I was part of the January 2019 Well community church mission trip to northern Thailand. We served with ITDP in a village called Mo Oh Jo. They are part of the Karen hill tribe people.

Karen Tribe Women from Ma Oh Jo Village
Ko Kuh (left) and Ma Gah (right)

One of our projects was to build a coffee pulping facility. The village has learned how to grow coffee under the leadership of ITDP.  Fresh coffee cherries are picked and then pulped before being dried and sent to Chang Mai for shipment to roasters like our partners, Lanna Coffee Co.

We spent the entire week building a coffee pulping station. Using a hoe, we had to dig approximately two deep down for the foundation and again another few feet deeper for a 2nd tier then we smoothed out the surface area, after putting up the framework we put a tin roof on the facility and then the final step was to pour the cement floor.

We had very good weather until the last day which was our cementing day. We received 5 inches of rain in an 18 hour period !As a result, the red dirt and clay soil became a near quagmire. We had to move a cement mixer that was on a small Jeep chassis up and down the hill to load it with sand and gravel and cement before pouring the cement by hand with buckets.

It was a fun and memorable experience to work with the staff and half dozen tribal volunteers during the entire experience. I would have to say that the highlight was working in the rain and muck, yet still having a great time interacting with the local tribe members who were volunteering with us… all the while not even being able to share the same language!

We did complete the cement pour for the foundation even with the pouring rain. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when we return next year as a fully functioning work station!

-Eric Hanson
Lanna Foundation Board President