Volunteering in Thailand – My eye opening cultural experience!

Posted by: Carmen

I decided to take part in volunteer tourism because I really wanted to experience another culture but at the same time I also wanted to help out those that needed it. GoEco was absolutely amazing in helping me find some volunteer work in Thailand and so I set forth on my Sing Buri adventure.

The volunteer house was a great environment to meet the other volunteers and a really comfortable place to stay. The staff were wonderful! They made us all feel really welcome and also answered any questions we had.

The first week on the Learn, Volunteer and Travel project was spent doing a program called Siam Culture. I loved this so much, we got to travel to loads of different temples and learnt a lot about Thai culture and even some of the Thai language. My favorite temple was the monkey temple. It’s a temple which is swarmed with monkeys, I couldn’t believe how many there were! It was also really beautiful to be able to learn temple etiquette and how to make offerings. This is a side of Thailand I would never have seen had I just gone for a holiday.

I was in Thailand for five weeks but sadly only a part of the Sing Buri project for two. I can safely say the project was my favorite part about my visit to Thailand. The children in the school were so well mannered and sweet – I really miss them. It felt amazing to be able to not only teach them some English, but to just be there for them. They really appreciate visitors, their faces light up when you meet and spend time with them. As well as teaching English, myself and the other volunteers participated in other activities at the school such as painting, tiling, and concreting.

Volunteers get to pick what they want to do for their day at the school. The first project I was a part of was painting the stairs that led up to the boy’s bedroom. It was heartbreaking seeing the conditions they live in so something as simple as providing a little color to their everyday lives actually makes a huge difference. We also did some tiling in the rooms so the floors were not bare concrete, and concreting in the shade outside so the children had somewhere to sit out of the sun.

And of course, my favorite project, teaching English. You don’t need any experience at all because it is very basic stuff – such as going through the alphabet, counting, pointing at objects and saying the words in English. They mostly just appreciate you being there. Spending time with them was amazing and something which I will never forget and always cherish.

There is no greater feeling than doing this project – I am already so excited to go back. I met so many incredible people in Thailand and have made lifelong friends at the twin house, friendships which I have no doubt will last a life time. It has opened my eyes up to other cultures and a whole new way of viewing the world and the people in it. I cannot recommend this project enough, or provide enough praise to GoEco for bringing it into my life.