Jasmine Chen - 2014 Program Participant
Why did you decide to go abroad?
Been wanting to do it for the longest time and when I came across Bamboo page, I was very tempted and felt comfortable with the organization.
Why did you decide on your specific program?
I wanted a good balance of volunteering and holiday, plus a beach goer, therefore choosing koh samui's teach and beach program.
What did you like most about the location?
It's an island! Beach. Sun, sand, and sea.
What was life during the Bamboo Project like?
Teach in the day or choose to do something else other than teaching, that is to help with the school's development (painting, building, etc.) and then chilling at the beach at night.
Did you find the local staff support helpful?
Super prompt and helpful. Not just a typical guide/coordinator, more of being my friends, our friends.
If you could go back to the beginning, what would you have done differently?
I wish I could have stayed longer and come up with a better study plan for the children in school.
Describe a day in the life of your program.
Wake up - school - teach/play - lunch - teach/play - home/rest - explore - beach / fishing / night market / chill - sleep.
What were your favorite activities while not working?
Exploring koh Sami and food trips with the bamboo family.
What was your living situation like?
It was a rented two story inter terrace house. Very cozy, had my own room, air-conditioned, shower heater. Basically a home away from home.
Now that you're home, what has working for the Bamboo Project taught you?
How blessed we are and how much more we can help. I miss the children and my friends from the bamboo family.
Do you see yourself volunteering more after your experience with the Bamboo Project?
Definitely, bamboo made it fun and easy for a start.
Do you have any plans to return to Thailand?
For sure! I miss my friends from the bamboo family and the children from the school. Intending to try the other tour/volunteer areas as well. After all, Thailand is close to home, love their food and no problem in communication even though one can't speak Thai.
From your experience, what kind of advice can you give first-time volunteers travelling abroad?
Be open minded, adventurous yet safety first. Good to read up on local cultures in order to avoid culture shock (if any).
We all love Thai food - what was your favorite dish while living in Thailand?
Mango sticky rice and Pad Thai!!
What is the single memory that stands out most from your volunteer experience in Thailand?
Seeing how much our coordinators (Lucy and Tee) were giving back to the society. Driven and involved. They hold a smile no matter what they are dealing with, no complains. One word, angels! Reminds me of Mother Theresa.