Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giving Back A Little

 Today, I watched a community come together to make rafts for those who were affected by the floods. Everyone who could spare a few hours gathered at the National Stadium in Bangkok to collect empty plastic bottles, sort the bottles that could be used and those that couldn't, sew big potato bags together after placing the bottles inside, cut rope and burn their ends, bind bamboo with that rope and then tie the sewn bags to the bottom of the raft. Each person had a specific job to do. I joined the sewing group and am thankful for my mother who taught me how to stitch the blanket stitch.

It was an amazing feeling to be a part of a group of caring people trying to give back a little to their community who were suffering and had lost most if not all of their possessions. Giving to others certainly makes one feel so much better inside. It definitely made me feel fulfilled and I had learned so much from the experience as well.

Who would have thought that plastic bottles can be used to help keep rafts afloat? Who would have thought that one could make life jackets out of such bottles by sewing them in t-shirt pockets? Or by making an actual raft by tying those bottles together. The empty bottles of course must have their caps on and must not be crushed or they end up being useless.

I will leave you with some pictures then.

Plastic bottles are collected from every corner of the city.  

The bottles are sorted out... those that are crushed and without bottles caps are disposed of... those with water or any liquid inside are emptied and the useful ones are placed in the white bags to be sewn.

The lovely ladies, both old and young, sewing the bags together which is not an easy job... the plastic bags are thick.

The plastic line and the needle used to sew the bags shut.... and the rope which is used to bind the bamboo sticks together to make a raft.
Making the raft.... several hands are needed to make this and put all of them together...
At the end of it all, they place the plastic bags on and tie them well onto the raft.   

I asked the wonderful people if they had sent a bunch of rafts before and whether or not it worked well for the people affected by the floods and the answer was a positive one. These rafts helped so many stranded people who had no way of moving around their flooded area. This community rocks!


db said...

I agree; there are few things that feel as great as helping others. Your post reminds me I haven't written parts 2 or 3 of "A Great Sunday".

I hope everyone is doing OK.

Jan said...

Lana. Thank you for keeping us informed about how the communtities in Thailand are coping. We are not hearing much about this on the news here as a matter of course and there have been no appeals for help widely publicised. My thoughts are with you and Thailand every day.

Tabouleh said...

Peter... looking forward to reading 2 and 3.

Jan... thank you very much... I am planning on going on Saturday and Sunday to the affected areas and will let you know what is happening there... the extent of the devastation is beyond my knowledge but I have seen horrific pictures. Will keep you posted.

Ofelia said...

Lana, helping others give us a sense of purpose and even if you don't have money or other resources to give just given some of our time and ourselves to any cause can make such a difference.
Thanks for given your time and effort and for sharing your life experiences with us.

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Ofelia even though the few hours I put in are a tiny drop compared to the efforts of others.
will keep you posted...