During my trip around Thailand, Andaman Discoveries gave me the chance to spend ten days with the wonderful kids of the Southern Thailand Orphanage and the great staff. This orphanage near Khao Lak was founded after the Tsunami. It is a small orphanage with the flair of a big family, right now it is taking care of 25 children.
It was school holiday in Thailand during my visit and a few of the children were visiting their relatives, so I only got to meet 19 of the children living there. I was welcomed very warmly and felt as part of a family from the beginning. My main responsibilities were playing with the kids, teaching them some German, and everyday work such as baking, cooking, looking after the coffee shop of the orphanage, or just watching the children.
Next to those tasks I had the chance to get to know the “real Thailand” with the orphanage Family, something that I’ve missed during my travels. I got to know a lot about Thailand and the Thai culture, was able to learn a little bit of the Thai language, and had the great chance of experience the vegetarian Festival together with the home.
I was the only volunteer staying at the orphanage, but we were welcoming various other guests together. Starting with a family from America, ending up with the US Navi and Thai Marine (who were spending a day helping to cement a playground for the children). Together with our visitors and the children we spent great days exploring the surroundings of the orphanage. As it is placed right next to a national park there are many beautiful waterfalls and an empty beach nearby.
Now, at the end of my stay, I can say that I’m truly thankful for all the love and openness I’ve experienced through the home and that I’m very glad to have contributed a bit to give the children a safe place to grow up and better chances for their future life!
–Gudrun, Germany, Volunteer October 2012