Sunday, October 7, 2012

The big move

Well... things have been rather silent from me here, but not because there has not been anything happening- far from it!  Since the last time a wrote I had to make a trip to Thailand in order to change my visa over from a student visa to an NGO work visa.  When I came back our summer club had finished and we were getting ready for our after school care program to start up.  And just then, as we felt we were settling in a little, we had a big problem on our hands.  We had to move.  Our downstairs neighbour was not pleased with the amount of noise that they were experiencing from us having children upstairs.  They threatened all sorts of things, and we felt we really needed to at least put our program on hold until we could work out our next step.

After some time thinking, and really seeking the best solution for us, the children and our programs, we decided to switch apartments with a Mongolian family on the 1st floor who were more than willing to move to a nice apartment on the 5th floor.  I knew there would be some work to be done before we could start taking children, but I don't think any of us realised just how much work it would be until we actually got there.  Everyday it seemed like we found something that needed to be added to the rapidly growing list of fixing needs and things to do.  The windows were rotten and broken and need to be replaced.  The walls were covered in scribble, so needed to be painted.  Aside from that just about every other surface also needed to be painted.  Plumbing needed to be fixed, lino needed to be laid (as well as felt and carpet to try and insulate the floors a bit)... the list continued.

After just over a week of working all day, everyday, with lots of help from people and friends around us who blessed us so much- from painting and cleaning, to preparing food for us and looking after the staff children.  The work was a lot, and sometimes seemed never ending, but the atmosphere was fun as we worked together, and the results were quite amazing.  So much so that I think the new place is even looking nicer than the old apartment!

Take a look for yourself...

This window actually had a panel of glass missing,
replaced with a mosquito screen (they are double windows)-
 no wonder the apartment was cold!
The hallway paper had to come off, but we soon realised why it had been put up.
The wall was full of holes!  So... plastering was the job of the hour..
The bathroom looked so dark and dank (partly the mold, and partly
 the hideous paint and wall stickers, and completely covered window)
The entrance needed a bit of work to convey the warm welcome that we wanted.
The wall... the window...
Having some fun while we worked J
There was a job for everyone...
Taking out the old windows
2 guys, and 2 hours- not bad really!
Now are you seeing the difference?!
There's that welcoming entrance we were looking for!
Children at work...
Snack time
A new place, and some new toys!  Thanks Mum and Dad, this one was a real "hit"! J

Oh those precious faces- how I love them!
Busy at work again
This is one of my favourite pictures- the end of a long afternoon,
closing up with a good story!

So now you can see where my time and energies have been this last little while.  A lot of work, to be sure (I won't be changing profession any time soon!  Couldn't say that I am really passionate about renovations) but well worth the effort.  The children are loving the new space, we no longer have to worry about upsetting neighbours, and it is back to business as usual!

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