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A few words about my time in Thailand.

So far, when asked to say a few words about my time in Thailand I've only been able to say that it was as different as Africa and yet still the same.

So far, when asked to say a few words about my time in Thailand I've only been able to say that it was as different as Africa and yet still the same.

The people are always friendly; the food always great, and as ever the time I spent in the community opened my eye to a different way to live.

The cultural lives of the Isan Thai are amazing. I met so many people who made the Buddhist traditions an important part of their lives. We as volunteers were not only accepted into the lives of the people, but also were allowed to see how they live their lives in the Isan Thai traditions. We were invited to plant rice, drink rice whiskey, attend funerals, and participate in the very lives we were here to see.

The school were I taught was the experience of a lifetime. From day one I was welcomed as a teacher, volunteer, and friend all in one. I was given responsibilities of teachers and given the freedom of a volunteer. I was extremely busy while I taught about 240 students in the 5th and 6th grades. I worked on average 5 or 6 hours a day, five days a week. At the end of the day I was tired, and at the end of my time at the school I was able to see a great difference in the ability, desire, and courage of the students to speak English.

In the short three months that I was in Thailand I was able to experience so much that I can’t even remember it all.

The highlights of my time are numerous: motorcycle trips, rainbows on the Mekong, eating silk worms and bee larva, scuba diving in Koh Tao, crazy roads in Laos, trains, planes, smiles, chilies, smiles, laughs, pictures, volunteers from around the world, and so much fun in all the adventures I found myself in.

Finding a niche were you will fit is easy. Many people enjoyed the laid back pace to a small town where it was an accepted practice to sit in a hammock all day and just relax.

If the slow life is not your cup of tea, try a few days in Bangkok to heighten the level of excitement. If you are looking for a more difficult style of travel, try a trip to Laos for a week or ten day to end your experience in SE Asia.

The one recommendation I would make to any potential volunteer is when you arrive, eat, drink and learn as much Thai as possible.

Christopher Wormley, 23

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