Nga who came especially to cook for us! So our lives were great there.. Look at our normal meal..

Also the way we ate was very fun, because it reminded all of us when we were in elelmentary school where we had to eat from this metal tray for our lunch. Besides, we used one of the classrooms as our muti-purpose space - also for eating..As you can see that all the students enjoyed the food so much - maybe too much.

The day was the first day of real work. The students were divided into 6 groups, 4 persons each with 2 from INDA, 2 from Thai Program. They were supposed to make a survey in different topics: the geography of the whole Leam Tong, the local community, Phi Phi Natural Resort (where the school is located), the school and then the site where we are supposed to build this learning center building.
I gave them a brief and then Khun Pu showed the survey Fa Diow has done so far with the school and the community of the sea villagers or Chao Thai Mai.

This is the map of the area made by the school children during the environmental campaign workshop run by Fa Diow Foundation. The map is very interesting and impressive. So our students also spent some time talking with the school kids and their teachers...

Some of our students began to make a survey of the school. They had to made a site plan of the school - not so easy task without some special tools. So they invented a method to measure.

I then followed the group who got the task to survey the overal geography of Leam Tong to see the area called 'Chong Kew' or literally translation is 'narraw chennel' on the West side of the pennisular. It is the narrowest area between the two sides of the sea. You can also see it from far away that the last part of Leam Tong is almost cut away from the rest of the island here.

The are was heavily demaged by the tsunami in 2005. The two piers were totally swept away, left us only the foundation..

After that, the school kids who by then became friend with all of us, took us to their village through a mountian route....really a jungle.

We arrived the the sea people or 'Chao Thai Mai' village from the back, where the mountain is. The village is very densed, almost a slum with very poor sanitary system. They let the dirty water through the open drainage going toward the sea on the beach in front of their village. Fresh water is their main problem too.. so they have to collect rain water as much as they can during the rainy season.

Most of the men in the village are fisher men who turned themselves to be a boat driver for tourists. Very few of them still do fishing seriously. The women don't have much to do since they are not used to working for someone else, they are not able to fit with any mannual work of tourist industry. Plus they did not go to school, so they are not able to read and write. Some of them try to make a living by collecting garbage. But the majority of the women there are in gamble and most of them are alcoholic.

Our students got together with the local kids in front of the village where most of the villagers spend all the time..

Back to the school, the super power girl group who were in charge of measure work of the exact site where we are going to build were in a very headache mood. :O As they did not have any equipments for a proper measurement, they also had to invent their own method to measure the site. But later they accepted that it was very hard, but very good lesson to do so. :)

In the evening after our usual delicious dinner, we had a presentation of the survey the students did today. Although they already did quite a substaintial research on Phi Phi island and Leam Tong before coming, to be at the site, to learn the situation were much more real.

The first group presented the geography of Leam Tong, Benz, Zing, Tool, Name, Preaw, Oil, Nam and Prea. They walked all the way to another bay where there are two small villages, although mainly the whole area is resort hotels. They also rented a long tail boat going around the tip of Leam Tong. (Soon they will update their report on this blog).

The second group, Paan, Joke, Kwang and Bee went into the village to understand the community: how they live, their problems, the physical environment of the village.

The thrid group of Pao, Toey, Joe and Hin went around Phi Phi Natural Resort where we stayed. Actually the resort owns the land of the whole tip of Leam Tong - well not really own, but has the right to occupy, let's say. Because the resort itself is composed by small scattering bangalows around with quite complex circulation, we did not understand much the planning from walking around.. The group showed us the overall master plan of the resort.

Ta, Meth, Sai and Tip work on the site plan of the school. They also got some information from the school kids about some of secret spots around the school.

The last group, super girl power, Fern, Fam, Chompu and Pam. They showed the way they measures the site without any special equipment - very impressive indeed. But with only four of them, they were not able to complete all the details. So tomorrow morning, all of the students had to work on the details together. Personally I was very impressed with the very systematic way of working of this group! The task really suited them!

The audiences were all the students, Fa Diow Staffs, the two teachers of the school (ครูหนิง และครูยันต์) with also our TA. (Sor, Pan, NamKhang) and two guest critics (Tong and Ko), and not to forget our invited protographer, Beau (you can see her photo of the trip at her Multiply site.)

The night ended quite late... we all were exhausted but happy and ready for the fun of the following day. :)