Some Work Some Play

There’s a nice large reservoir about a half hour walk from Panya. If we have time after work to get there and back before sunset at 6 it’s a great way to get some exercise and get clean.

This lovely reservoir is a half hour walk from Panya.  If we have time after work to get there and back by sundown at 6 we love an afternoon swim

Afternoon swim

After a swim, so nice to be clean.

After a swim, so nice to be clean.

Natalie the happy plasterer applying hand made plaster to the bottom of our house

Natalie the happy plasterer applying hand made plaster to the bottom of our house

A local Thai welder working on the trusses

A local Thai welder working on our trusses

P1020879    An arch that our great interns made. You can still see the frame in there, that comes out the next day and voila, you get pretty pumped interns and a beautiful arch.P1020881 - CopyP1020851Baby coffee plants.  We have a coffee bush behind our house that has dropped some berries.  When they germinate they celebrate by pushing the little coffee bean up in the air and waving it around before bursting out in leaf.

P1020883 - CopyA view of the Sala with the new metal roof in place. We experienced a tropical rain storm and had to bring the bricks inside so they could continue to dry out. We’ll try and get pictures of a tropical rain storm next time we have one although its just like someone throwing buckets of water at you. If you are in it you are soaked through in about ten seconds. Amazing!!

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 Our finished house, done by the interns with a flair for design and natural finishes, mostly made with clay from Panya. Here’s what they started with.

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Pretty amazing!!!

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What Progress!!!!

All posts up

All posts up

Wow we are building up a storm here. The progress has been a lot faster than I would have thought. Of course there have been some glitches, some due to me ( my first for a couple of years ) but then this is construction and in a foreign country. If you’ve not guessed by now this is Peter blogging so expect errors both in my spelling and photos. Its Saturday Afternoon and in the shade of our little house its about 80’F, in the full sun its probably 95’F.

The Sala (the building we are doing) is in full sun and although its Saturday, a day off, part of me should be figuring our schedule for the next week, the other part of me is pretty happy sitting here drinking tea. Guess which part wins?

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Trusses

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Purlins installed

Now its Sunday evening and I need to finish what I started as tomorrow its back to the Sala project. So now we have the trusses up and we have hired Thai workers to weld the purlins on the steel trusses. We are using metal roofing on this so we have also hired them to install that. safety is a concern as most of our interns (taking the permaculture and natural building course ) have not worked on a construction site before. As of Sunday night the roof is almost finished and we will be putting gutters up. The gutters are an important part of this community as this is how we gather drinking water. During the rainy season we collect the water in six hundred gallon concrete tanks. We have six or seven of these and it gives us cooking and drinking water till the next rainy season. At the moment the last rain was in November some time.

Ok enough of building, here’s some other scenes from our life at Panya. we are in a small valley that is getting prepared for rice planting and already has some potatoes growing.

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Rice fields

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Potatoes

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One of our lunches, hmmm.

Bricks made by our interns for the walls of the sala. How we move them.

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A visit to a local mushroom farm.

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Pretty cool huh. That’s if you like mushrooms,  these are oyster mushrooms.

The Building Project SoFar

Just before the final demolition

Just before the final demolition

 

The first upright post being raised into position

The first upright post being raised into position

We’ve been at Panya for 2weeks now and there is good progress on the Sala project.  Not quite as fast as Peter or Christian had hoped but all has gone smoothly and safely with  lots of learning going on in the mix.  Pictures tell the story so here ya go!

Cedric & Brecht support it awaiting bracing

Cedric &
Brecht support it awaiting bracing

 

We get some bracing nailed up

We get some bracing nailed up

 

View from the scaffold, more posts up, all walls demolished.

View from the scaffold, more posts up, all walls demolished.

 

We’re actually much further along now, with several trusses in place as of today…..

 

 

 

Domestic Life

A few volunteers relaxing after lunch in our temporary outdoor dining area.

A few volunteers relaxing after lunch in our temporary outdoor dining area.

Ping with a stray pup that she and Natalie de flea'd and bathed. Panya unfortunately doesn't need another dog ...

Ping with a stray pup that she and Natalie de flea’d and bathed. Panya unfortunately doesn’t need another dog …

The living rrom, closet, yoga area, and cocktail  lounge just outside our bedroom.

The living room, closet, yoga area, and cocktail lounge just outside our bedroom.

Where we sleep

Where we sleep

The evening lineup for our buffet dinner.  We take turns cooking in teams, all vegetarian.  There are about 40 of us here now with a fresh load of interns just arrived.

The evening lineup for our buffet dinner. We take turns cooking in teams, all vegetarian. There are about 40 of us here now with a fresh load of interns just arrived.

We’ve been here at Panya for a week and a half and have settled in to something of a routine.  Aya has gone back home to Japan, Natalie has fit in like a seasoned Permie.  We thought we’d share a few scenes of daily life around the project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Back at Panya

Aya pulling nails

Aya pulling nails

Tui dam (Black bean) keeps watch

Tui dam (Black bean) keeps watch

Christian &Peter making a mess

Christian &Peter making a mess

Water break

Water break

Natalie amid the ruins

Natalie amid the ruins

view of demo thru old center wall


view of demo thru old center wall

On Monday we returned to Panya after being away for 4 years.  There are lots of changes and lots that’s so familiar – including a few faces.  We arrived from Japan with Aya the night before and found niece Natalie in Chiang Mai so there were 4 of us making the 2 hour journey into the mountains where Panya is nestled.  Demolition started right away so we were all put to work disassembling the old sala.  I’ll let some pictures tell the story.

New Year, New Trip

Peter & aya near her parent's house

Peter & Aya near her parent’s house

climbing the 1,000 stairs of a Shinto shrine for a new years blessing


climbing the 1,000 stairs of a Shinto shrine for a new years blessing

Aya with her family (Dad was sick )

Aya with her family (Dad was sick )

This is the first post since the last one four years ago so we are rusty. Forgive us our faux pas for there will be many and to add to that we are also working on our new Surface. That’s an extra challenge. We have left our old Thai blog up for those of you that haven’t seen it or don’t have anything better to do on those cold winter nights. Did I mention that its 75 degrees and I’m surrounded by orchids as I write this. Ah Thailand.

We flew into Osaka, Japan to visit with Aya, our Japanese exchange student from three years ago. She had given us strict instructions on what bus to take, where to get on and get off. We could still be fumbling around there if it wasn’t for her. She lives in Kagawa, four hours south and out on a large island. She took us out to her family home and we stayed for two nights. We met four generations of Yokouchi’s with lots of bowing and gift giving all around.