David Jacob's sharing

Before heading to Thailand to volunteer at Sarnelli House many people asked me what the experience would be like. I usually responded by saying that I had no idea what to expect. While this response was partially true, I did have an idea of what I would be doing. I expected that I would spend time with the children, play games with them, take them on outings and help them with their English. While I ended up doing all of those things, my experience at Sarnelli House ended up being so much more than what I thought it would be.

Although I had been to Thailand before I realize that up until now I had never truly experienced the Thai culture. By volunteering at the orphanage I was accepted into a special community that not only welcomed me with open arms, but also embraced me. Sarnelli House gave me the opportunity to see what life is like away from the souvenir shops and polished resorts that not many visitors to Thailand get to see. I still remember my first night visiting Sarnelli House and walking into a dance party, with all the children happily jumping around to music blaring from a stereo. Whether it was visiting a sculpture park with the girls at Veingkuk, playing video games with a bunch of excited eight year old boys, or visiting a rural village on an outreach trip, everyday at Sarnelli House was fun, challenging, and exciting.

English lessons over!

Hanging out with the cool girls from Vienghuk

Saying goodbye to the October volunteers - Tommy, David, Sam and Debbie

Although some of the children were a little shy at first, within days they were climbing on my back as if I were a human jungle gym and running up to give me enormous hugs. By the end of my two weeks I no longer felt like an outsider, but rather an honorary big brother. Although I traveled to Thailand wanting to help children, I was the one that was truly helped.

David Jacob

Volunteer Sarnelli House

November 2009

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