A Travellerspoint blog

From hedonism to helpful....

We hit Khao Lak Tsunami Volunteer centre

sunny 32 °C

HI ALL and pinch and a punch first of the month! WOW September already, crazy. Anyways, after more fun on beautiful Koh Panang, including a day of tantric Yoga for Anna and a pirate party on the beach watching lightning storms on the horizon, sipping buckets of thai whisky and coke, and dancing on the white sands to some crazy trance music, we decided it was time to do something meaningful and give something back to this beautiful country and its warm welcoming people. We emailed both the Phuket Gibbon rehabiliation project and the Tsunami volunteer centre and the latter got back to us to we headed to Khao Lak, on the west coast, which was particularly badly hit by the Tsunami. Its been rebuilt well, and theres a lot of building still happening, but its still eerie looking out to sea and imagining the waves coming. Nearly 10,000 people were killed in this area, including 75% of the english speaking population of Thais, so there is a real lack of english speaking people in this area, which relies mainly on tourism. What the project does is offer free english lessons in schools, community centres and even a local bar.

OK continuing the blog on 4th september now! We have had 3 days teaching, in 2 different schools, a community centre (Paul taught a ladyboy who sat ever so close to him!) a local bar, and we have gone into shops and an optician teaching people too. The locals are very sweet and friendly, with brilliant senses of humour too. Today we had a very spicy lunch which the Thai teachers found hilarious watching me struggle and gulp water, and we witnessed a hilarious start to the day. Basically they all line up in the playground, the teachers pick 3 children to go up on the stage, then cheesy Thai pop music blares out and they all dance! We were enjoying watching this and giggling when we got called out to go up to the front and dance with them! Absolutely sweat-inducing, but very funny :) The children are great to teach, though very excitable and naughty. After a week here we'll be heading to Phuket 2 hours south to help out at the Gibbon Project, which is in desperate need of volunteers. We'll be living in the jungle and working a lot, as they help to gradually rehabiliate the gibbons into the wild, a process which can take years. Shooters and poachers want to get the baby gibbons for shows in bars to attract tourists, but it usually takes killing 4 mothers out of the trees before they get an alive baby. Then when they hit sexual maturity at 6 years old, they get aggressive, and are dumped somewhere, unable to look after themeselves :( Anyways, thats where were going next, should be very rewarding. The political situation in Thailand is causing problems too with flights and buses, as the Thais try to make the prime minister resign. But noone should worry we're safe and sound :)

Love to All,
A&P XXXpiccie.jpgtsunami2.jpgbatik2.jpg

Posted by AnnaL 21:58

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