Thai Adventure Part 1: Our Amazing Orphanage Project
By Jane McLellan
Last updated: 10th April 2013
Our incredible Thai Adventure programme is one of our most popular trips and due to high demand our dates frequently sell out, so we are continuously adding new dates to keep up with all the travellers who have added it to their wish-list. We are operating a brand new Thai Adventure itinerary for 2013 so I travelled to Thailand to hear first-hand what our customers think about the trip and to inspect the different locations we visit on the programme.
All the customers I met were having a great time and didn’t want to come home! They had made some really close friends on the Thai Adventure and many were planning onward travel together around other parts of Asia. Many of the Thai Adventurers also said they would stay in touch with each other and planned to catch up again when they came home. It was really nice to see how travelling together forms such strong bonds and it just made me want to go off travelling again!
My first stop was the buzzing capital city, to visit my team based in Bangkok. As a treat, I took along some Harrods biscuits that I picked up at Heathrow so they could enjoy a little taste of England. The Thai-based team do a fantastic job of looking after our customers and making sure all their travel arrangements are confirmed. It was great to get a chance to have a proper face-to-face catch up with them and to talk over how they feel the trip is going and discuss any new ideas.
After my Bangkok visit, I travelled south for around three hours to the beautiful Thai beach resort of Hua Hin, then on-wards for a further hour towards our children’s home project, set in a lovely location in rural Thailand, close to the Burma border. I arrived in time to see some of my current volunteers teaching English to some of the younger kids. The kids were so sweet, singing songs and wanting to hold my hand. I had a good chat with my volunteers who were absolutely loving their time at the children’s home where they were doing a great job doing really rewarding, valuable work.
During the three days spent at the orphanage during the Thai Adventure, the group spend time playing games with the kids, getting to know them and giving them lots of attention. They also make an important contribution to a really worthwhile, rewarding and fun project. Our current orphanage is undergoing some major changes in 2013, as it is built on land that the government now intends to build a water hydro dam on within the year. As a result, we have purchased some new land for a new orphanage, but this now has to be built by scratch.
During their time at this project, our volunteers are helping out with the building of this new children’s home. Work started back in February this year, and during my visit I was really proud to see for myself the amazing work my volunteers had done towards building the orphanage so far. Among other things, they had helped dig out and lay the foundations for the children’s shower and toilet block. I spoke to some of the volunteers that had been involved with the building efforts and they said that despite the weather being really hot and it being hard manual work, it was well worth the effort. They had all enjoyed working as a team and striving towards their important aim of building a new home for the kids.
The land for the new home is set in a really beautiful rural location in Thailand, where there is a pretty little stream which is not only great for the kids to play in but also for our volunteers to take a dip and cool off after their hard work. The land also has an area to plant trees and vegetables with the aim of helping make the home self-sufficient as well as hopefully helping to provide a self-generating income. Our volunteers have also got involved with this planting programme during their time spent in this gorgeous rural spot. During their time at the orphanage, the volunteers have plenty of time to get to know the kids, play games with them, show them much needed attention and basically help provide a fun and safe environment for them.
During the orphanage visit, if you fancy having a go at Thai cooking, then volunteers can help our guide prepare dinner for the other volunteers and the orphans. This normally involves cooking a big pan of delicious Thai food to feed around 50 mouths! It’s a mammoth cooking task but it’s also a lot of fun! During the orphanage stay, accommodation for our Thai Adventurers is in charming twin-share rustic wooden apartments and there is also a relaxing communal restaurant area where the group can get together and enjoy a few beers after a hard but fun day’s volunteering. It’s a memorable and moving project that forms a key part of the Thai Adventure and is an experience that you’ll never forget.