Month journey in the chessnuthill eco resort.

Time flies, and the second month is already gone (I am quite late...). After a first month to discover and be surprised by our new world, April was more... Quiet. Staying at Chesstnuthill eco resort, close to Ban Thung Chang, away from the city, was for us a break in our project.

What happened :

Resumed : Doing a remake of “Apocalypse Now” we fought bravely mosquitoes for a month, working for Krishnamurti to find the meaning of life in his resort.

We stayed in a very nice independent home, for Krishnamurti guests, providing all modern comfort you can wish. More, as guest we were feeding by the hotel restaurant, with very nice diners.

First day we had a quick introduction to the project, and the visit of abandoned gardens of K”(rishnamurti) association, maybe our next projects ? We also visited the hotel. We spent an afternoon to enjoy local waterfall, and to be useful, picked cabbages on the way. We did our first class to a dozen of young students in a local school, two days per week as agreed. After some hesitations in the gardening mission for cutting grass in the K”house garden, we participated for our first WE to hotel tasks. Helped to clean, tidy and serve in the restaurant.

Second week three new French volunteers arrived (Aliénor, Charlotte and Nina), bringing a French majority in the group, 4 over 8, perturbing the team dynamic, triggering a revolution.. More people, less work, need to decrease the working hours per week ! 35 hours per week ;) Following our occidental interpretation of volunteer word, we were not agree to work for commercial purpose, without link with our projects. But we were still working in gardens for cutting grass and teaching english.

Third week we moved to Hatyai in Wat (temple) Klong Hae to help for Buddhist new year : Songkran ! As a breaking rhythm to our monk life in the jungle, we began our temple journey by the new year party. Far from European new year party habits, we discovered a city transformed for a giant water party, every one using water-gun or bucket, mixed with talc powder. Everyone was wet, face covered by talc, trying to paint everyone face with talc, in a unbelievable atmosphere. Very impressed how people stayed calm and in a good moon, enjoying the moment ! Next days we spent our time between few working hours in the temple to clean or glue little flags, helped by Kong our local coordinator, and go to party.

Last week we came back to the resort, still participating to class for a part of the people, and without real project for others. Finally we can meet a lady responsible of K”association and the hotel who suggested different activities : as take care of the garden, but without future plan for this one, it looked limited. Or built a playground for kids in hotel area. Finally we chose to construct the playground with hotel staff Adam cooperation for designing and find materials as bamboo or tires for a recycle playground !

My feelings :

It was our first long term project, 3 weeks, without clear goal. Volunteering can be also a free improvisation, spectator or actor, it's your choice. But clearly the reality is always opaque and define your role can be tricked. This three weeks project was a first test of our adaptation capabilities. Personally, I chose the VSE project for his long term volunteering experience, an experimental journey to discover this way to work. And, to increase the difficulty, far from home, in a very different cultural environment, which don't help for objective evaluation.

Krishnamurti association is mixed with a hotel, which offers volunteering journeys : As quoted “Volunteering can be a way of connecting with a love of what we do; to bring a sense of energy and leisure to our work.”. Which is a definition, maybe international one, very general, but too indulgent for me. It doesn't mention all the difficulties of cooperation and communication between actors, sharing cost, goals and beneficiaries of projects. My personal point of view suggests me to simply first separate professional\volunteering work clearly.

Final words from resort volunteering requirements : “At the moment we are only looking for volunteers who have specific skills to bring to our project. Perhaps you are a professional and wish to take a break from a hectic schedule ?”

Greg

Final words from resort volunteering requirements : “At the moment we are only looking for volunteers who have specific skills to bring to our project. Perhaps you are a professional and wish to take a break from a hectic schedule ?”

#CHARGER #France #Thailand #April

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