Volunteer in Thailand
I do not have enough words to describe the depth of the experience. I only know that the people I’ve met have influenced my life and I strongly recommend volunteering in this village. They need lots of help in establishing educational center and the overall experience for the volunteers is one of a kind and very rewarding… I recommend it to all those interested.
We planted vegetation to help stop erosion, prepared plantings in our homestay, went on a six hour trek, visited a number of historical and Buddhist sites and experienced the culture with the Akha people almost continually throughout the week. The Akha are the most tolerant and accepting of others of any group I have ever met. As far as an immersion learning experience goes, it would be hard to match.
What I enjoyed the most was seeing the excitement and pleasure the gibbons felt whenever the owner came to say hello to them. After two weeks of volunteering in Thailand, I know that I made a difference and that feeling of being a part of the gibbons' happiness is something I couldn't be without.
As conservation volunteers, the team I worked on saw early mornings and plenty of data entry in the afternoons. We worked at two separate sea turtle conservation efforts weekly and also taught classes that combined conservation concepts and English vocabulary to the local primary school classes every week. Two of the most fulfilling, enriching things I’ve ever done in my life...
The village people are beautiful inside and out. I was impressed by their hard work, and I was most impressed by the way they treat their animals. I will never forget the elephants. It was so unreal to work and just be with them. They are the type of animals that deserve the all love and respect in the world, and I am sure this is the best place for them.
I have had competitive table tennis sessions, I have met wonderful people, I have had interesting conversations with different types of people, I have made great friends, I have seen beautiful beaches, I’ve swam with pigs and local kids, and I have eaten a ton of spicy food. Simply put, a unique experience and great times volunteering in Thailand!
Importantly, but not crucially, you really get the opportunity to test your skills with kids from a background completely different from yours if you are a qualified TEFL teacher (as I was), but equally you will reap immense rewards both the human and cultural perspective even if you are not and you may well discover a vocation you did not know you had!