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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 10 Jun 2008

Location: USA

MapMichael writes: Here is a letter I got from a Thai teacher a few weeks ago. I think this story demonstrates a great strength of Volunthai: our lack of bureaucracy. Both volunteers and Thai schools can approach us and be working together in a matter of weeks:

Dear Project Manager, I am Atitaya, an English teacher at Jiangthong Pittayakom School. My school is located in Phakdee Chumpon District, Chaiyaphum Province. My school is a secondary school, 1,100 students (12-18 years old), and is located in a beautiful area surrounded by mountains, caves, and waterfalls. Most of our students are very poor, some of them have to help their parents on weekends with farming, but they have a strong desire to gain knowledge for a future career. I heard that you are an organisation that has the most effective volunteers and sends them to the rural high schools in order to improve students' skills to communicate in English. We want to know what we should do to get a volunteer from your organisation? Hope to hear from you soon.

[Well, we sent them a volunteer! Here’s the next email we got:]

Dear Micheal and Ae, I don't know how can I say thank you for your kindness. We are very appreciative that you helped all of us, teachers and students at our school, to have the chance to be with a volunteer from America. Dawn is the best teacher and she does everything she can for us. Even in her free time she will walk around our school to speak with our students all the time. She has 15 classes a week and 1 special class for students in the English Club. She lives with a student named Mai. Her house is about 4-5 kms from our school. She goes to school by bus with Mai everyday. We bought her a beautiful Thai cotton suit to wear on Fridays. I think that she is happy to be with us here. We hope that we will stay in touch with you and have a chance to get new volunteers for as long as possible!

[See the photos of Dawn at her school and homestay on the right-hand side of the blog, under the map of Asia.]