Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Not Your Average Volunteer in Thailand

When people think of volunteering in Thailand or overseas, they think of young, idealistic university students. This is a fair assumption, as we have had many young people volunteer in our projects. In most cases young people bring a lot to our volunteer Thailand projects, with the energy and good will they possess. However, with this update posting I would like to tell you about the different and interesting people that I have been lucky enough to know, befriend and volunteer with throughout my experience with Friends for Asia and volunteering with the US Peace Corps.

Volunteering in Thailand at Any Age

Sam, a Canadian from Vancouver, volunteered in the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project, along with a Beautification of Chiang Mai Volunteer Project (which we no longer offer). Sam, and his wife Karol, volunteered with us in late 2008. Sam was our oldest volunteer to date. He was 70 years old during his volunteer project.

Also in late 2008, we were lucky to have an American woman from California, named Judy Nordeen volunteer in our Single Mother’s Home Project. I am not going to tell you her age, as this would be impolite. I will, however, tell you that she was not a university student. Her orientation picture is right below this paragraph.

During my second US Peace Corps Volunteer experience here in Thailand, a woman named, Jean was one of our group of 36 volunteers. Jean still goes down as being one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Considering I’m not listing her last name, and unfortunately don’t have any photos of Jean to show, I will tell you her age… Jean turned 80 years old during her volunteer service here in Thailand. At the end of our group’s project time, I asked Jean what she was going to do when she returned home. Although this was seven years ago, I’ll always remember her response: “I’m going to go back to school to study motivational speaking. Then I’m going to talk to senior groups about getting off their butts and doing something interesting.”

Volunteers of any age are welcomed to participate in our volunteer and intern projects in Thailand. People of all walks of life are able to bring something to the table, whether it is their energy and strength, or experience and wisdom.

Not Your Average Volunteer

A bearded, soft spoken, man named Richard became one of my closest friends during my US Peace Corps Volunteer experience in Kyrgyzstan. Richard is kind of a classic volunteer hippy. He had a big, fuzzy beard, drove an old Volkswagen bus and would send me his home made Kyrgyz style vodka during my time volunteering here in Thailand. Richard was an American soldier who served active duty during desert storm. After he finished his military service, he decided to do something different. That’s why he became a volunteer.

Callie Lentz just completed her service in the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project. Callie, like Richard, is bright, well spoken, intelligent and an excellent teacher. I mentioned Callie in a post a couple of weeks ago. Callie is a combat engineer for the US military. In only a couple weeks from this update being posted Callie will be shipped out to Afghanistan to help remove roadside bombs. Callie made a video of her experience in the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project. Click here to watch that video.