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Gecko Home Improvements - Before and So Far

In between 3 of us catching Dengue Fever (2 of us being hospitalized), one of the kids parents being arrested for stealing and eating his neighbours dog, a grandparent falling drunk in front of a car and being killed, a mother forcefully taking her 13 year old daughter to work in Cambodia's paedophile capital, the divine discovery of her whereabouts (36 hours later) and the eventful execution of her safe return home and school (made possible by her Guardian Angel Annabel and heavy parent negotiations by Rem), recruiting new staff, making public road repairs (so we can actually get to gecko), farewelling much loved volunteers, choreographing a Green Gecko Concert and setting up an automated accounting system we still managed to do some serious home improvements.

Here are some BEFORE and SO-FAR pic's of our labour of love:
front entrance before
front entrance after
:: FRONT ENTRANCE
A new bamboo front fence (no gate yet), rocks and gravel driveway, 6x 6 metres of lawn (Tania's oasis) and a concrete path.
pink class before
pink class after
:: PINK CLASS (KINDERGARTEN)
Decided to salvage the broken concrete platform and make a small outdoor classroom for the toddlers. Traditional grass roof to keep it cool, bamboo "fence" to keep the kids in!
bike parking before
:: BIKE PARKING
This is where much of the 135 trucks of earth landed. As you can see it was pretty swampy before. Lots of big rocks and small gravel all laid by the kids and crew!
toddlers playground before
toddlers playground after
:: TODDLERS PLAYGROUND
Well we don't have much yet other than a covered in sandpit, but it is proving popular with kids (and adults) of all ages. Again, a lot of earth was needed here to raise above the flood level.
lunch huts before
:: LUNCH HUTS
Got to say this is the place to be cool and laidback (where's the beach?). The kids eat here at lunch time (1 hut for each group) and hang out in their hammocks any chance they get.
toilet block before
and after !
:: TOILET / WASH BLOCK
Definitely the biggest headache to date and taking so long to finish but I think it's safe to say we might have the most sophisticated septic system in Cambodia! The builders said to Rem why you build 400 year quality?.

Well, while not everything has been finished or paid for yet, we gratefully acknowledge our friends for helping us come this far. Some of you sponsored particular improvements, some donated the much needed cash to pay the next builder's bill, and some of you came down and got your hands dirty we couldn't have done it without you.

While we are proud of what we've been able to achieve, we have only made a small dint in our big plans. We're still drawing up ideas and searching for funding for a roof for the wash area, doors for the toilets, 3 shelters/houses (so the kids don't have to sleep on the classroom floor), a building to house the computers (so the kids move out of our only office :)), more landfill and pathways (so we don't have to wade through water), storerooms (so we aren't climbing over things) and everything else in between.

:: KIDS CHIPPING IN
The collective spirit of the kids continues to amaze us and our visitors, at every stage the kids enthusiastically chip in. A truck only needs drive in filled with rocks or dirt and up they jump tools in hand. They really do understand that this place is THEIRS and they are proud to do what they can.

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We look for forward to sending the next update,
Much love and gratitude,
The Green Gecko Gang xxx
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