A few days ago we had a birthday party for my son Paul. He got wonderful gifts and had most of his friends come and play to their hearts content. After the party the group of 10 year olds could only manage to eat one cake so we had another full cake remaining. Why don’t my son and I go out at night and give big pieces of cake away to poor street kids. I asked my son and he thought it was a good idea. So at night we headed out.
One way we keep costs low is by using locally available materials. That includes “organic rebar”. Concrete is an amazing thing. It can handle huge compression forces, but yet, it pulls apart very easy. It has very little tension strength. That is why for building with concrete, you need to use rebar. If you don’t, it will crack very quickly. It holds the concrete together. Well, in Cambodia, we use bamboo for road work. Bamboo does not deteriorate over time. The road will be replaced long before the bamboo will show any ware and tare. Bamboo is flexible and strong.
Last week Typhoon Ketsana flooded much of northern Cambodia. Most rivers broke their banks and flooding and destroying an estimated 75,000 acres of rice fields, just as they are nearing harvest time. 11 people died as the strong winds collapsed their houses. Most of the dead were women and children. Roads were destroyed, crops destroyed, schools flooded, and typical of most rapid responses, they simply pass out a box of instant ramen noodles, a bottle of soy sauce and about 10 pounds of rice to each victim. A week later, the photographers are gone and so is the not so healthy food, but the roads are still washed out, the fields are destroyed, the schools are still knee deep in mud and water. We can help some of those affected in a tangible way.