Andaman Discoveries Blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


AD staff and volunteers celebrating the 'festival of lights' with the children at the Southern Thailand Orphanage

As the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (November, 10th) was about to light up the night sky, Andaman Discovery staff and volunteers from Kuraburi took the road trip to the Southern Thailand Orphanage to take part in the beautiful Thai Festival called Loy Krathong.

Our five Dutch volunteers were excited about the forthcoming celebration, which pays homage to the water spirit. Arriving at the orphanage, we were greeted by the children some of them dressed in traditional Thai clothing. Two Andaman Volunteers, named by the kids as P’Nu and P’Chame were also dressed up by the home staff in traditional Thai costumes to welcome arriving guests.

The night started with an introduction, given in English by the children. And although a little nerve-racking for them at times, they managed to deliver their speeches very well. While everyone was enjoying the delicious Thai food and homemade fruit punch, the night activities continued with Thai dance, performed by the girls and a Mauy Thai warm up routine, performed by the boys.

After the performances an auction was held to help raise much-needed funds for the home. The children have made some beautiful paintings for which the guests had a lot of fun bidding. AD staff purchased an enchanting painting of flowers and butterflies in wonderful explosion of colours. Once the auction closed we went to choose a Krathong which is a little float made of banana leaves, adorned with flowers, candles and incense sticks.

According to tradition the ritual of floating the Krathong is performed in pairs. The kids made sure we all had a partner to make a wish and send our Krathongs down the river.

We had a wonderful time at the festival and thank the children and staff at the home for making this a fantastic and memorable night for everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


New AD-team member

Note from Lena:

Hello from the Office. In the beginning of November I reached Kuraburi, to learn from and support Andaman Discoveries. I will be keeping you updated about our projects and news from the field, and I welcome the opportunity to pass on the news and stories about the beautiful projects in and around Kuraburi. In order for you to know who will mediating between the happenings here, from villagers, in nature, the office and our volunteers, I will briefly tell you how I arrived in the AD office

Originally from Germany, I just finished my Liberal Arts degree in the Netherlands. Due to my passion for learning in and from different environments, I spent my fifth semester in Hong Kong to study Chinese and conduct research for my final thesis. At a conference in October 2010, I met Bodhi Garrett and Guillem (a former intern), who spread the word about community based tourism. I was fascinated about AD's inclusive view and saw the possiblity of contributing with my social and international background while at the same time learning about community based tourism and alternative community development. After a short visit in January, this time I have come to stay for a while. I am looking forward to the many encounters the stay here will bring and hope you enjoy the stories in the meantime.


Spreading the word, sharing good will.

On a beautiful Saturday morning in November, Angela Miller and her family found their way to the Southern Thailand Orphanage to share their generosity with the children from the home. The word was spread by the Brown family, who happened to be friends of Angela's family. As they arrived joyful and with good will to help with the bakery construction, they also brought gifts from the October wish list as well as other items that they had been gathering for a while.

According to Angela, Language was n
o barrier for my two children as the children at the Orphanage took them by the hand and showed them around.

We had a wonderful day at the beach playing and swimming and were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help some of the older children get dressed and prepare for their performance they had booked for later that night. It really was a wonderful experience, for us as adults as well as for our children. We hope to visit the Orphanage again during our next visit to Thailand and in the mean time, we will continue to support the foundation financially where possible, as it is clearly needed and appreciated.”

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