The first time I had ever flown by myself was when I was on my way to Thailand to volunteer at the Learn, Volunteer and Travel project. Needless to say, I was very nervous boarding the plane. When I arrived at the Bangkok airport I was greeted by one of the program managers, Korn, who immediately made me feel welcomed and put me at ease.
The first week was orientation, which was full of activities such as visiting temples, participating in a Thai cooking lesson, visiting schools, and lots of tasty meals. Personally, one of the best parts of Thailand was the food. I loved trying the different types of noodle and rice dishes, especially the Pad Thai. We had the weekends free, so one time a group of us went to Bangkok. We had so much fun exploring the city.
My second week, I volunteered at the orphanage. The children were very welcoming and friendly. While their English was limited, they tried their best to communicate with me. I worked on a variety of tasks such as mixing cement, laying tiles (which was hard work in extreme heat), and painting the walls to brighten the orphanage. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to teach the kids, but I still felt like I was able to make an impact in their lives.
One amazing trip I took was to Chiang Mai, where we participated in a variety of activities. We spent two days at a rice farm where they showed us the different produce they grew on the farm. We even got to help plant some of the rice. On another day, we spent time at a school where we got to teach children English. This was probably my favorite part of the trip because it was so rewarding and the children were so thankful.
As my time in Thailand came to an end, I realized I didn’t want to leave. Volunteering in Thailand was truly an amazing experience with wonderful people from all over the world. I was able to learn about a new culture and explore an amazing country. I know the friends I made will be in my life for a long time! Even though I was only in Thailand for a short period of time, I know I helped make a difference in the lives of the children I met.