Udon Thani, Thailand
Thailand has always been a place of interest and intrigue for many travelers due to its location, natural beauty, the people and their culture. Working daily in a local setting will enhance your opportunity to appreciate and learn about the culture and to interact and experience the warm and friendly people of the region.
Thailand (or Prathet Thai to locals) is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Myanmar (Burma). Laos and Cambodia also border Thailand to the north and east.
The climate in Thailand is tropical, with a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September) and a dry, cool northeast monsoon season (November to mid-March). The southern isthmus is always hot and humid.
Thailand’s population is relatively homogeneous. More than 85 percent speak a dialect of Thai and share a common culture. Theravada Buddhism is the religion of about 95 percent of the country’s people. The government permits religious diversity, and other major religions are represented. Spirit worship and animism are widely practiced.
Udon Thani is located in northeastern Thailand and this trip will be coordinated with the Habitat Resource Center-Northeast. Udon Thani has the longest-serving Habitat program in Thailand.
About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
The government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in substandard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok as the capital has grown into a major metropolis dwarfing other cities in the country. Migrants face high rents for small rooms and often live in overcrowded areas plagued by a lack of proper sanitation facilities. Squatter settlements are commonly seen along railway lines or near port and industrial areas.
Habitat for Humanity Thailand began operations in 1998 in Udon Thani. Since July 2006, HFH Thailand has been operating through Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs) in Bangkok in the central area, Chiang Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast, and Phang Nga province in the south.
HFH Thailand’s tsunami-reconstruction program has served more than 1,500 families as of 2008 and is being transformed, as planned, into a regular program. The move reflects the continuing strong need for affordable housing in the south of the country.
For more information, visit www.habitatthailand.org. An English language version is available.
Types of construction for volunteers
HFH Thailand’s houses are typically 36 sq. m. each in size and the design features the use of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks with a tiled roof. On-site volunteers can expect to move dirt, move blocks, dig septic tanks, bend rebar, mix concrete, pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman. No previous construction skill or experience is required.
Day 1 Friday, July 5: Depart the US.
Day 2 Saturday, July 6: Travel day.
Day 3 Sunday, July 7: Arrival in Udon Thani; free time; dinner.
Day 3 Monday, July 8: Welcome and orientation with local staff member; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Day 4-7 (Typical work day) Tuesday, July 9 - Friday, July 12: Breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9a.m.-5p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities. Special events throughout the week incluse cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, church, historical sites, etc.
Day 8-9 Saturday, July 13 - Sunday, July 14: Free days: activity in local community and local site seeing.
Days 10-13 Monday, July 15 - Thursday, July 18: Breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9a.m.-5p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at house; time for team activities; farewell with community.
Day 14 Friday, July 19: Departure day.
Note: The arrival and departure day may vary based on the flight schedule. Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, or visits to museums, orphanages, sporting events, schools and historical sites.
The team can expect lodging in a local hotel or guesthouse with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared baths. The trip cost also includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, as well as snacks and bottled water.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip cost.)
Hugh Mitchell is a former Peace Corps Volunteer that has been fortunate to lead several Global Village teams, including three in Southeast Asia, and each has been a fabulous experience. Prospective team members are encouraged to call Hugh at 253-752-2802 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org