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Thread: Volunteering while traveling.From Bali to Chang Rai

  1. #1

    Default Volunteering while traveling.From Bali to Chang Rai

    How lucky can I be? I would say lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience life in Indonesia as well as in Thailand. From an educational center in Bali to a children's home in Chiang Rai. From lush beaches to mountains. From a small village to a small city. From south to north. From heat to cold. From the Indonesian to Thai language. Coming "back home" to Bali, a place in Asia and far from my actual homeland of Romania.
    I have been volunteering in Bali for 4 months with IHF, teaching english and computer classes. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed teaching English until I came back after a month spent in Chiang Rai (north of Thailand) with the same NGO, where they run a children's home.
    Bali gave me the chance to rediscover myself, to learn that I don't need *much to be happy, and that my decision to volunteer with this NGO as opposed to another was a good one. I was afraid before coming here that I wouldn't be able to teach the children as they would deserve to be taught, that maybe they wouldn't like me, and that being so far away from home (or even Europe) would give me a feeling of insecurity (which actually really did occur, but only for one month).*
    Most of my fears disappeared after the first month, when I realized that as long as you put your soul in doing something, or give it a real try, you can not fail, especially when you work with children. You just need *make them feel confident about what they know, and let them know they are doing a great job. And what does one receive in return? Lots of love, respect, smiles, hugs and great memories. I feel that the kids give us back more than we, the volunteers, can offer them! So, in summary, I must say that I spent many joyful months in harmony with amazing children *(everyone should meet them!) and a serene place on the beach with many exciting nearby places to visit.
    But my IHF experience didn't end there!...
    I then chose to go Chiang Rai. I needed to leave Indonesia for my visa, so why not to go to another center that IHF has in Asia? I had to pay a flight ticket one way or another, so why not to make it a month? It's not something very common, actually. Usually one makes this decision before arrival. You can choose to split your time between different centers that IHF has (Indonesia, Thailand and Kenya) as long as you do it at the beginning of your program, so I was grateful that my request was accepted . Perhaps beneficial for me was that *there are always more volunteers in Bali than in Chiang Rai, so a good dispersion of resource allocation, even if for only one month.*
    Chiang Rai was a totally different experience, but just as great as Bali. I loved that it was so different: people, *children, *climate, and the mentality. The center was also very different. There we lived with the children, *cooked for them and they for us, helped with the daily cleaning, and *picked them up from school. Of course we spent *time with them before and after working on our online tasks (media, fundraising, recruiting).*
    There are 12 children living at the center, and the majority belong to the Lahu Tribe in the north of Chiang Rai.(you can read more about the tribe here:*http://www.thailine.com/thailand/eng...l-e/lahu-e.htm). Being near the city of Chiang Rai, the kids have the chance for a better education, safer environment, and exposure to technology. They are all kind, polite and maybe a little bit shy, except the smallest ones (raging from 10-13 years old), who are more willing to treat you like a “buddy”, which is very fulfilling. It is very nice to spend time with them, going to the local night market, to the pool, bowling, or just hanging out in the park near the center where we can also play basketball.*
    What impressed me most about them? Their big hearts! They shared everything, not just between themselves, but also with the local people, who were even less fortunate than they. They really know how to give - chapeau for them! I am really grateful that I had the chance to meet them and live with them for a month.*
    Life in Chiang Rai is also really nice, actually. Is a small city but you can find anything you need and the people are so open and kind that is impossible not to make friends. Compared with Bali, Thailand is more similar to a western type of life and the people are more open than the Balinese. There are nice places to visit, quite impressive actually. *Experiencing the Saturday *night market fills you with joy. Tasty food (I must say, I am in love with Thai food; *in Bali I stayed away of spicy food, but in Chiang Rai, ther was no chance! In 2 weeks, I got so used to it and liked it so much that now I need every meal to be spicy. I just love it!)...cheap souvenirs, welcoming places to hang out and a dancing floor in the middle of the market with local people and local music. One just has to go in the circle and the locals will teach you how to move. After all of these amazing and colorful impressions, I know I need to return to Chiang Rai. And I am sure I will.
    Now I have returned to *Bali for another month, and *I couldn't feel better about being so enthusiastically greeted *by the children when they saw me back with the volunteers and co-directors. It really feels like home. I am afraid of the moment when I will have to take my flight back home. Asia, you touched my heart!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    308

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    Nice sharing.I took a lot of information from this.I don,t now about it before seeing the thread.I,m a tourist by profession and this is very informative stuff for me on volunteering.It helps me on my journey when i visit again Thailand.I like it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    22

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    Some of you may be interested in a contest the Tourism Authority of Thailand is running right now.

    Called "Honeyteering," you can win a 7-day honeyteering trip to Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Phuket, or Koh Samui, where you will volunteer for part of your time.

    It's an interesting trend that is growing world-wide, so have a look if you're interested at: http://honeyteeringthailand.com/

    You will get your flight and hotel covered, do some interesting work, and then continue on to do whatever you want. It's worth a look IMO - nothing to lose!

    PS: This is not a solicitation or ad for any business.

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