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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 19 Apr 2008

Location: Orlando, FL, USA

Mapfrom Chris Borda, an upcoming volunteer:
Reading about everyone else’s experiences on this blog helped my wife Jen and I make the decision to take a Volunthai trip of our own this coming July-August, so thank you all. But the blog does say that it’s for past, present, and future volunteers, right? So I thought I’d try to write at each of those three points in our journey. Now I am a future volunteer. I have never set foot in Thailand, I haven’t taught English to Thai students, I’ve never even met anyone who has! But despite all of this, I still feel like I’m a part of the Volunthai family in some small, yet ever-growing way. That is the one thing that struck me about this entire organization and the people who are a part of it; they’re all a family of wonderful, helpful, and exciting people.
Upon discovering Volunthai I immediately e-mailed Michael for more information. Michael responded to that e-mail the same way that he and Ae have responded to the dozen e-mails that I’ve sent them since: promptly, thoroughly, and as kind as could be. They have answered all of my questions faster than I could have ever asked for and they’ve helped make the entire application process as smooth as possible.
I already had visions of what our time in Thailand would be like and was as excited as I could be to make this trip, but I also wanted to hear from someone who had been before, so I sent an e-mail to Amy Blaisdell (read her entry from 9-4-07 if you haven’t already). Amy wrote me back right away with the same joy and enthusiasm about Volunthai that everyone who goes seems to have. Amy wrote me multiple times despite her busy schedule and gave me a lot of great information, but one thing that she said really stuck out to me. She said that if you’re the type of person who would sign up for this program, you’d have a hard time NOT having a great experience. For me, it all comes back to the type of people that are a part of Volunthai. The passion, kindness, and giving that I see from everyone involved in Volunthai has me ready to make my own trip, take my own pictures, teach my own classroom, and give as much of myself as I can to this. But as Michael himself wrote almost eight years ago, “… if you are the right kind of person, Thailand will give you back far more than you can ever give it.”