I was excited to become a volunteer in Prampredee Eco village in the north east of Thailand. The area was non touristic and the founder was from Thailand, making it a Thai culture immersion. Meet Kwanchai, the very passionate founder with a big drive. He told me about the unique idea of the Eco village. A combination of environmental awareness, alternative way of teaching English to the locals and a focus on Selfless good deeds.
I first noticed the beautiful design of the Eco village. Simple but clearly thought thru. Bungalows with a balcony on the water, two wooden bridges for the morning exercise and the rest is in the making. Feeling the calmness welcoming me. The sound of the birds and the green surrounding made me feel sereen.
The mornings started with exercise at 6am. I teached some yoga and everybody shared exercises that they knew. Followed by breakfast and after this there was morning work to be done! Watering the plants, picking up trash from the rice-fields and painting. Lunch followed by a break and back to work when the sun was less hot. Then dinner and after a long day I felt ready for bed. We did all the work and cooking together. Cutting the vegetable, learning a bit of Thai cooking and of course the dishwashes. It gave a feeling of a community and I felt the feeling of responsibility growing. The focus was on doing selfless good deeds without thinking of any reward. This was so inspiring!! I noticed how I started to enjoy all the tasks more, without getting any reward!
There was a natural space created for learning English for the locals. Not by any exams but by mixing foreign and Thai volunteers together. The interaction comes spontaneously when you work closely together. This controversial way if learning English drew the attention of English schoolteachers and the education department of the area which came to visit.
The whole experience was inspiring! Doing good for others and the environment was a beautiful experience. I liked the community feeling although I missed a bit of private alone time. Teaching yoga felt very nice. How wonderful to share what I love to do and witch I believe makes the world better.
My next destination is a Buddhist monastery in the North of Thailand. My days are going to be filled with mainly Vipassana meditation. I have the required white clothing ready and no expectations! Read about the monastery experience in my next blog!