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Description:

Latest news from GVI’s Teaching and Community Development projects in Thailand. Read about project progress and updates, as well as first hand blog posts from volunteers currently in Thailand.

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Podcast Episode's:
2013 - A productive year for GVI Phang Nga
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SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">The start of another new year marks the one year anniversary of the GVI Phang Nga Hub. 2013 was a great year for us. We started two new programs and developed partnerships with over 15 key organisations to support both conservation and education initatives in the Phang Nga area. Just one year later and we've already achieved so much thanks to the amazing dedication, hardwork and enthusiasm from all our volunteers - we can't thank you all enough! We are so excited to keep moving the projects forward and support our partners to achieve their objectives over the next year.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>Healthcare</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The healthcare program started in January 2013 and focuses on working with the Camilian Social Centre for children with disabilities as well as promoting health awareness at local schools. Volunteers helped with rehabilitative therapies including physio and art, teach English and provide much needed social support through a lot of fun and games.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Bdw1YjLXRY0/UtoIvF4x9aI/AAAAAAAADNQ/2nACfRZDLcE/s1600/cam+3.jpg"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Bdw1YjLXRY0%2FUtoIvF4x9aI%2FAAAAAAAADNQ%2F2nACfRZDLcE%2Fs1600%2Fcam%2B3.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="300" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mKHBT2aX0Fo/Utn_tHpw7wI/AAAAAAAADMU/-Pkr-dp3-5M/s1600/DSC_0520.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-mKHBT2aX0Fo%2FUtn_tHpw7wI%2FAAAAAAAADMU%2F-Pkr-dp3-5M%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0520.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">And stretch on the count of three....one....two....</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Things started to get really creepy around halloween.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QTYDq_GwI18/Utn-SnyRpkI/AAAAAAAADLs/8_q_JQrxlzk/s1600/IMG_4346.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-QTYDq_GwI18%2FUtn-SnyRpkI%2FAAAAAAAADLs%2F8_q_JQrxlzk%2Fs1600%2FIMG_4346.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Boo!</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">There was plenty of time to get festive over Christmas too.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FV6oxDVb-ic/Utn50cRZ3rI/AAAAAAAADKU/6LGazMEsrQc/s1600/IMG_4921.JPG"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-FV6oxDVb-ic%2FUtn50cRZ3rI%2FAAAAAAAADKU%2F6LGazMEsrQc%2Fs1600%2FIMG_4921.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="300" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Santa even came to pay us a visit at our Christmas party:</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-T7h1jdv-x8o/Utn6JZSx3bI/AAAAAAAADKc/b3rVI7RRoB0/s1600/DSC_0952.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-T7h1jdv-x8o%2FUtn6JZSx3bI%2FAAAAAAAADKc%2Fb3rVI7RRoB0%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0952.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>Marine Coastal Conservation</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We successfully started our marine coastal conservation program in January 2013. The program aims to support both terrestrial and marine conservation initiaitives in the Phang Nga area. We work closely with two national parks and conduct biodiversity surveys, support sea turle breeding and monitoring programs, and assist the Similan Islands National Park to monitor the impact of tourism on the environment.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0iXpNFLBUdU/Utn9jBng4rI/AAAAAAAADLU/h8OnllEnBPc/s1600/DSC_0702.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-0iXpNFLBUdU%2FUtn9jBng4rI%2FAAAAAAAADLU%2Fh8OnllEnBPc%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0702.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hiking through Thai Muang National Park</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JP0ykPAQWe4/Utn91Y5OznI/AAAAAAAADLc/CqP_3h8kSLg/s1600/DSC_0832.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-JP0ykPAQWe4%2FUtn91Y5OznI%2FAAAAAAAADLc%2FCqP_3h8kSLg%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0832.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bKHmDSdXLlE/UtoAtRnNxHI/AAAAAAAADMs/eOlVzaJlggU/s1600/DSC_0390.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-bKHmDSdXLlE%2FUtoAtRnNxHI%2FAAAAAAAADMs%2FeOlVzaJlggU%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0390.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">We scrubbed a lot of these turtle tanks</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MXfH9Aws0lQ/UtoBGcL95LI/AAAAAAAADM0/EFLYW2NHRp4/s1600/DSC_0393.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-MXfH9Aws0lQ%2FUtoBGcL95LI%2FAAAAAAAADM0%2FEFLYW2NHRp4%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0393.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">All for these little fellas.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wHjJ0TvbCXk/Utn6xmGWecI/AAAAAAAADK0/nUNbmBbpHys/s1600/DSC04134.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="224" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-wHjJ0TvbCXk%2FUtn6xmGWecI%2FAAAAAAAADK0%2FnUNbmBbpHys%2Fs1600%2FDSC04134.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: justify;">We collected over 200 bags of trash on beach clean ups this year!&nbsp;</span></td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--OWDUMpxInM/Utn-M0GYOuI/AAAAAAAADLk/Eb9i4-4LAuY/s1600/DSC04240.JPG" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="224" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F--OWDUMpxInM%2FUtn-M0GYOuI%2FAAAAAAAADLk%2FEb9i4-4LAuY%2Fs1600%2FDSC04240.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: justify;">We started working here....no, I'm being serious!</span></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZlKXAa1mKJI/Utn-1k9dmLI/AAAAAAAADL8/UCHHPyi20TI/s1600/beeach.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="267" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ZlKXAa1mKJI%2FUtn-1k9dmLI%2FAAAAAAAADL8%2FUCHHPyi20TI%2Fs1600%2Fbeeach.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: justify;">I'm still not joking - we conduct tourist behaviour surveys right here....yes, here!</span></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>Teaching Children</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The teaching children program has had a great first year in Baan Nam Khem. We're now teaching at Baan Nam Khem School, Ban Muang School and the Ban Tam Namchai kindergarden and orphanage. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sggdgkd0G9U/Utn-obCgHNI/AAAAAAAADL0/BJKcA6SAk9U/s1600/DSC01252.JPG"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-sggdgkd0G9U%2FUtn-obCgHNI%2FAAAAAAAADL0%2FBJKcA6SAk9U%2Fs1600%2FDSC01252.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AvPHjrpE0jI/Utn_MibWKZI/AAAAAAAADME/X1h1mIdFRZM/s1600/DSC_0306.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-AvPHjrpE0jI%2FUtn_MibWKZI%2FAAAAAAAADME%2FX1h1mIdFRZM%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0306.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0EG1QZtfLX8/UtoJZHDGQOI/AAAAAAAADNY/4hHJArhoeFc/s1600/martyna.jpg"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-0EG1QZtfLX8%2FUtoJZHDGQOI%2FAAAAAAAADNY%2F4hHJArhoeFc%2Fs1600%2Fmartyna.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>TEFL and Teaching English to Communities</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The TEFL program has developed a strong partnership with the Non Formal Education Centre in Takuapa. We've taught over 50 students here, as well as providing bespoke English language support to several community initiatives including the Saori Centre in Takuapa.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7hQxWcgYqqs/Utn_3GerJrI/AAAAAAAADMc/nkJeGf89B4Q/s1600/DSC_0563.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-7hQxWcgYqqs%2FUtn_3GerJrI%2FAAAAAAAADMc%2FnkJeGf89B4Q%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0563.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NT50CKBoRA4/UtoAJxbnf_I/AAAAAAAADMk/EXDZt_9q5LU/s1600/DSC_0607.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-NT50CKBoRA4%2FUtoAJxbnf_I%2FAAAAAAAADMk%2FEXDZt_9q5LU%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0607.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cDo1irtqrH8/Utn_b8AB8ZI/AAAAAAAADMM/S-qVTimlFww/s1600/DSC_0440.JPG"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-cDo1irtqrH8%2FUtn_b8AB8ZI%2FAAAAAAAADMM%2FS-qVTimlFww%2Fs1600%2FDSC_0440.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ozvdhF0IcPg/UtoBXdE7AeI/AAAAAAAADM8/raIJbUtayzM/s1600/DSCF2675.JPG"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-ozvdhF0IcPg%2FUtoBXdE7AeI%2FAAAAAAAADM8%2FraIJbUtayzM%2Fs1600%2FDSCF2675.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Happy new year everyone!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">UPDATE: To make it easier for you to keep up to date with all the happenings at GVI Phang Nga, we will be fully integrating our blogs into our new website, which will be live by the end of January and thus, we are moving. Blogs will be available on <a href="http://gvi.co.uk/">gvi.co.uk </a>and <a href="http://www.gviusa.com/">www.gviusa.com</a>. Other live news, updates and goings on are published on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/GVIThailandPhangNga">Facebook</a> and from <a href="https://twitter.com/GVIPhangNga">our twitter account</a>.</div>


Thoughts from a newly qualified TEFL teacher
<div style="text-align: justify;">This week, being the last week of the teaching term at the NFE Centre in Takuapa, myself and Michael have completed all work to qualify for our TEFL qualification.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kodR-GKv1R4/Uqbbh_7EhMI/AAAAAAAADJ0/f5txGHWNKg8/s1600/DSC_0587.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kodR-GKv1R4/Uqbbh_7EhMI/AAAAAAAADJ0/f5txGHWNKg8/s400/DSC_0587.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Dang receiving her certificate of attendance and me congratulating her on moving up&nbsp;a level.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">During this week, I have had the pleasure to work one to one with one of the students from the community, who is the sweetest most wonderful lady I have met in Thailand. The experience was great. Dang, 58, was so grateful for me to give her a one to one session that she bought me the biggest and most delicious bunch of bananas I have ever laid eyes on! For you westerners, bananas DO have seeds! The ones you buy from the supermarket are genetically modified to contain zero seeds and are larger than they should be! So the herb in discussion (commonly mistaken for a fruit) usually have hard black seeds and are tiny with an unfamiliar strong taste. These bananas bought for yours truly were like soft, delicious gold dust. There taste was out of this world. Immense. The whole GVI team was desperate to have a try that the edible gold disappeared in less than a minute. So, sorry to my friends who missed out on this timely event.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TRAAs0TdLvw/UqbcK06QWUI/AAAAAAAADKI/Qhyj3ZEFLoA/s1600/banana.png" imageanchor="1" style="font-size: 13px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="297" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TRAAs0TdLvw/UqbcK06QWUI/AAAAAAAADKI/Qhyj3ZEFLoA/s400/banana.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The infamous bananas. My dad will be jealous!</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">25th-28th November wrapped up the final week for myself and Michael's training. We completed over 100 Hours of TEFL training in under 4 weeks, and can now officially teach English as a foreign language-anyone offering any jobs?&nbsp;</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7Gn9usPqE9k/UqbbtDViRsI/AAAAAAAADJ8/LpWpKRXqWis/s1600/DSC_0563.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7Gn9usPqE9k/UqbbtDViRsI/AAAAAAAADJ8/LpWpKRXqWis/s400/DSC_0563.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Michael getting excited about the next game with our level 3 class.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">During our intense and enriching 4 week I have; taught 11 hours and 15 minutes, had 40 hours of ‘input’ sessions (taught by our experienced GVI TEFL staff), at least 24 hours of lesson planning, 6 hours of experienced TEFL observational teaching, 15 hours of peer observation, approximately 16 hours of feedback sessions and weekly evaluations and also extra hours for the completion of 3 assignments.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UABusj9-hjQ/UqbbPp64twI/AAAAAAAADJk/27Q5oBI6xH8/s1600/DSC_0607.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UABusj9-hjQ/UqbbPp64twI/AAAAAAAADJk/27Q5oBI6xH8/s400/DSC_0607.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The students and GVI teachers at the end of term ceremony</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">All in all, myself and Michael have progressed so much from being only the newbies to becoming a strong part of the team here in GVI, Baan Nam Kem, Phang Nga.&nbsp;</div><i><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z69Co8ZOCDw/UqbbVkPSTCI/AAAAAAAADJs/SHaK8lPIK6s/s1600/DSC_0601.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="font-style: normal; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z69Co8ZOCDw/UqbbVkPSTCI/AAAAAAAADJs/SHaK8lPIK6s/s400/DSC_0601.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The whole level 3 class minus Po: Michael, Deng, Nui, Alex Lukepad, Amy and Jason</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Amy Hickie – TEFL project volunteer</i></div></i>


From the corporate board room to teaching with KG
<div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Paul joins us as a two week volunteer on the teaching children program all the way from sunny England. &nbsp;Paul has taken a break from his high pressured corporate job to volunteer and travel around South East Asia. &nbsp;During his time on the program he has taught children aged from KG to middle school. Definitely a change from the corporate setting!</i></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qFeQA6a1aMs/UqWXobSxoqI/AAAAAAAADIw/0thpSXVa98k/s1600/Paul+Laos+2+(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qFeQA6a1aMs/UqWXobSxoqI/AAAAAAAADIw/0thpSXVa98k/s400/Paul+Laos+2+(1).jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul tries to master his takraw skills - it's kind of like playing volleyball with your feet</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Having taken some much needed unpaid leave from my high pressure corporate job it seemed apt that my first job should be to sing 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' to a group of 5-year olds. We were teaching body parts to a handful of Kindergarten children and the song proved a good method of distracting them from clambering over each other and generally bickering. They came for the ride as I added more and more pace to the routine and they struggled to keep up. Later however, the Hokey Pokey seemed to baffle them and they watched motionless. A few seconds in, after I'd put my right arm in and shaken it all about, I knew it was going to be a solo performance and there are photos to prove it.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">But these were just brief exercises to keep the children entertained. By the end of the class they could recognise, say and point to around 12 body parts. Everyone's favourite (it's ok to have favourites i'm told) was Bell who is so smart he practically acts as interpreter between us and the other children. He did go off topic towards the end and pursue his favourite hobby of drawing Angry Birds but we could overlook that.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2noRKFmPLB0/UqWXn7WYNTI/AAAAAAAADI0/g6PxVZEkuA8/s1600/Paul+in+KG+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2noRKFmPLB0/UqWXn7WYNTI/AAAAAAAADI0/g6PxVZEkuA8/s400/Paul+in+KG+2.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul and Hayley with KG</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gs_PFj-El60/UqWXo6nqb-I/AAAAAAAADI4/tdYv_43_Urg/s1600/Paul+in+KG.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gs_PFj-El60/UqWXo6nqb-I/AAAAAAAADI4/tdYv_43_Urg/s400/Paul+in+KG.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul demonstrates head, shoulders, knees and toes</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Some (including me) wondered whether kindergarten is too young to start these children learning English. However, once you begin to teach the older children in the school you can see that they would have benefited from earlier exposure. GVI has been in Ban Nam Khem for under a year and it will take a while until we create a major shift in English standards. At the moment there is not a wide difference between the 4 year olds and the 15 year olds when it comes to speaking. But I'm confident that Bell and many of his friends will have a much better grasp of English than his elders currently do and that they will benefit immensely from this in their later life.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0XHKuAj_lZM/UqWXpfN84jI/AAAAAAAADJE/fTx55Bj2Frw/s1600/paul+in+orphanage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0XHKuAj_lZM/UqWXpfN84jI/AAAAAAAADJE/fTx55Bj2Frw/s320/paul+in+orphanage.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul gets involved in some serious colouring time at the orphanage</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hQaWkdJDXSM/UqWXpMTe4XI/AAAAAAAADJM/DjY3fPN5tEQ/s1600/Paul+in+orpo+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hQaWkdJDXSM/UqWXpMTe4XI/AAAAAAAADJM/DjY3fPN5tEQ/s400/Paul+in+orpo+2.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul at the orphanage after teaching some English</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ri8QTjdtry8/UqWXnz_aitI/AAAAAAAADIs/Awg8q2V2zXw/s1600/Paul+Laos+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ri8QTjdtry8/UqWXnz_aitI/AAAAAAAADIs/Awg8q2V2zXw/s400/Paul+Laos+1.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul impresses everyone with his iPad.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Paul Currigan – Teaching Children Project Volunteer</i></div>


Michael's epic week on the TEFL program
<br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"><i>Michael joins us as part of an epic six month round the world travelling adventure. &nbsp;He also spent some time volunteering with our friends over at GVI Laos where he taught English to novice monks. After his six weeks with GVI Phang Nga on the teaching English to communities program, Michael is heading to China to study martial arts for a few months. We've never met anyone so motivated or willing to literally try anything!</i></span></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;">Greetings from Baan Nam khem! &nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;">What a week it has been for the GVI team. A new cook has been hired to help out with the GVI family, internet has finally been installed in the staffing house and all the projects are moving underway smoothly. As a member of the 4-week TEFL program, I can say from our end that we are working hard! It seems our day is filled nearly 12 hours straight from 8:30-7:30 at night. Lessons consume our mornings, lesson planning extend through the day, teaching goes into the night and then group meetings finish out the day. It is busy busy busy here, but it’s well worth it.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lk3hx1M724I/UpMEj_SBa0I/AAAAAAAADIU/fA1mWA59tjQ/s1600/DSC_0348.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="background-color: white; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lk3hx1M724I/UpMEj_SBa0I/AAAAAAAADIU/fA1mWA59tjQ/s400/DSC_0348.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Michael leading his level 3 class at the NFE centre</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;">Teaching the Thai students is more than rewarding with their seemingly rapid progress they are making. The teaching aspect is very different than I would have imagined, as a great deal of what makes a teacher appeal to the students is showmanship. It seems the more energy, movement and interactive you can be as a teacher the more that it resonates with them. I look forward to working more and more with the students to really see how far they will come. Well I best be going. The weekend looms ahead of us that always make things all the more exciting. Having exotic beaches and fire shows only hours away is quite convenient. Stay tuned for the next blog.</span></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HGtnqEjQmu4/UpMFDM7p9tI/AAAAAAAADIc/lSZuYoC0WhE/s1600/DSC_0359.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HGtnqEjQmu4/UpMFDM7p9tI/AAAAAAAADIc/lSZuYoC0WhE/s400/DSC_0359.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Nothing like a nice competative fly swat game to concept check!</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="color: #333333; font-family: lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"><i>Michael Langer - 6 week TEFL volunteer</i></span></span><br /><span style="color: #333333; font-family: lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14px;"></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>


Hamaira's volunteering experience leaves her filled with warmth and sunshine
<div style="text-align: justify;">With great pleasure, I, Hamaira Kauser from the United Kingdom, share with you my experience on the healthcare program at Ban Nam Khem in Thailand.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RZKaRy9nWBc/UoSsjLafpKI/AAAAAAAADHg/z3KyY3MdL30/s1600/IMG_0017.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RZKaRy9nWBc/UoSsjLafpKI/AAAAAAAADHg/z3KyY3MdL30/s400/IMG_0017.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hamaira with Ploi and Men at the Camilian Centre</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">My initial highlight was the crawly insects and the unknown species that crossed my path and sent shivers down my spine, entertaining me through the night, during the day and on every path of my way. Although with it being my second week in it has now NOT become nature as old habits' die hard! Enough said about my relationship with the creatures!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We have literally stepped out of the monsoon season and now the weather is simply great with occasional monsoon effects leaving the land wet, yet not too cool when the sunshine lets off radiant heat giving us our daily vitamin D!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Now I would like to introduce to you my actual memorable part: being at The Camilian Centre where I taught on average 7 children varying from age 4 through to 17 with physical, mental and social disabilities. The teaching style adopted was to suit the need of these children to help improve their quality of life.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-txGiEa_Ha0w/UoSsi5YUGxI/AAAAAAAADHc/1CbvcAAOkRM/s1600/IMG_0070.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-txGiEa_Ha0w/UoSsi5YUGxI/AAAAAAAADHc/1CbvcAAOkRM/s400/IMG_0070.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hamaira and the boys - always ready for a photo session!</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">During the physio sessions, the concept of colours were introduced with a great deal of repetition to allow the minds to develop. This is something that the children really enjoyed. We generally wrapped up these sessions with some basic stretches that amused the children, especially lifting the legs up towards the sky; the centre would fill with joy and laughter.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The theme adopted during my duration on the program was to teach body parts, thus making use of flash cards, demonstrating creativeness and making it a fun exercise to stimulate the mind so that the children can recall easily. Example - A jigsaw of body parts was formed where the children would fit these into place and apply a background theme using colours.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qVcjkAZQxoc/UoSspOtYBNI/AAAAAAAADH0/sUL8JtldTQg/s1600/IMG_0394.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qVcjkAZQxoc/UoSspOtYBNI/AAAAAAAADH0/sUL8JtldTQg/s400/IMG_0394.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Men and Som practice drawing the parts of the body</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">To ensure focus was maintained, these activities were for a short duration of time and the day would be brought to a close by playing ball games.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l3qkubS3dOI/UoSsjU-qNAI/AAAAAAAADHk/fDIQtfFQuyo/s1600/IMG_0010.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l3qkubS3dOI/UoSsjU-qNAI/AAAAAAAADHk/fDIQtfFQuyo/s400/IMG_0010.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hamaira and the boys find time for a photo after a hearty game of football</td></tr></tbody></table></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The children at the centre have shown a great interest in the activities introduced to them thus having their attention during these sessions. Their passion and willingness' to learn and general development of social skills have encouraged these children to attend the centre on a regular basis.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UMlnwyog6qU/UoSsdag_45I/AAAAAAAADHU/u8OljGBTUko/s1600/IMG-20131114-WA0001_resized.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UMlnwyog6qU/UoSsdag_45I/AAAAAAAADHU/u8OljGBTUko/s400/IMG-20131114-WA0001_resized.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The finished works of art showing the parts of the body</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">The Camilian Centre and GVI have proven to be a success, exceeding both their expectations and goals. This is evidenced by one of the children who has made incredible progress with his English language skills. With regular one on one support from the GVI team, his English language skills have developed. He has now been offered an opportunity to work as an operator, taking calls at a luxury resort in Khao Lak. This particular young man has had weak muscles since the age of 9 and was informed by doctors that his life span would be no more than 2 years. Yet, with the rehabilitation and his positive spirit, excellent results have been achieved as 3 years have gone by.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ymM0rh0eXaw/UoSsqScjLkI/AAAAAAAADIA/XXVxBF-a3Ic/s1600/IMG_0403.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ymM0rh0eXaw/UoSsqScjLkI/AAAAAAAADIA/XXVxBF-a3Ic/s400/IMG_0403.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Craft time: &nbsp;drawing our krathongs for the upcoming loi krathong festival</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">It is such a warm feeling for me to be a pair of helping hands. Knowing that I have passed on my knowledge to these children and helped them in some small way will always remain a tremendous sense of fulfillment for me. Having observed the incredible development made, of course lets not forget the incredible work put in by the Centre that was established after the Tsunami in 2004 and the support GVI is providing I would like to say with warmth and gratitude. Thank you for a wonderful experience which I will always remember.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Hamaira Kauser – Health Project Volunteer</i></div>


Correy gets a taste of paradise
<br /><div class="" style="clear: both;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Not very many people can say that they get to wake up- early I may add- and go and work on absolutely breath-taking beaches, hike through stunning rainforests and get to swim in some of the most serene waterfalls that you can only imagine up inside your dreams, or find in some paradise magazine at your local travel agency.&nbsp;</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kRpUeH_tdh0/UnYpLeoFZeI/AAAAAAAADGs/ewDoO4U05nY/s1600/correy+1.jpg.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kRpUeH_tdh0/UnYpLeoFZeI/AAAAAAAADGs/ewDoO4U05nY/s400/correy+1.jpg.png" width="267" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of the beaches at Thai Mueang National Par</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">A lot of people also don’t get to go out and work with absolutely adorable little baby sea turtles! I mean, let me give it to you straight, these crazy little things are undoubtedly the most adorable things you could ever lay your eyes on. Especially when you’re walking amongst them and there all just whipping around like insane maniacs and all you’re doing is trying not to step on them!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7bKX34vb33U/UnYpJ_FPPMI/AAAAAAAADGk/3wiEeaUf8rQ/s1600/correy+2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7bKX34vb33U/UnYpJ_FPPMI/AAAAAAAADGk/3wiEeaUf8rQ/s400/correy+2.png" width="267" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of the many tiny turtles at the turtle centre</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Having never been on a plane before, let alone been outside of Ontario! Flying across the world to the fabulous place I now get to call home for the next 3 months, is an incredible and life-changing experience. There are no words to describe how excited I am to be a part of something like this, and I can only thank everyone who’s helped me get here and also the people of GVI themselves for accepting my quirkiness and weirdness into their lovely home.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qsFJeWBr1Os/UnYpORU_exI/AAAAAAAADG0/BBOwOch77DU/s1600/correy+3.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="267" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qsFJeWBr1Os/UnYpORU_exI/AAAAAAAADG0/BBOwOch77DU/s400/correy+3.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Volunteers Correy and Kaela on the beach&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><div><i>Correy Nuttal - Marine conservation volunteer</i></div>


Going for Gold!
<div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: center;">Although the TEFL course can seem challenging and intense, there are some pretty cool activities that help take the edge off and provide healthy competition for all the TEFLers. It may be considered to be a great way of learning as well as a laugh. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;">The Tefolympics was the latest event that hit the GVI team this week. &nbsp;There were three participating countries: The Empire of Flying Lanterns, The Dunces, and Swerica, competed to be crowned the champions of the TEFL course. It was definitely an intense battle, starting off with rounds of Pictionary. &nbsp;It wasn’t all about fun and games, there were some serious teaching abilities portrayed in all of the games. Points were obviously scored for clarity of instructions, the effectiveness of the game itself and the attitudes of the country’s competitors. Each country was scored by all the others, but don’t worry, there was no tactical scoring anywhere near these games. It was all just a bit of fun and all the competitors came together to make it an enjoyable experience for all.<o:p></o:p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uVvlCFQcD18/UmYdoRsV2CI/AAAAAAAADFs/C2IYQDpiIn4/s1600/torch.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uVvlCFQcD18/UmYdoRsV2CI/AAAAAAAADFs/C2IYQDpiIn4/s400/torch.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Burning with pride and teaching prowess - our TEFoLympics torch</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Don’t go thinking that it was all a breeze though. It is always challenging to come up with inventive ways to execute an activity, and even harder when you are against the clock. Five minutes was all they had to come up with their ingenious plans to go for that gold medal at the end. Talk about pressure! The tasks that were set became harder and harder to plan as the games reached their final rounds. 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table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GCAvOMbQofA/UmYdoV0pniI/AAAAAAAADFw/p6Njh_4jT4E/s1600/tefl+winners.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GCAvOMbQofA/UmYdoV0pniI/AAAAAAAADFw/p6Njh_4jT4E/s400/tefl+winners.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Our TEFoLympics champions - Matilda and Andy</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Sweat began to form as the TEFLers eagerly awaited the final results. The room was tense and we leaned forward with baited breaths as the two judges took to the floor. The Bronze went to the Dunces; it was between The Empire of Flying Lanterns and Swerica. The look of those two gold medals was too tantalizing. Seconds ticked but it felt like forever before finally, the winners were called: Swerica! <o:p></o:p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: justify;"><i>Grace Mathers - TEFL Intern</i></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div>


Theo gets up close and personal on the conservation program
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But, there’s a big difference between waking up and going to work compared to getting up and seeing some of the coolest and strangest animals Thailand has to offer!&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span lang="EN-US"> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>TH</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> 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mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US; mso-bidi-language:TH;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Invertebrates are by far some of the most bizarre things I’ve seen out here in Thailand, for example, this little caterpillar. Or if you want to sound more like David Attenborough, this is the Tinolius eburneigutta. I can’t tell you why its colours are so vibrant nor the purpose of those fan like hairs, all I know is that it is definitely worth waking up in the morning to see.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>TH</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> 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mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-US; mso-bidi-language:TH;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hAftXfzPnvY/UlUiZlPwTaI/AAAAAAAADFA/jnpXfyQluK4/s1600/cool+cat.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hAftXfzPnvY/UlUiZlPwTaI/AAAAAAAADFA/jnpXfyQluK4/s320/cool+cat.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Tinolius eburneigutta caterpillar</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Invertebrates aren’t the only strange creatures you’ll see though; take a look at these inventive bats. I call them inventive because in order to build their home inside of this palm leaf, they nibble around the top of the leaves to make them fall down. I never would have looked inside it, but the national park guides with us immediately spotted it. The result was looking up at the Lesser Short-nosed Fruit Bat, or the Cynopterus brachyotis.</div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gHIKbSsQ_Dk/UlUiZOMY_QI/AAAAAAAADE8/jixtgSay7y0/s1600/bats.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gHIKbSsQ_Dk/UlUiZOMY_QI/AAAAAAAADE8/jixtgSay7y0/s320/bats.png" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 13px; text-align: center;">Lesser short nosed fruit bats - cozy house!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5mmXJHRVxeY/UlUiyH6U6VI/AAAAAAAADFM/KnBvMmaJH8Q/s1600/spider.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="275" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5mmXJHRVxeY/UlUiyH6U6VI/AAAAAAAADFM/KnBvMmaJH8Q/s320/spider.png" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Spiders are, in my opinion, some of the coolest creatures out there, especially this one here. Even though this looks like it might be a rare find, they are fairly common in the rainforests in Thailand. In fact, it was one of the first creatures I saw and made me immediately love this place. However, it’s not as common as the house gecko’s which you see absolutely everywhere. There are three of them sitting in this room with me right now. There are so many cool, common and strange animals all over the place that I’m never bored for even a second, and neither will you be.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i>Theo Deurloo - 12 week conservation volunteer</i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i>Theo joins us all the way from sunny England. &nbsp;His favourite past times include eating incredibly hot chillies and searching for cool wildlife, both of which fit in perfectly with life at the GVI Phang Nga hub and volunteering on the marine coastal conservation program.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>


Wondrous waterfall wildlife
<div style="text-align: justify;">It’s an early songthaew journey to Thai Mueang National Park at Lampi waterall and YES! It’s well worth it. The waterfall itself is beautiful and open to the public, to swim in the plunge pool, but the real excitement for me was to start explore the surrounding rainforest. The trail was steep to start, levelling off into dense forest and I started to feel like I was taking part in a real adventure. The aim of the surveys are to establish a species list for the national park, detailing what animals can be found in their parks. Using GPS to mark where each species are found and noting detailed descriptions and photographs, I hope I can help identify some animal species. Almost immediately after starting the survey we saw new and exciting animals including frogs, snakes, stick insects and spiders. Some were easy to spot, others we stumbled upon. Half way along the trail we faced the challenge of crossing the river. The local guides definitely made it look easier than it was, but in this warm sticky climate it was just what we needed to cool off and relax for a few minutes. The whole trail took around an hour and a half, mainly because we kept stopping to look at all the cool plants and animals. Personally, the most interesting species we have found so far is Tinolius eburneigutaa, a caterpillar which stands out from the crowd with its red feet and the spines along its back.&nbsp;</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BWwe9mhqMwQ/UlPj1uveogI/AAAAAAAADEY/SSQLb2EnYhU/s1600/waterfall.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BWwe9mhqMwQ/UlPj1uveogI/AAAAAAAADEY/SSQLb2EnYhU/s400/waterfall.png" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The idyllic Lampi waterfall</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">However the day wasn’t over yet, the local guides based at the waterfall took us over to a small palm tree and pointed towards the underside of the leaf. I was a bit hesitant to look, but I’m glad I did, because there was the most amazing, cute group of bats, comprising of one adult and four juveniles. This species, Cynopterus brachyotis or more commonly called the Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat, nibbles around the top of the palm leaf causing it to drop down creating a little shelter for them to roost in, which is pretty clever. Overall the day was brilliant, lots of animals seen, so lots to identify and keep us busy but first of all, lunch.&nbsp;</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRWA0RjdhIw/UlPkzbtSppI/AAAAAAAADEg/7A8ncT8uwnw/s1600/cool+cat.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRWA0RjdhIw/UlPkzbtSppI/AAAAAAAADEg/7A8ncT8uwnw/s400/cool+cat.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of the many amazing caterpillars found on a biodiversity survey</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LcpPooFFPqA/UlPlMhUZY9I/AAAAAAAADEo/lkiw6GC_CgY/s1600/bats.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LcpPooFFPqA/UlPlMhUZY9I/AAAAAAAADEo/lkiw6GC_CgY/s400/bats.png" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Greater short nosed fruit bats</td></tr></tbody></table><div><i>Anna Lavery - Conservation field staff</i><br /><br /> <!--EndFragment--></div>


Under 18s group get to work!
<div class="Section0"><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: x-small;"><i>We're very pleased to welcome our first group of under 18 volunteers to Baan Nam Khem! The 11 intrepid young explorers are working on renovating an abandoned gym in a small local school, to give the students somewhere to gather, particularly during the rainy season. Maddie &amp; Sian discuss their first impressions and the experience so far...</i></span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Tahoma'; font-size: 12.0000pt; mso-spacerun: 'yes';"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xB10iKvA89s/UfZxwU1tkJI/AAAAAAAADDs/_lgPH3u98qU/s1600/Jax+(10).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xB10iKvA89s/UfZxwU1tkJI/AAAAAAAADDs/_lgPH3u98qU/s320/Jax+(10).JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">First day on the beach!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;">After&nbsp;a&nbsp;grueling&nbsp;journey&nbsp;of&nbsp;discomfort&nbsp;and&nbsp;exhaustion&nbsp;we&nbsp;sat&nbsp;around&nbsp;the&nbsp;table&nbsp;sharing&nbsp;our&nbsp;first&nbsp;meal&nbsp;together&nbsp;in&nbsp;Phuket.&nbsp;Conversation&nbsp;then&nbsp;turned&nbsp;towards&nbsp;our&nbsp;expectations&nbsp;of&nbsp;our&nbsp;next&nbsp;two&nbsp;weeks:&nbsp;humidity,&nbsp;dirt,&nbsp;ants,&nbsp;sweat.&nbsp;We&nbsp;were&nbsp;right...</span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YpGhNWLySg0/UfZzTPmAy3I/AAAAAAAADEI/-FfcR7G8hP8/s1600/IMG_4242.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YpGhNWLySg0/UfZzTPmAy3I/AAAAAAAADEI/-FfcR7G8hP8/s320/IMG_4242.JPG" width="213" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Maddie paints the outside of the gym</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Tahoma'; font-size: 12.0000pt; mso-spacerun: 'yes';"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Tahoma'; font-size: 12.0000pt; mso-spacerun: 'yes';">But&nbsp;let's&nbsp;not&nbsp;dwell&nbsp;on&nbsp;the&nbsp;negatives.&nbsp;We&nbsp;were&nbsp;also&nbsp;right&nbsp;about&nbsp;the&nbsp;Thais'&nbsp;ability&nbsp;to&nbsp;always&nbsp;keep&nbsp;a&nbsp;smile&nbsp;on&nbsp;their&nbsp;faces.&nbsp;The&nbsp;past&nbsp;two&nbsp;days&nbsp;in&nbsp;Baan&nbsp;Nam&nbsp;Khem&nbsp;have&nbsp;really&nbsp;shown&nbsp;how&nbsp;us&nbsp;Brits&nbsp;(and&nbsp;a&nbsp;single&nbsp;Canadian)&nbsp;can&nbsp;adapt&nbsp;and&nbsp;welcome&nbsp;other&nbsp;peoples'&nbsp;drastically&nbsp;different&nbsp;cultures.&nbsp;Hard&nbsp;work&nbsp;in&nbsp;the&nbsp;heat&nbsp;has&nbsp;tested&nbsp;everyone's&nbsp;determination,&nbsp;but&nbsp;knowing&nbsp;our&nbsp;end&nbsp;goal&nbsp;of&nbsp;providing&nbsp;these&nbsp;school&nbsp;children&nbsp;with&nbsp;a&nbsp;beautiful&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: 'Tahoma'; font-size: 12.0000pt; font-style: italic; mso-spacerun: 'yes';">functioning</span><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;">&nbsp;gym&nbsp;keeps&nbsp;us&nbsp;motivated.&nbsp;Seeing&nbsp;the&nbsp;kids'&nbsp;appreciation&nbsp;after&nbsp;the&nbsp;crafts&nbsp;and&nbsp;sports&nbsp;afternoon&nbsp;has&nbsp;given&nbsp;us&nbsp;a&nbsp;clear&nbsp;motive&nbsp;to&nbsp;succeed.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IJvdOTehkpA/UfZyoBuqtuI/AAAAAAAADD4/aywdv0ukYic/s1600/DSC_0362.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IJvdOTehkpA/UfZyoBuqtuI/AAAAAAAADD4/aywdv0ukYic/s320/DSC_0362.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Some of the kindergarten kids at Koh Kho Khao school</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"></span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;">Other&nbsp;aspects&nbsp;of&nbsp;Thai&nbsp;life&nbsp;may&nbsp;not&nbsp;be&nbsp;as&nbsp;easy&nbsp;to&nbsp;adapt&nbsp;to...lunchtime&nbsp;on&nbsp;day&nbsp;one&nbsp;in&nbsp;the&nbsp;school&nbsp;came&nbsp;as&nbsp;a&nbsp;bit&nbsp;of&nbsp;a&nbsp;shock&nbsp;when&nbsp;we&nbsp;were&nbsp;served&nbsp;pretty&nbsp;much&nbsp;rice&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: bold;">fire</span><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;">.&nbsp;It&nbsp;must&nbsp;have&nbsp;been&nbsp;hilarious&nbsp;for&nbsp;the&nbsp;children&nbsp;to&nbsp;see&nbsp;these&nbsp;tourists&nbsp;streaming&nbsp;with&nbsp;tears&nbsp;and&nbsp;gasping&nbsp;for&nbsp;breath&nbsp;as&nbsp;they&nbsp;ate&nbsp;their&nbsp;'not&nbsp;very&nbsp;spicy'&nbsp;meal.&nbsp;There&nbsp;might&nbsp;have&nbsp;been&nbsp;a&nbsp;bit&nbsp;of&nbsp;a&nbsp;miscommunication&nbsp;when&nbsp;it&nbsp;came&nbsp;to&nbsp;the&nbsp;amount&nbsp;of&nbsp;chili&nbsp;added&nbsp;to&nbsp;the&nbsp;food...</span><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q87dDkGlXZk/UfZzB_rO4DI/AAAAAAAADEA/q5rYD1d54c0/s1600/IMG_4253.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q87dDkGlXZk/UfZzB_rO4DI/AAAAAAAADEA/q5rYD1d54c0/s320/IMG_4253.JPG" width="213" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The lethal Pad Kra Pow Moo: Stir-fried hot basil with pork, and extra chillis, apparently!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><br /></div><div class="p0" style="margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Tahoma;"><i><span style="font-size: x-small;">Thanks guys! We'll hear more from the young guns over the coming fortnight, but you can get regular updates by checking out the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/gvithailandphangnga" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> or following us on twitter @GVIPhangNga or look up #GVIUnder18s. You can find out more about all GVI's programs for under 18s on our <a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/search?programtype%5B83724%5D=83724&amp;op=Search" target="_blank">website</a>.</span></i></span></div></div>


Click and follow me, I will show you around the Teaching programme! :)
<div class="MsoNormal"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Pj_3avFLObA/Ucqrs7ExcUI/AAAAAAAADDM/1JyDKpRYnQQ/s1600/lance+1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Pj_3avFLObA/Ucqrs7ExcUI/AAAAAAAADDM/1JyDKpRYnQQ/s320/lance+1.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Little posing session at Camillian!</td></tr></tbody></table><span lang="EN-US">Hey, my name is Lance and I would like to take you trough my week here in Baan Nam Khem as a teaching children (TC) volunteer... Ready? OK, then here we go!</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xivMrH1oHlw/UcqrvT_bGuI/AAAAAAAADDU/trsfwGQBqxk/s1600/lance.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xivMrH1oHlw/UcqrvT_bGuI/AAAAAAAADDU/trsfwGQBqxk/s200/lance.png" width="150" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Superman for superkids!!</td></tr></tbody></table><span lang="EN-US">Most of my Mondays are now spent planning lessons as I have a higher than usual workload being the only teaching children volunteer currently on base. However, after completing the majority of my lesson plans I got to spend some time joining the healthcare volunteers at Camillian, which is a place where physically and mentally disabled children go, as they are not able to attend school. We usually do some activities aimed at stimulating the children both physically and mentally. Afterwards, we went to the orphanage; it is very informal and, unlike school, the kids have no obligation to learn English which can sometimes lead to frustrating waits. However, if we do have to wait we get to spend some time with the most amazing children who are so affectionate and playful. In my opinion, providing the attention they crave so much is just as important as teaching, and it is this specifically which gives me the most fulfilment.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are spent mostly at the school teaching children from 7-15 years old. Being an engineering graduate I did find teaching English to children a little out of my comfort zone, but as time has gone on I feel I have progressed and have got better at setting more fun and more effective exercises for the children to complete. Learning while having fun is an essential ingredient at this age.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yOLyz4JxuPY/Ucqr1L9Ss4I/AAAAAAAADDc/u5-kXfKSArg/s1600/2013-05-20+14.04.48.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yOLyz4JxuPY/Ucqr1L9Ss4I/AAAAAAAADDc/u5-kXfKSArg/s320/2013-05-20+14.04.48.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"Tomato, now repeat, TOMATO" :)</td></tr></tbody></table><span lang="EN-US">For example, one lesson this week was based around food. Firstly, I teach the children different food flashcards, then how to spell each flashcard, incorporating games such as slap it, pictionary and what's missing, which they all seem to love. Then I introduce them to a role play in a restaurant which gets everyone very energetic as well as allowing them to practise something that is incredible useful. Now the kids can easily order, take orders, pay and receive payments for food etc, and, on the top of it, I can say I did that!! It's just great!&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">I hope you have enjoyed my week as much as I did! :) We always have to remember that the 2004 tsunami caused absolute destruction in this town making teaching children and spending time at the orphanage and with physically and mentally disabled children at Camillian even more worthwhile.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">But now that I feel good about my week and the work I have done, I am going to take care of my week-end!! :)<br /><br />Lance De Souza - TC volunteer</div>


How to have fun and exercise at the same time? Have a field day, it's 2 in 1, like the shampoo!!
<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gomOtrnk_OI/Ucqh1dQC_fI/AAAAAAAADCk/oGfy8-Iq0P4/s1600/SAM_0953.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gomOtrnk_OI/Ucqh1dQC_fI/AAAAAAAADCk/oGfy8-Iq0P4/s320/SAM_0953.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Happy and healthy people after the Field day!</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span>&nbsp;<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">As a healthcare volunteer part of our goals is to get the school children into a healthier lifestyle. So today Cara (health volunteer), Julie (staff), and I put on what we call back in Boston a "field day."&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">We went to the Baan Nam Khem school right after the classes finished for the day and met a group of about twenty of the older kids. We split them into two teams and then played a bunch of relay races!&nbsp;</span><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WiGgOnLJ7MA/UcqiJcf0LOI/AAAAAAAADC0/OkOf74WLaEw/s1600/SAM_0918.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WiGgOnLJ7MA/UcqiJcf0LOI/AAAAAAAADC0/OkOf74WLaEw/s200/SAM_0918.JPG" width="150" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Concentration!</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jOs6F0Mo224/UcqiMcHj2XI/AAAAAAAADC8/oBUg4l_nkrI/s1600/SAM_0885.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jOs6F0Mo224/UcqiMcHj2XI/AAAAAAAADC8/oBUg4l_nkrI/s200/SAM_0885.JPG" width="150" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Little struggles during the<br />3-legged race!</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">It was wicked fun trying to teach the kids how to do three-legged races, potato sack races, and other races that we'd learned on our own field days back in the states. We ended with a water ballon throwing and catching contest which left everyone wet and screaming with laughter.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iw0_kiXruIE/UcqiF65u9TI/AAAAAAAADCs/ZrmcHMlhVBY/s1600/SAM_0935.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iw0_kiXruIE/UcqiF65u9TI/AAAAAAAADCs/ZrmcHMlhVBY/s200/SAM_0935.JPG" width="200" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Elise explaining the rules...</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Interacting with the kids like we did today is probably the most satisfying part of volunteering here. You don't need to speak the same language to have fun laughing and playing games together!</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Elise Gershman - Health volunteer</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>


Expect the unexpected
<div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O9vrQrj0V-Q/Ub7gsrxGs2I/AAAAAAAADCM/18JAmiJVgMg/s1600/image.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" height="209" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O9vrQrj0V-Q/Ub7gsrxGs2I/AAAAAAAADCM/18JAmiJVgMg/s320/image.jpeg" width="320" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">Playing with the volunteers...</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">When I first started my projects here at Baan Nam Khem, one of the projects really grabbed me, this was Camillian.&nbsp;Working with the Camillian center started off as a health care project; how I got involved in it was just a twist of fate, basically meaning that I had some free time off. I got offered if I wanted to go and play with some of the children, and I accepted.</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">We had been visiting for a while wen&nbsp;we offered to teach the staff some English&nbsp;and they all jumped at the idea! When we started to teach them they came with some of the older children, which we thought was great. But when we asked the children why they were there, the answer was " we were told to sit here, and listen". This I thought was really disappointing, as we thought that they were learning because they wanted to. Then the staff started coming less and less, just leaving these three disabled boys with us to learn. This is when the project of teaching them actually started.&nbsp;</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">My job was to only teach one of the students which was the oldest (aged 16) but what could I do about the other two, I couldn't just isolate them off. So I started off with basics, that would gradually be built up so that they would be able to form sentences. So far all the students have learnt ordinal numbers (1st-31st), days of the week, months, emotions, human body parts, and description of people (hair + eye colour). Next they will be learning opposites and items of clothing.</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Looking at what they have learnt, it could seem&nbsp;small compared to what you would teach at one of the schools here. However,&nbsp;you need to remember that&nbsp;two of these children have never been to school; and one (the oldest) had to stop at the age of ten.&nbsp;None of them&nbsp;have&nbsp;been mentally stimulated, or learnt in a structured way in a long time.&nbsp;</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">My goal with these three students is not just to teach them here at Camillian; it's to get them thinking and analysing, to improve their quality of life and to get them to be more independent. But it is mainly to give them a chance to better themselves, by learning some basic English.</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Not everybody is cut out to do this type of teaching. You need to have a lot of patience and persistence, and the confidence to teach. You need to make it fun and interactive: with their lack of full mobility, this makes the planning of 'games' harder but you just have to think upside of the box, and when you find something that they love (and that works to help them remember) then go with it.</span></span></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gu3FsAuNJ20/Ub7fdezNVOI/AAAAAAAADB8/z4Q6OE2fZlk/s1600/image.jpeg.crop_display.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gu3FsAuNJ20/Ub7fdezNVOI/AAAAAAAADB8/z4Q6OE2fZlk/s320/image.jpeg.crop_display.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">creating masks with the kids at Camillian</span></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">This part of my teaching is probably the most rewarding thing that I have done in my Thailand experience, as, for me, you can see week to week the vast changes that you are influencing with each lesson .</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">To think that this all started off with just playing with the children, this shows that the projects can come from some unlikely places. You just have to be open and be looking for them.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="color: #444240; line-height: 18px;"><span style="font-weight: bold; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">- Hannah George -</span></span></div>


Time at the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries with Gemma, Apple and Amanda.
Last week GVI visited 'Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre' in Thai Muang. The focus of the day's work was on the centres turtle population, which includes Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and three endandgered baby&nbsp;Leatherback turtles.&nbsp;Volunteers assisted with the daily cleaning of the turtles tanks, which consists of draining, scrubbing and refilling the pits. <br /> <br /> Volunteers then assisted with the physical cleaning and disinfecting of each individual turtle.<br /> <br /> They were also fortunate enough to see the centres three baby leatherback turtles, a very rare and endangered species in Thailand.<br /> <br /> GVI is hoping to get back to the centre over the next couple of weeks to work in some of the other areas of the centre.<br /> <br /> Until next time....go team conservation!<br /> <br />Amanda and Gemm.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-imPmIQiMLPs/UXiRkLc3evI/AAAAAAAADBU/AoEJqhMA6gU/s1600/rsz_t2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-imPmIQiMLPs/UXiRkLc3evI/AAAAAAAADBU/AoEJqhMA6gU/s320/rsz_t2.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m187nL7iDyc/UXiRli8FsnI/AAAAAAAADBc/8m0Fp5sZvvo/s1600/rsz_t3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m187nL7iDyc/UXiRli8FsnI/AAAAAAAADBc/8m0Fp5sZvvo/s320/rsz_t3.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>


Goodbye sweet voles
<br /><div align="CENTER" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Parting Shots</b></span></span></div><div align="CENTER" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">I have enjoyed the unique and diverse programs we have been a part of in Thailand. Teaching and playing with; the mentally and physically challenged youth at Camillian Social Center, the children at the Baan Than Namchai Orphanage and the Burmese refugee women and children has been such a privilege. I never imagined that people faced with such adversity could be so open and welcoming to a bunch of strangers. I hope I was able to make a difference in their lives, I know they have all made a huge difference in mine. Mollie O'Brien Oregon, USA</span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Did you ever search for a bigger reason for being on this planet? I found mine now, it is love. Alexander Hecher, Austria</span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">I can truly say that the past 6 weeks have been incredible. I have met so many people from all around the world and I have enjoyed every second teaching at the Baan than nam chai orphanage, Baan nam khem school, Kindergarten and the Burmese refugee camp. I am proud to have been a volunteer here in Thailand and will most definitely consider returning. Leaving the project and the children will be emotional, but I have learnt so much about myself that I can take back with me. </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Thank you GVI! You''re awesome! </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Jasmyn Rama, England </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">GVI Thailand has truly been a memorable and enriching experience. The diverse people you interact with, the rich cultural experience it provides in conjunction with the community outreach projects makes it a wholesome venture that is not only character building but gratifying as well. Working at Camillian Social Centre has been heartwarming and emotional while participating in the Baan Nam summer camps, interacting with the children, has been thoroughly exhilirating. The highlight of my trip was the visit to the Burmese refugee centre – seeing their plight puts life in perspective and seeing a smile on their face even momentarily makes this entire experience meaningful and worthwhile. Leaving Baan Than Namchai foundation will be bittersweet while the memories and relationships formed here will truly last a lifetime. </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Divya Pratap, Australia. </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">When I first came here to Thailand, I didn't know what to expect and how much I should get out of it. With that fact in my hands, I am so grateful that I did this trip. I can't explain it with words to you, because it is something you have to discover for yourself.</span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Fredrik Rigner, Sweden </span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Being a part of this project has been such a rewarding experience for me. I had the opportunity to work and spend time with children from the local community in summer camp, the Camillian Social Center and the Burmese refugee detention center. The volunteers were a great bunch too! These past 2 weeks have taught me so much I'm glad I decided to volunteer with GVI.</span></div><div align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Iskoola Pota, sans-serif;">Rachel Raju, Malaysia</span></div>


Time spent at Camillian
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">One of the best experiences for me as a GVI Volunteer in Thailand has been having the opportunity to interact with the children and young adults at Camillian Social Center. Camiilian offers a physical, mental and social enrichment program for physically and developmentally challenged 3 to 18 year old. These kids are so special, they are quick to welcome new visitors and volunteers and they really enjoy learning new games and trying their hands at some crazy craft projects. Take a look at the paper plate masks we made..so fun!!</span><br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Mollie (health volunteer)<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IVFgROYaBP8/UVLEdro46FI/AAAAAAAADBE/zqRH3-YO0sU/s1600/IMG_1466.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IVFgROYaBP8/UVLEdro46FI/AAAAAAAADBE/zqRH3-YO0sU/s320/IMG_1466.JPG" width="320" /></a></div></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Bend, Oregon USA</div><div><br /></div>


First day of English camp.
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Last week we started with an English camp in a village called Baan Put Teaw near Takua Pa. The subject for the whole week was Healthcare, which included topics such as Thai wildlife, first aid, dengue and recycling. We had three different age groups, the youngest being five years old. Aswell teaching we also did crafts and sports. I had the chance to teach the recycling lesson and it was awesome. We started drilling the words can, plastic bottle, yoke, rubber bands and other similer items. We then played a game named "Slap It" basically you have two teams, one member of each team tries to slap the right flashcard with a fly swat, the player to slap it first earns their team a point. They had a lot of fun and remembered the words very quickly. After that we went through the word cards and let them match the pictures with the words. When they succeeded we prepared another practice activity. We stuck pictures of the litter onto little frisbees and scattered them all over the classroom. We shouted out a specific litter and the students had to run to the right one in the color of their team and throw it from about 1 meter into the bin. They were very enthusiastic and managed it very well. &nbsp;The next stage was teaching them the two sentences "Where do you throw your trash?" and "I throw my trash into the bin." And finally we played the "over and under" game. The students built two lines and each line got a specific litter on it. They had to hand it backwards over and under their bodies until the last person in the line got it saying the sentence "I throw my trash into the bin. The first line who manage it got a point and the students went louder after every frisbee. It was definitely a first for them to have so much fun throwing litter into the right place.</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Alex (Teaching children project)</span>


My last week
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">My time in Thailand is coming to an end and I'm really glad I came here, I think I've grown a lot as a person. I've become more confident, more organised and more motivated. I spent my last weekend at the orphanage, a huge group of motorcycle guys came to visit on Saturday and on Sunday we witnessed a man named Game who used to be at the orphanage when back when the tsunami hit become a monk. The ceremonies were beautiful and his monk-hood brought honor to the whole Baan Than Nam Chai family. Everyone was so kind and grateful for my teaching there for the last few weekends, the woman who runs the orphanage told me I was part of their family and to come back any time. I will come back one day, I'm sure of it and I won't forget their hospitality. I said goodbye to one of the kids at the orphanage who had grown quite close to me, I explained that I was going home and that I was sad about it. I expected her to be a bit upset but she just smiled and told me to be happy, it really surprised me how mature the 10 year old girl was; those kids must have seen so many foreigners come and go, they're better than me at moving along with things and not being upset by a goodbye. I was inspired to be more resilient myself but I still had a few moments where I felt very said about my leaving.</span><br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Teaching has been going great, every day feels like a&nbsp;privilege; I will miss all my students. At the prison, the guy who teaches regularly there told me I was a natural teacher which was a very happy moment for me. At the Saori charity, the students gave me a pair of awesome looking fisherman's pants and took lot's of pictures. My last classes with my NFE class were very rewarding, teaching has become natural, I'm not saying I never make any mistakes but when I do I know how to improvise or how to correct them and every lesson, I learn a little more about my students, my teaching or both. I tested them on Wednesday and felt that it went well, most of them did surprisingly well especially my best student who hadn't turned up to all of the lessons, I guess I did a good job with my review lesson the day before to help her catch up. After handing out the certificates to students, I was given two Takua Pa&nbsp;T-shirts which made me really proud and rewarded for my efforts, the students were thankful and I was too.</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">My last two days approach and I'm coming to terms with arriving home, I think it will be good and I'm not sad about it anymore. I feel like I've done enough here and seen enough progress to allow myself to head home but I will never forget this beautiful place in all its reality, not the silly touristy Thailand but the real towns and villages like Baan Nam Khem that actually need our help in the communities. For that reason I'm glad GVI moved to Phang Nga. I hope to take my new skills, disciplines and insight back home with me. These last few days have given me a real sense of accomplishment.</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Jack Sanctuary (TEFL teacher)</div>


My first week teaching children
<br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">At first i was very anxious and nervous about starting the 'Teaching children' project, meeting my fellow volunteers and travelling on my own. However, I was immediately put at ease once I had arrived in Phuket and was kindly welcomed by Jax (GVI project manager). We traveled to the Baan tham nam chai foundation which is where i would be living for the next six weeks and met with the other GVI volunteers. Everyone is so friendly and we all get along very well!</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">The Teaching children project has been great fun and I have already learnt so much about myself and my capabilities. The children in Baan nam khem are energetic, enthusiastic &nbsp;and are always up for fun, games and a lot laughter! All the GVI staff are very supportive and are happy to help whenever there is a problem.&nbsp;</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">I have only been in Thailand for a week and have seen and experienced so many amazing things already! I am looking forward to the new adventures in my next 5 weeks here!&nbsp;</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Jasmyn Rama (Teaching children volunteer)</div>


Newly qualified TEFL teacher
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">I've been so enthusiastic about teaching since receiving my TEFL, I realised I only had 4 more weeks here to make the most of and I wanted to make as big an impact as possible in phang nga's community that I'm so welcome in! I find it satisfying when a class really understands a new concept and that they're really enjoying my lessons. The second term at the non formal education centre began as I took the top students from last terms class for a special level 3 class and because its a smaller group and my own class full of students who I know well I can really tailor to their strengths and test their weaknesses. It feels hugely gratifying to see a student progress this far all the way from day 1, six weeks ago. I'm very impressed by my class and feel obliged to create fun and interactive challenges during lessons to best utilise their linguistic potential. I'm motivated to take plenty of time planning and preparing for these lessons because I want to keep them interested in learning the language, I also want to prove my own potential as a teacher so that at the end of the term, my students may move up to level 4!</span><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">It's a shame that I am leaving after this TEFL term because I wanted to see my students' progression, I hope to stay in contact and maybe come back and see them one day. I hope the enjoyment of my teaching inspires them to go out and learn bits of English for themselves. Yesterday I saw that one student had been doing some research on the topic of the previous lesson, she had an extensive sheet of vocabulary which I responded to and explained to the rest of the class. I'm impressed that my students are interested in picking more English outside of the lesson and it's great when they have questions or inputs of their own. It helps me gauge what sort of content I should include in my lessons that will allow them to speak English confidently in a real life situation.</span><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Additionally we've been set up with teaching at the Japanese Saori tsunami charity where the students are very eager to learn better English for visitors to the charity who come to support their cause. There's a clear difference between people I've only taught a couple of times and the people who I've taught many times on a regular basis, I do my best with the Saori teaching and they are doing well but it can't compare to really having my own class. If anyone was going to teach English over here I would tell them that I'd stay for longer because all your work early on, you can begin to see it really pay off and that you're really making a difference for people!</span><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">On my weekends I've decided to go and teach at the orphanage which I organised by talking to some of the staff from hands across the water, they're really hospitable and glad to accept my help not just for teaching the kids at the orphanage but also entertaining and playing with them which is a great way to let off steam right after a lesson! I'd rather be more involved here while I can be and do trips and travelling later on this year, I feel like it's an opportunity of a life time and I've never felt so morally convicted with what I'm doing.</span><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Jack Sanctuary (TEFL volunteer)</span>


Launch of the 'Get Sharks Off the Hook' campaign
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w2V1rb51n6I/UR3U6tGWSJI/AAAAAAAADAs/cDrV_-b7BPA/s1600/get-sharks-off-the-hook.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w2V1rb51n6I/UR3U6tGWSJI/AAAAAAAADAs/cDrV_-b7BPA/s1600/get-sharks-off-the-hook.png" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><a href="http://www.seeandsea.org/" target="_blank">See and Sea</a>'s 'Get Sharks Off The Hook' is a campaign to raise awareness about the declining number of sharks in the Andaman Sea. Sharks are not just essential for a balanced marine ecosystem but also are pivotal to the balance of the whole Earth's ecosystem. More detail can be found at&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.seeandsea.org/shark-campaigns" style="background-color: white; color: #1155cc; line-height: 24px;" target="_blank">www.seeandsea.org/shark-<wbr></wbr>campaigns</a><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;.</span></span><br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Starting with a focus on restaurants in Khao Lak, the campaign aims to promote restaurants that do not serve shark, encouraging them to join and providing them with posters for the restaurant summarise the aims and reasons behind the campaign, hence raising awareness about the issue.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">A couple of us from GVI spent an afternoon helping out on the campaign by visiting about 10 restaurants in Khao Lak to encourage them to join Get Sharks Off The Hook. The idea is that, by joining &amp; promoting the campaign, tourists - many of whom are divers - would prefer to eat there than in a restaurant that did not support the campaign.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The language barrier in a couple of cases was evident. Two "farang" (foreigners) somewhat lacking Thai on the shark subject ("shallam" as we later found out), purposefully walking into restaurants with no intention of eating there (apart from a quick glance at their menus to see if shark was being served) was enough to frighten a couple of young non-English speaking Thai girls back into the depths of their restaurant!</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Three, possibly four, cases were successful, however, whose managers were extremely enthusiastic about signing up and receiving a poster to promote their shark friendly restaurant - great news!</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Then there were the refusals....</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Restaurant: 'No because we are a steak house'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Us: 'Yes that's good, you can still support!'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Restaurant: 'No, no, we can have no paper on our restaurant'&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Ok...</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Waiter:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">'No we do not serve shark here. Ok, I will go see my manager.'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Manager: 'No we don't serve shark. I will go see the owner' (somewhere in the back...) 'No we don't want to join.'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Us: 'Oh ok, why, just out of curiosity?'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Manager: 'We're not sure. Maybe sometimes we serve shark.'</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Right...</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">...to the...</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">'No we don't serve shark, we don't serve shark. But no we don't want to join'.</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Reasons were obvious once we stepped out of the restaurant to see shark steak with mushrooms advertised on the A-board outside...</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So, from those few restaurants we visited we could see that</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">1) great, some restaurants are very willing to join</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">2) we will have even more successes with some Thai to explain the campaign and avoid frightening young waitresses! and</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">3) shark is being served in possibly more restaurants in Khao Lak than we may have initially thought.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Sarah Taylor, <a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/thailand-coastal-marine-expedition" target="_blank">Conservation volunteer</a></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>Thanks Sarah :-) It's early days yet and we have a lot more work to do, but we're really excited to be helping out See &amp; Sea on their brilliant initiative - awesome work guys!</i></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>Find out more by visiting <a href="http://seeandsea.org/" target="_blank">their website </a>and do your bit - wherever you are in the world, check the menu before you sit down in a restaurant; if they serve shark, politely tell them that you would prefer to eat somewhere which does not have shark on their menu. Every little counts - together we can all make a difference.</i></span></div>


Visiting Dao, Blah, and Koh Ra
<br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">These past 2 weeks have been exciting as we had the opportunity to start working with&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px;">Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center. &nbsp;We visited with the director on Monday and determined that there was plenty of volunteer opportunities at the centre. Jax and I then went on a tour of the research buildings. &nbsp;There were hatcheries and tanks filled with molluscs, fish (Blah in Thai), crabs, a crocodile and hundreds of turtles (Dao in Thai) from babies to injured adults including Greens, Hawksbills and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. &nbsp;The following day I returned to help with applying antibiotics, giving vitamins, scrubbing algae from tanks and prepping for English classes for the staff which started that Thursday. There is a great need for English lessons at all of the facilities we are partnering with as the staff encounter tourists visiting and or staying on property.</span></span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light;"><span style="font-size: 14.999999046325684px;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LwkHldY9Q9I/UROFbPZaCzI/AAAAAAAADAM/sFl7PTALLjc/s1600/ray.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LwkHldY9Q9I/UROFbPZaCzI/AAAAAAAADAM/sFl7PTALLjc/s1600/ray.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3rbBXQdQnKI/UROFbJK97GI/AAAAAAAADAQ/l46pxzZA0JY/s1600/fish.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3rbBXQdQnKI/UROFbJK97GI/AAAAAAAADAQ/l46pxzZA0JY/s1600/fish.jpg" /></a></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light;"><span style="font-size: 14.999999046325684px;"><br /></span></span><br /><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div style="font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The Fisheries centre has a release program with microchipping, will be starting breeding research on sea snails and works with the local National Park in Thai Muang which has the incredible privilege of having a nesting beach that includes Leatherback Sea Turtles.</span></div><div style="font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Jax and I also had the privilege of visiting Koh Ra, an island in the Andaman Sea, this past Thursday. &nbsp;We went jungle trekking and explored mangrove and coastal environments full of Thailand native wildlife. &nbsp;We are looking into the possibility of helping to survey and protect this island habitat that is also home to sea gypsies.</span></div><div style="font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Jackie Borosa- <a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/thailand-coastal-marine-expedition" target="_blank">Conservation volunteer</a></span></div>


The Health project up and running !
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">The rumble of the jet engines diffuses as the heavy plane briskly lands on the tarmac. Your eyes find their way to the horizon. The lines of palm trees take your heart away from the distant land you came from; placing you into a tropical paradise. Warm air strikes your cheek as you leave the plane and make your way out into the main terminal. Phuket airport is buzzing with people far and wide, all on their way to their own adventures. Yours is unknown to most, but possibly the most purposeful. No vacation for you, rather an adventure of the rural kind.</span><br /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">Happy faces greet you as you have arrived at the place that you will call home for the next little while. The nerves are bustling but by far the most captivating of your emotions is the excitement of meeting new people. As you all sit down by the beach side sharing your first of many meals together, you can't help but be taken back by the beautiful sunset laying over the ocean. This sight is one that you know you'll see many times over.</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">The sound of dogs barking amongst the laughter of children illuminates through your ears. Your eyes are filled with the sight of all that is thailand; children, street side food stores, markets, palm trees. This is where you make your most impact. In the everyday interaction with the local Thai people.</span><br /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">Your first day in the field steadily approaches. Not knowing what you will face, you just breath and hope for the best. As you enter the centre your faced with the smiling faces of many children with many different situations. The little boy, no older than 5, looks up at you. You can tell straight away that he has Down's Syndrome. As you look into his eyes you realise that this is no ordinary boy. He has a story, one that makes your own life seem easy. You never will know what he was going through in the years following the tsunami. All you know for sure is that in this moment, you can impact his life in a way you never thought possible. Each time after, this boy will be the one to greet you with a smile and a hug. You are here, making a difference. You are a volunteer, mentor, teacher. You are their hope.</span><br /><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12.499999046325684px;"><br /></span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uh-nFjGDWrc/UROEouPkYZI/AAAAAAAADAE/KN4qdyYp8Zw/s1600/cam.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="155" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uh-nFjGDWrc/UROEouPkYZI/AAAAAAAADAE/KN4qdyYp8Zw/s320/cam.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12.499999046325684px;"><br /></span></span><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">Julia Sherar - &nbsp;<a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/volunteer-healthcare-project-thailand" target="_blank">Health project volunteer</a></span>


Conservation project 1st week!- Baan Nam Khem, Thailand
<br /><div class="ii gt adP adO" id=":kx" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; direction: ltr; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px; margin: 5px 15px 0px 0px; padding-bottom: 5px; position: relative; z-index: 2;"><div id=":ky"><div class="gmail_quote"><div dir="ltr"><div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;">Hi I'm Jackie, (one of 3 Jackie/Jack/Jax this month), and one of 5 volunteers who arrived in Phuket to be driven to Baan Nam Khem, a small fishing village just north west of Takau Pa in the Phang Nga region of Southern Thailand, last weekend.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-K8EfjLkD5c4/UROC0bOPFHI/AAAAAAAAC_s/ee1DRouCy4s/s1600/bnk.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-K8EfjLkD5c4/UROC0bOPFHI/AAAAAAAAC_s/ee1DRouCy4s/s1600/bnk.jpg" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><span style="font-size: 15px;">We are the first GVI volunteers for this area and are working on a number of programs including TEFL for adults, teaching children English, Health and Community Conservation. The health and conservation positions are still being fleshed out as we make more contacts and discover needs in the area. &nbsp;The village we are living in has a Dec. 26th, 2004 Tsunami memorial and lost 3500 of it's 5000 citizens on that devastating day. &nbsp;The town is being rebuilt and the people are wonderful, full of smiles and surprises such as our monk parade Friday morning and incredible, creative cooking with wonderful Thai dishes (we haven't ate the same dish twice in a week)!</span></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QNg3bZtOrXo/UROCqayx41I/AAAAAAAAC_g/g1pyiWQd234/s1600/monk.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QNg3bZtOrXo/UROCqayx41I/AAAAAAAAC_g/g1pyiWQd234/s1600/monk.jpg" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;">I am here for 4 weeks and working with Jax to create conservation connections for community members from Phuket up to Khao Lak. &nbsp;We have met with local organizations working on initiatives such as See and Sea/Off the Hook (<a href="http://seeandsea.org/shark-campaigns/" style="color: #1155cc;" target="_blank">seeandsea.org/shark-<wbr></wbr>campaigns/</a>),&nbsp;the director of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park, our interpreter Net and ex-pats who are working hard to create social/educational support for children and families. &nbsp;I am very excited for the coming week as I will be meeting with sea turtle conservationists in Phuket, possibly delivering posters to restaurants for an anti-shark fin soup campaign and delivering classes on responsible tourism and English classes for park employees. &nbsp; &nbsp;</div></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;"><br /></div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;">We're off to Phuket this weekend for a little R'nR' and snorkelling.&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;">'till next week,&nbsp;</div><div style="font-family: Noteworthy-Light; font-size: 15px;">Sawadtee Ka<br /><br />Jackie Borosa- <a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/thailand-coastal-marine-expedition" target="_blank">Conservation volunteer</a></div><div><br /></div><div class="yj6qo"></div></div></div></div></div><div class="hq gt" id=":km" style="background-color: white; clear: both; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px; margin: 15px 0px;"></div>


Lessons, Camillian and the Orphanage
<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">I'll admit that I was stressed at the beginning of the week, I don't know what brought it on, I guess everything adding up made me anxious, I felt like I wasn't meant for teaching or I don't belong in a country half way around the world. Then something changed, I don't quite know what it was but I think it was the GVI staff member who is leading the teaching children; Laura. We didn't talk about anything important but she just relaxed me. I felt confident. I gave my Wednesday lesson 110% and the class loved my enthusiasm, timing went well, drilling went well, activities went well. We came back in a loud and wild lightning storm to Pad Thai stuffed into an omelette, best meal I've had so far here!</span><br /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">Today we went back to the <a href="http://www.camilliantakuapa.org/" target="_blank">Camillian Social Centre</a> to help out with the kids with learning difficulties and the same kid with autism came up and wanted to play with me, all the other kids were just as energetic as usual. I got a chance to teach a couple of the staff there some basic level 1 English which they really appreciated. When we arrived back we were offered to come to the annual football match with the kiwis working with Australian charity, Hands Across the Water. It was at the nearby orphanage at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/BaanThanNamchai?fref=ts" target="_blank">Baan Than Namchai</a>, there are 74 kids there and they're all adorable and really enthusiastic. I felt great playing football barefoot but we lost to a pretty serious looking team with their own kits and everything. I find that if there's a chance to do anything extra around here, take that chance! It's the extra things that have really spiced up my experiences here and given me a chance to look outside of just my own program and outside GVI itself too!</span><br /><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">We gathered in a hall for dinner and I helped out preparing the dishes for the kids, we used basic metal plates with indents for soup but the food itself was really good, it was nice to feel like you don't need a fancy plate to have a great meal. We sat on the floor with the kids and ate as many gathered around me to play, I talked with them, played games, made them laugh and picked them up and swung them round. All these kids are happy and yet they have so little compared to us. Perhaps it shouldn't be the the less developed world trying to be like us because I think this is a great example of how much we can learn from them. I felt so full of humanity and joy today with such simple means, no high technology, no drinks; just the fundamental feeling of togetherness. Tonight I felt like I really belonged.</span><br /><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">Jack Sanctuary - <a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/teaching-english-communities-phang-nga-thailand" target="_blank">Teaching English volunteer, Phang Nga, Thailand</a></span>



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