Harriet here! I've taken over the blogging duties from Ben today... and day 7 of our Thai adventure was all about the volunteering!
There was an early rise and shine for us and our wonderful fellow volunteers on Monday. At 8am we met up down in the hotel reception and jumped into a shared taxi truck to the Childcare centre (approx 25 mins from the hotel).
The centre cares for young children aged 2-5 yrs old and it enables their parents to go to work whilst giving them a safe and positive place to play and learn basic English without having to wonder the streets.
This volunteer project in the morning involves playing with the children, teaching ABC, playing games, teaching them fun english songs (i.e if your're happy and you know it) and drawing pictures with them. A tip for future volunteers - take stickers as a reward for the children as they LOVE them! And also remember nursery rhymes to teach them.
In the afternoon, after a break for lunch we returned to the centre for the afternoon fun! The children had by then all had their lunch and were napping in the centre allowing us volunteers to help renovate the centre. We split into groups and some of us painted day and night posters for the crèche whilst the rest of us helped cement some of the surrounding security walls outside! It was such hard work but wow- what an achievement by the end of the day!! It was all our first time doing such a labouring activity but felt amazing when we looked on at the end of the day at our handy work. Volunteers in the past had built the wall and step by step the centre is looking better and better everyday :)
Typically this project finishes around 3pm and we all headed back to the hotel. Ben and I were exhausted so went for a cheeky nap whilst the others walked down to the lake about 20 minutes away for a well deserved swim and sun bathe.
At 6pm like every night whilst volunteering we all met up for our meeting with the coordinators to discuss plans for the following day (for Ben and I it was the building project). Then once everyone knew what they were doing we all went off for dinner in a beautiful little restaurant called 'Toys' for a Massaman curry and some much deserved celebratory beers to celebrate St Patricks Day!