A volunteer’s perspective on her recent trip to Thailand


Thailand volunteer

Dusty, rutted, steep roads interspersed with concrete slab when the hills got too steep, wooden bridges, one broken resulting in a river to ford, rice paddies with cattle or water buffalo becoming cleared hill sides for mountain rice, small communities of wooden houses on poles…when were we going to get to our home for the next week? Two hours from the last “real” town we finally arrived at Kraw Law Blur, a small community of about 20 homes sitting on a ridge line with other small villages nestled in the valleys below.

I was part of a team of four from St Andrews, Waipukurau, and six from CBC Hamilton (New Zealand) working with Bright Hope World to provide the Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP) with some man/woman power to help them achieve whatever projects they had planned with the villagers of Kraw Law Blur.

Having determined not to have any preconceived ideas about what our week in this village would be like I wanted to make the mostof the opportunity to experience something completely outside my everyday reality, and I wasn’t disappointed. We lived with our hosts, sleeping on the floor, listening to the dogs, pigs, cattle, and roosters throughout the night, and saw a snapshot of how they live their lives in a simple but hard life of physical work and day to day survival.

We were there to be hands and feet in whatever way ITDP wanted and so we built a fence, did some concreting, building and school yard clearing. We had the privilege of having the villagers work beside us and even though we couldn’t communicate well we worked with common purpose and goal.

Some of our team provided a Vacation Bible School programme for the children and to see the enjoyment and smiles on the children’s faces was priceless. Their laughter and pleasure at such simple things as rubber band skipping ropes, balloons and seeing their own faces in photos was great.

I would like to thank ITDP and their passionate staff for allowing us to join with them in helping provide water, sanitation and education for these awesome people and for the experience of seeing God work in their lives.

On arriving home I was confronted by all the “stuff” I have, so one of my take home lessons from my Kraw Law Blur experience is “a simple life with generosity of heart and spirit can help give hope and a future to those I come in contact with.”

Sheryl Bayliss

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Thailand volunteer