The Coastal Marine Conservation in Phang Nga project with Goeco has been nothing short of the best experience of my life. Originally I arrived in Phang Nga signed up to spend two weeks at base working on the project; this quickly changed, as within the first 24 hours I fell in love with Thailand, the work that is operated out of the Phang Nga base, and my like-minded fellow volunteers. Within the first 48 hours of my time in Phang Nga, I was in the process of extending my stay on base from two weeks to four weeks. I could not have made a better decision! Every moment volunteering in Thailand breezed by, to the point where it was almost scary!
After first arriving on base, myself and the three other newbie volunteers settled into Baan Nam Khem life by spending two amazing evening at Thai Life beach, bonding and preparing to begin our next month as volunteers.We were immediately immersed in the culture of the amazing place we resided in with Thai language and culture lessons, which were immediately put to the test by purchasing meals at the little, family owned restaurants and shops in our town. Simply living in Baan Nam Khem, a tiny village outside Phang Nga, Thailand, was a worthwhile experience in and of itself. Add volunteering to assist with the conservation efforts of the area, and every moment was rewarding and fulfilling.
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, seeing the impact we had the ability to make on the quality of life of the sea turtles, and watching a lesson plan we worked hard on sink in and begin to make sense to children in the classes we taught.
Every day at the volunteer project brought new opportunities to bond with wonderful people, put In work to help a larger cause, and stimulate the mind to learn and experience new and challenging ventures. At times it was hot, humid, and hard work, you learn to recognize comforts such as air conditioning and flushing toilets as an unnecessary luxury; I learned to appreciate every step I take on this Earth then times more. I believe volunteering through Goeco will forever remain one of the climactic points of my life, I wouldn’t trade my experience in Phang Nga for anything.