Ethan Nava and his family and friends visited the village of Taom in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2013. This is their third trip up since 2009 when Ethan and his friends from school initiated Project BLISS, supported by Project Happy Feet.
While at the village to inspect the site of one of the primary schools, the group of dedicated volunteers also got their hands dirty, helping to install bio-sand filers and also to build a toilet.
Here’s their story told through Ethan’s pictures (captions courtesy of Ethan).
The completed roof repair from Nov 2012.
Siv and BFT team discussing the plan for the toilet improvements.
Pictorial diagram of the plan to improve the toilet. (it’s okay if you don’t understand it)
BFT team, Siv and the principal in the midst of discussing the best way to carry out toilet repairs.
A young resident
With fellow volunteers Kenneth Tan and Lee Zhi Hao
One of water filters had been dented due to an unfortunate accident along route to the village! Thankfully it managed to be repaired later.
Our truck after all the supplies including the water filter, bricks, cement, water storage containers, sand, pipes had been loaded on. We had to squeeze amongst the stores for the road trip!
Preparing for work
Collecting water for the biosand filter installation – with Lee Zhi Hao and Trudy Loh
Mr. Lee showing off his stuff and making himself useful!
The principal and trainer helping to install and set up the biosand filter.
The trainer from Trailblazer Foundation busy setting up one of the four biosand filters for the school
The ever-capable carpenter repairing the toilet. he did it in about half an hour!
Siv enthusiastically getting involved
Our friend and translator who has been one of our greatest supporters for this project over the years, Siv!
The trainer cleaning the filter tube.
The villagers and us working side by side to get the water piping system in place for the toilet.
Hard at work
The village chief showing his stuff with the chankol!
A completed biosand filter with the water container for storing and dispensing water.
Battle scars from all that digging! photo courtesy of Colin!
The completed repair of the toilet!
The channel for laying of the water pipes.
Repairing the steps of the toilet for the children’s safety
Delighting the local children
The buff principal has both brains and braun!
Laying of the water pipes leading to the toilet.
The channel for the water pipes that leads to the water tank where the water will be channeled from.
The trainer teaching the principal and his staff how to maintain the biosand filter.
The villagers helping to lay the pipes
Kenneth enthusiastically getting involved in laying the pipes too!
Colin delighting a little girl with his iPhone
Connecting the pipes to the water tank
The water pipes leads straight into the toilet so that water is readily available for flushing the toilet bowl.
Mr. Lee helping to cover the pipes to prevent any damage to the pipes from external disturbances
Ethan and friends at the end of a day making a difference!
Project Happy Feet would like to thank Ethan, Trudy, Yen, and many others in the Project Taom team for going the distance over the years!