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Udon Thani, Thailand

June 19, 2010 to July 3, 2010

Join us for a memorable build in northeastern Thailand in late June 2010. Udon Thani is where HFH Thailand began and continues to thrive. This region of Thailand is known as “Isaan” and is characterized by its distinctive culture and its warm and fun-loving denizens. HFH Udon Thani has done much in the last 10 years to address the widespread substandard housing in the region, but there are so many in need of assistance. Your Global Village trip here would be a benefit to our partners here in Udon Thani, and it would provide you an indescribably rich and rewarding experience.

Udon Thani is a small city in the northeast of Thailand. The build site may be urban, semi-urban, or rural since HFH partners with families throughout the area.

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Seventeen-year-old Nujaree Kunlung stays at home while her mother and sister work. Their new Habitat house is being built right next to their current house, pictured here.
Country Profile


About Thailand

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; a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September); 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. 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.

Standard itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday): Depart from home.
Day 2 (Sunday):
Arrive in Bangkok; dinner and overnight in arrival city.
Day 3 (Monday):
Travel to host program; welcome and orientation with local staff; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 4-8 (Tuesday-Saturday):
Workdays: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Day 9 (Sunday):
Free day; local activities.
Days 10-13:
Work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities. Dedication and farewell ceremony with community on Day 13.
Day 14 (Friday):
Travel to Bangkok; free time; dinner and overnight.
Day 15 (Saturday):
Depart for home.

NOTE: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, or visits to museums, orphanages, sporting events, schools and historical sites.

Accommodations
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.

Trip cost
$1,650

Trip cost includes: donation to the Habitat host program and HFHI; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding trip participant airfare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities; team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated airfare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant airfare, R&R activities, and visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).

Team leader:
Michael Mannix was the first national director of HFH Thailand and he also helped to develop the Habitat affiliates in Udon Thani and Chiang Mai during his three years of service for Habitat for Humanity International in Thailand from 1998-2001. Overall, Michael served as an international partner for HFHI in its Asia/Pacific region for nearly seven years. Michael is familiar with block home construction techniques and familiar with the culture of Thailand – in particular the culture around Udon Thani. Michael was conversational in Thai language during his time in Thailand and he is looking forward to reconnecting with some of his Thai friends in the area from the past.

At present, Michael is a high school physics teacher in Elverson, Pa. He lives in West Lawn, Pa., with his wife and three children. He can be reached at mannixgv@yahoo.com


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