I arrived three weeks ago now to follow the TEFL paid teaching program. But regarding the current situation I have also been involved in giving a hand to the local communities suffering from the floods in Singburi area. During the introduction week our help has been requested to supply people with foods and water.
Apparently the tragic of the situation doesn’t prevent theft – which means that some people do not prefer leaving their belongings behind them and make the decision to stay in their flooded houses. All the volunteers present in the Eco-house at that moment – i.e. teachers and the volunteers who could not go working in the orphanage since this one is flooded (instead this group of volunteers teach English to the kids from the local area).
To be honest it needs to be seen to be believed… I don’t know what amazed me the most: was it seeing the magnitude of the water damage – with houses completely under water – or was it how people deal with it – smiling, adopting a ‘never mind’ behavior? We had prepared bags with supplies and we took boats to distribute them to the population. Yes boats: we followed the road which was 2 meters below us.
The day after we visited people in another area where a kind of campsite for refugees has been set up. We have been told that we were off to a ‘concert for health’. Well what we did not know was…we were the concert! When we arrived everyone was well excited to see us – Thai people seem always happy to meet ‘Farangs’… We walked along the road where they have built some really temporary habitation – under big tents – to say hello to everyone along with… The Minister of Transport! We shared dinner altogether and then we approached a stage where a band – apparently famous here – was performing. And then we have been asked to go on stage and sing for people. At least we made their night
During my second week I had my TEFL course and still shared the life in the center with the other volunteers.
This week – since I have not started school yet as children are still on holiday and floods have delayed a little bit the placement – we taught the local children in the morning on Monday morning and went to the swimming pool in the afternoon. It was amazing for me teaching one little boy to swim.
Then I have been involved in one of the projects set up by the government to face the situation. We spent the week going to a warehouse for refugees and prepared pack lunch for the homeless people.
Out of the six districts of Singburi, four have been badly affected by the floods, which mean thousands of meals to deliver every day. We worked there along with volunteers coming from every part of the area.
It felt really good to be part of it doing something useful for the ones in need. This is why I came. To try to make a difference as much as I can – even if it is a small one in people life. For those who want to do it I would just say accept the challenge, enjoy, and learn from yourself and the others…