Across from a brightly painted purple school, and just around the corner from the lively day market, one can find the quaint headquarters of the multi-award winning organisation Andaman Discoveries, originally founded as the North Andaman Tsunami Relief in 2004. The two-story office space was acquired in 2008, and has housed the growth of this community-based, eco-tourism venture, which supports economic and social benefits for villages, cultural education for tourists and environmental sustainability efforts.
With a dedicated staff of five, the majority of which have been here from the beginning, Andaman Discoveries has overcome many of the odds against it as a small business in this industry. On big cleaning day, furniture was rearranged, floors and corners swept, cabinets and bookcases cleared and restocked, and desktops and drawers emptied and neatly reorganized.
A new “Handi-Crafts Store” featuring handmade herbal soaps, tie-dyed bags, weavings, carvings and more was established in the freshly cleared second-story, along with a new resource center of educational books, games and learning supplies.
Truly, there’s nothing like a good cleaning inside, to make one feel lighter and brighter outside, and in this way the Andaman Discoveries office has a whole new smile, here in Thailand’s “Land of Smiles.”
Shelby, ex peace corps volunteer