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 Childrens day donate
13 Jan 2018
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20% discount for returning volunteers

busy-weekWe are in the midst of high season in Thailand, and this has been epitomised by the surge in trek bookings this month. This week alone, we have treks going out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with staff zipping from one destination to another, picking up, dropping off, and showing the sights of the city.

All of that on top of two full days and nights in the surrounding hills, trekking and staying as guests of families from some of the regions many hilltribes (in these particular cases, the Akha and the Lahu).

At the same time, we are busy with lots of other things - we have a group of volunteers who have just started their programme down south, on Kao Lak, working with the Moken seatribe. Our latest group of volunteers set off for their working week, at a rehabilitation centre for ex-addicts. Their task is to help build a large pigsty, which will be part of the residents' programme of rehabilitation. Other tasks during the stay include teaching the Thai staff English language, collating data and photographs about the programme so we can update our website information. Their final night will be spent at Ban Jalae, a Lahu village, home of Surachai (leader of the homestay staff).

We are also in the middle of arrangements for a number of groups due to arrive - the administration and preparation for groups, as well as individual volunteers, is considerable. We must survey potential villages for sending volunteers, organise materials and resources, work out budgets, schedule guides, staff, and vehicles, arrange homestays, school visits, pickups, drop offs, address issues such as dietary requirements, medical concerns, answer a million questions via email, and then often re-jig everything as the goalposts move at the last minute... Never a dull moment!

Lastly, for now, we said goodbye to Ma Ji Sue this week. He was also known as Pineapple, and was a mainstay of the foundation for the last 10 years or so. A mongrel dog, originally the pet of Jon Morris (one of our earliest volunteers), Ma Ji Sue spent his days sleeping, eating, fighting, and protecting each and every volunteer that passed through the gates of the foundation. He ended his days flea-bitten, moth-eaten, and cancer-ridden, but was nonetheless loved equally as much then as he was when he was a pup.

With that, I'll leave you until next time... Live together in harmony, you lot.

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