Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grant - Day 11

The Sanctuary is one noisy place. It was expected that the contractors who are doing the renovations would have been completed two weeks before our arrival. The two weeks was extra time for any unexpected problems. Well, this is Cambodia and the contractors will still be at work some time after we've gone.

There are many sounds and noises in Svay Pak and in the Sanctuary. Inside the sound we hear most often is grinding. They are grinding down all the surfaces of the concrete stairs - two stair cases; one to the 4th floor and the other from ground up to the roof deck which would be the 6th floor. Grinding. Grinding. Grinding. Now I sound like Mary's comments about the yellow, yellow and more yellow except what I am talking about is much louder. The grinding provides us not only with ear shattering noise but with great clouds of red dust - it is everywhere.

The tile saw provides the loudest of sounds but it only happens occasionally. The arc welder was busy today finishing off some metal work - the loud buzz accompanied by electrical zapping sounds. There is the sound of fresh plaster being scraped into place and there is the sound of doors slamming as the breeze blows through the building.

Of course there are also voices. Usually these voices are speaking Vietnamese but some times Khmer and occasionally we hear English but it is usually from a Western visitor. These voices some times sing, they some times speak softly and some times in louder tones.

We are also making our own noises but paint brushes and rollers are no competition for the louder noises of construction. The reno crew breaks for lunch and the building gets quiet, that's when we can hear ourselves the best - voices, often laughing, the sound of brush strokes and rollers rolling. Today you could even hear your sweat drops smaking into the plastic drop sheets (I kid you not).

Then there are the sounds from outside. The sounds of children at play - joyful and angry. In the afternoon you can hear the sounds of Rahab's House, 5 doors down. From there we hear the sounds of singing and much laughter. Of course these sounds change at night as we are gone, the construction crews stops for the night and the business of trafficking children picks up.

The sounds of Svay Pak - there are hopeful sounds, many hopeful sounds.


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