Back in 2018, I was presented with the opportunity to do charity work in Thailand for a small community that was struggling with basic necessities. I had the opportunity to fly to Thailand to help build schools, public housing and much more. To date, it has always been one of my most rewarding experiences. It helped opened my eyes to how people that don’t have the luxury of everything survive. There were villages, that didn’t even have electricity, which meant no internet access and they couldn’t even communicate with the outside world.
This was really shocking and hard to take in, as I’ve pretty much had internet my entire life. Listening to music, browsing the web, watching YouTube videos, or even posting on Facebook has become part of my daily routine. Not being able to do any of those, was difficult but really rewarding too as I got to spend a lot more time experiencing new things, and learning their way of life.
One thing that I had trouble adjust to was the temperature. In Thailand, it was constantly hot. The average temperatures were always really high, which meant that I needed to constantly drink water and wear sunscreen. The most rain fell between May and September, and the dry periods were in the early months.
We had the opportunity to do many activities with the locals, such as scuba diving in the caves to explore the sea life, fishing, hunting and many more. It was the first time I’ve ever went Scuba Diving, and thus I was a little anxious but also really excited as I had prepared beforehand. I read and watched a lot of Scuba Diving videos to learn and understand the basics. I didn’t want to be left clueless if I’m ever left in a bad situation. I made sure to ask for advice from my friends who were avid scuba divers, and even attended scuba diving lessons before going to Thailand. Little things, such as how to use a dive watch, how to use a dive compass, how to install a regulator, etc were all things I wanted to know before coming to Thailand.
Overall, coming to Thailand to do volunteer work is of those experiences that I will never forget, and was also an excellent learning experience. It taught me not to take things for granted. The price of food and the general cost of everything was also much cheaper compared to the US. Everything only costed a few dollars and we were able to survive quite comfortably, using only a few dollars a day.
Of course, this isn’t always the case for the locals, as they generally don’t earn as much money. The entire volunteer experience, was awesome. We were picked up at the airport by our designated drivers, and we made sure to have a plan for everything.
The general day to day schedule followed:
8 AM: Breakfast
8:30 AM: Leaving to project site
9AM – 3PM: Volunteer work and lunch break
3PM – 5PM: Free time
6PM – Dinner
Whilst it was hard work, working everyday. Seeing the finished product and the happy faces was all worth it. I hope to come back in the future when I have the time and to checkup on the locals. I also got some free time to do some travelling and boy was it awesome! Interacting with locals and visiting all the popular tourist attractions.