Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Thailand VOlunteer Work

  1. #1
    Unregistered Unregistered

    Default Thailand Volunteer Work

    My name is Dylan Resnekov from Australia and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when the tsunami hit. After many friends convinced me to stay in Ko Pangang an island south east in Thailand, for the full moon party I think I learnt the true meaning of being in the right place at the right time.

    While many of my friends were in the area and missing at the time, I felt it was my duty to go over and a) find them, as well as b) help out with what ever I could. Having stayed in Phi Phi for over 2-3 months last year, I was worried about how many friends both Thai and foriegn had been affected. My friends and I ran around the beach in Pangang asking people to donate blood at the mobile blood area near the pier, but we felt that wasn?t enough despite the incredible response.

    Within a few days of the tsunami my friend Steve Shaps from South Africa and I went over Krabi town with a letter in Thai explaining we wanted to help out with what ever we could. After struggling to communicate with the Red Cross coordinator, we finally met 4 foreigners that were in bright orange vests and invited us to join their team. We were unsure of what the task was, but we knew we were going to help out with as much as we could on Phi Phi Island.

    So the next day we took a navy ship over to Phi Phi with the reality of the situation only hitting us once we stepped foot on the battered pier. Bodies awaited us some wrapped, others what ever they could find.

    We soon found out our teams task was to transport the bodies from a designated area onto the navy ship. As far as I know the last statistics we heard was that 1500 or so bodies came off Phi Phi.....6 foreigners and a few Thais.....tough work... but we did well.
    Besides moving the corpses which were so badly decayed , we also assisted search and rescue teams, went on long walks with food supplies piled on our backs which we took to the locals. We also collected cats to be put in cages which were taken up to bangkok where a shelter awaited them. We assisted clean up crews burning what ever we could get our hands on and acted as contacts for many foreigners who were missing friends family etc....

    We did anything and everything in our spare time as we knew there was always someone that could be helped.

    It was both mentally and physically exhausting and despite the lack of equipment and safety gear towards the end of our work, we kept each other together the entire time.

    Times were tough, many corpses were seen/carried, lack of sleep(1-3 hours a night) and very little food. This was mainly out of choice due to the fact that the temporary kitchen on Phi Phi island was....well by aussi standards and most international countries.... contaminated. On one side of the pier we had the bodies that weren?t exactly sealed, the other side the food supplies open.....we mainly lived off mentos and biscuits when we had a chance.
    We spent many hours a day performing various tasks (mainly moving the corpses) and I will always remember the feeling of being lonely as I stood in the middle of Phi Phi Island with no one in sight, thinking of all the good times I had when I lived there a few months before the tsunami, all the amazing people that worked at the cafe's, shops or hotels....the friends who I made I promised I would come back (which was meant to be on the 27th of December after the full moon party) .......I kept my promise.....

    It was a very depressing 1-2 weeks, our team was fabulous and I was lucky enough to find one of my good Thai friends alive and roaming around. We gave him some supplies we bought from the main land and am still in contact with him today. Some of my Aussi friends set up an account for him and paid for his dive master course and we all hope he will be able to support himself from now on.....miss u deeo, ur a champ.

    I still find it amazing how strong the Thai's are. Many of the Thai's I spoke to or tried comforting told me that they were sad, but life goes on and everything happens for a reason. Some nights I cried my self to sleep I kept telling my self over and over that this is just another life lesson......we should never take things for granted.

    The Tsunami victims barely got a chance to take their last breathe, let alone say goodbye. Let this be a lesson that we never know which day is going to be our last. So when you see an opportunity, take it, because tomorrow ppl may remember you for what you did today.

    We did some amazing things. Bonds were made never to be broken (stevo, miss u man......u kept me together....will always be thankful), mitzvot (good deeds) were done and huge responsibilities were put on our shoulders....for a 19 and 21 yr old anyways.
    We met many people from all different walks of life along the way and we tried our hardest to help those who were looking for loved ones.....I am so sorry we couldn?t help everyone.
    Many of the memories are ones I wish I could leave behind but it truly is amazing what one can do if they put their minds to it.
    I am currently in the process of posting up all my pictures I took.....for now, here are the ones on a site....they are mainly the ones with us in it.....The rest are all coming.
    I assure you the smiles were not of joy, but shock.....nothing was glamorous about what we did.....but an experience I will never forget and has changed me for life.

    The site with some of the pics are:

    They are under the Phi Phi album; the others are just travel pics...irrelevant....before the tsunami.

    The government suggests that Australians should try avoid tsunami affected areas such as Koh Lak, Phuket etc. However having friends that are in the current area, I can tell you that there is so much beauty one will miss out on if you do avoid these areas. Not only do the locals need the support as their seasonal income slowly depletes at a rapid rate, but the areas them selves have so much to offer. I encourage people to continue with any plans to visit these areas and support the Thai economy at a time in need.

    Thanks to my family, friends and most of all Rachel and Stevo who were with me in Phi Phi, for being so supportive since I have been back in Sydney. Very few people understand what we went through and how hard we pushed ourselves knowing we were putting our health and other things at risk. I also would like to say how amazed I was seeing everyone put in their fair share and being so thoughtful, to strangers they barely knew anything about.

    Life is very different now and most mornings I wake up as if the volunteer work I performed was yesterday.

    Every meal I eat tastes so that much better, every person I see I try smile and make an impact on and every night that passes, I remember those who perished knowing that in some way or another, they gave to those around them ...whether it be inspiration, a future or even happiness.

    Every one has it inside them to help, it doesn?t have to be on a scale such as what I went through, by simply helping a friend in need, a stranger nearby or even an organization, we can all make the world a better place.

    I remember explaining to a young foreigner who asked me why I would go towards danger or a place which was deemed a health hazard, so I told her this,,,, "The world is a very difficult place to change by your self, but if we all do a little bit, then we are one step closer"

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Already 2 months on and the memories are still so fresh. At night when I close my eyes I still smell the contaminated air, remember the site of the bodies, the feeling of being lonely while going on hikes (search and retrieve/Missions) on the almost lunar landscape and the quite moments after a long days work knowing we would have to wake up at 6 the next morning to do the same thing.
    That is why I am posting this up in hope that others will realize there were people, average people doing everything they could to find survivors and help families in need.
    For further information, queries or simply just a chat regarding the tsunami feel free to email me at

    Already some survivors have contacted me and I am touched by their stories of courage and is nice to know I can relate to others even if it is by mail.
    For those who passed, RIP.......for those who were affected, I still pray every night for you.


    <!-- / message --><!-- edit note -->
    Last edited by discoverythailandadmin; 03-30-2005 at 06:20 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Thank you...


    Thank you for sharing that with us... It's heart warming to know that people care. If people get in contact with you, please let us know their stories, too.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Free Volunteer Work in Thailand
    By Karin25 in forum Travel Offers
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-28-2016, 11:08 AM
  2. Volunteer Work
    By Dylan Resnekov in forum Thailand Travel Advices
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-05-2006, 04:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts