Thoughts of Volunteers

Anne Ford:

The smiles from the students and the stories behind each one are what I will never forget from my time in Nai Soi. Memories of their kindness and generosity will last me a lifetime and I hope to return again one day. Living with the students you learn much more than you normally would, not only of their future desires but about their incredible pasts and life in and around the refugee camp. I feel fortunate to have met these amazing, hardworking students. During one lesson, we were talking about daily activities and some of those listed were: morning chores, cooking food, eating meals, playing the guitar, sports and singing songs. I then asked what their favorite activity of the day was and to my complete surprise the most common answer was eating breakfast. I asked why and they replied because they are hungry in the morning! And no wonder why as the students truly honor their privilege to study here and work hard for it. Many mornings I would wake to the sound of cutting grass, collecting trash to burn or clearing the field for future planting. The volunteers are made to feel welcome and students enjoy being around English speakers. I feel lucky to have been able to help out and share my life with the students. Their vibrant personalities, memorable songs and heart-warming smiles cannot be matched elsewhere and place perspective on what is truly important in life.

Rich Peterson:

I had a wonderful time volunteering at Nai Soi last April. My most memorable experience atNaiSoiSchoolwas going to a nearby waterfall one afternoon with a large group of kids. It was great fun in a totally casual atmosphere with everybody laughing and having a good time. There’s no language barrier when everybody is just sharing a laugh. I also had a good time going speargun-fishing with a group of boys from the school. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Many of the students love being around English speakers and sharing stories while learning. They also are very open and inviting into their own lives, willing to invite me into their home and show me around the local village. It was a fantastic