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Friday, April 13, 2012

Home Again

After twenty hours too many of traveling, I'm back home in Armstrong.  Fortunately, the traveling was broken up by a day in Seoul.  This time, I went to the Seoul tower.  The tower itself is nothing spectacular, though it boasts of the world's fastest elevator.  However, it's an excellent between-flight destination due to the many hundreds of stairs to climb on the way there.

from tower
I was glad to see that the rock stairs I had built last year at Sunshine Orchard had survived the extra-rainy season.  On the way back from Seoul Tower, I saw real rock-work: a rock wall about fifteen feet tall.  Those rocks have a lot of weight to hold back.
Way more skill than my rock walls

For my last month in Thailand, I was mostly working on a new staff house.  It's a stilt house, so I got to / had to learn lots while working on it - Damlawa and I teaching each other again.  Don't tell to compo guys: we found that the safest way to work when on the floor joists or roof beams was barefoot. 

We got a fair bit of attention from the other work crews when installing stairs with steps of 7.5" rise and 10" run, as is similar to North American standards.  Karen standard is more like 15" rise and 6" run, made with 2X4 treads and stringers.
Another common form of stairs

I'm amazed that I got any work done after discovering more nice caves...

About getting work done: a local crew just finished another stilt house, and another crew finished most of the work in and around the school and cafeteria.  It was good to see projects that had gone hoarse from begging for attention finally get finished.

There were a couple nice changes during my last few weeks in Thailand.  The teak trees put out there new leaves, so the dead-looking forests are starting to look alive again. 

opposite of maple: the leaves start red and turn green
The other nice change came with a bang - actually many bangs.  A couple of thunder storms spilled enough water to wash the smoke out of the air.
Suddenly there were many roofs that needed repair.

On a side-mirror note: birds responding to the twins they can't quite reach can provide comic relief.
Many of us find more inspiration from smaller critters: find out more at


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People Pics

Here are some more staff and student pictures from Sunshine Orchard