Every volunteer has a unique experience depending on the location, religion, and traditions of their site. Each month we will explore a new volunteer’s site through the eyes of a visiting volunteer to show how similar yet different serving in Thailand can be.
Hoi Kipgen, 129 YinD
Eygiel Limbo, 129 YinD
Why did you visit?
I visited to help with an English Camp at Eygiel’s school.
What did you do in the community while visiting?
We biked around her community, had dinner with her host family, and hung out with her students. Her Nayok and counterparts took us to dinner and we had a spectacular time!
Describe the community.
Eygiel’s community is fairly similar to mine – close knitted and some cluttered muu-baans (sub-villages). Lots of sweet potato and sugarcane fields! Her village is quite rural. She was not kidding about barely getting phone signals and the fact that the roads had a lot of potholes.
Describe where Eygiel lives and her host family.
Eygiel lives with her host family, consisting of her host mother, brother, sister and grandparents. She lives in a traditional Thai wooden house and I was absolutely in love with the aesthetic. My favorite was the little tree house in the front. The tree had dok- kra dat (paper flowers). Besides the tree house, there were sunflower plants, herbs and a vegetable garden. Her host family was welcoming and made us feel at home.
Describe Eygiel’s school, teachers, and students.
If there’s anything I appreciated the most, it was the relationship that Eygiel had with her students, teachers and the staff. The students at the camp were very respectful and always willing to give their best. Likewise, the teachers were invested in our activities and helped us out with our games and energizers.
What were some highlights from your trip?
Towards the end of the 4-day English camp, the students embraced us in hugs and tears. Knowing that such display of affections were uncommon in Thai culture, it was a heart-warming experience.
What surprised you about Eygiel’s community?
I was surprised by how Korat as a province seems big and urban but once you go into the villages, it gets more rural and you experience inadequate infrastructure and a lack of resources.
Explain the similarities and differences between your site and Eygiel’s site.
I feel that our sites are similar in that they are far from the main roads; there are no nearby coffee shops. I noticed the absence of local markets at her site whereas my site has markets every other day of the week. Despite both our sites being in Isaan, people in both our communities speak different dialects. Getting to her site was also a bit challenging, as there are no vans that go directly to her village. But her amazing counterparts were kind enough to come pick us up at the bus station. People in both our communities are friendly, kind, and welcoming!
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