Currently Browsing: February 2018

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The mighty Mekong to Luang Prabang

Dawn broke and we took a 90 minute drive down towards the Thai-Laos border at Chiang Kong. Paperwork, taxes, and some more taxes later we were officially in Laos, Land of a Thousand Elephants. A further short bus ride after customs, along with the to be expected extortionate tourist tax and visa, and we were […]

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Our Bamboo nest with the hull-tribes in the mountains of Chiang Rai

The next stop after a brief night layover in Manila was a 4am flight to Chiang Rai via Bangkok. This was a defining moment: we had asked for wake up calls for both rooms in our Remington airport hotel. The two of us still getting dressed, at 3am walk in, hiking boots and backpacks in […]

Paradise found in El Nido

Next stage beckoned: after our relatively monastic life at camp, we were family reunited once again and ready to travel north to see the marvels of El Nido. Poor Alberto was so jet lagged he could hardly keep his eyes open, but our slightly mad driver made sure he was as uncomfortable as possible, careering […]

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Leaving camp: the verdict

If there was just one aim of our volunteering program, it was for the girls  to experience not just a completely different reality and to feel duly grateful for all they have, which is all rather obvious, but rather, for them to understand that the children they were teaching and their families were ‘real’: not […]

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Volunteering at kindergarten: Week 2

Days at school are similar, and we get to know names and character traits as we go. Naughty but clever Willem, and his double act Erwin; pretty Nicole, wily Grace, little Jaecob with his twisted hand… they arrive on Mondays clean and presentable, by Wednesday they are a dirty, mucky mess. The girls are applied, […]

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The new natural wonder of the world: the underground river in Sabang

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Volunteering at kindergarten: Week 1

It was time to get stuck in. The girls were already the talk of the town, and pretty much every single child in the village had already come to meet and play with them- volleyball, running on the beach, hide and seek in the school…. I think they’ve only had one family here volunteering at […]

Volunteering: Culture & Induction

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First night at volunteer camp

Where to begin? Perhaps just getting there and the first night. The drive from Puerto Princesa was perfect: in the sense that it was dusty, reckless, bumpy, noisy, punctuated by endless stops at roadside stores for water, SIM cards, food, everything; and lined by the most fabulous, lush verdant landscape you could ask for: endless […]

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Byron to the Philippines

The girls were somewhat jittery as we boarded the first flight to Manila, via Sydney, as always, the fear of the unknown coming to the fore. Coupled with a clear lack of confidence in their mother for dealing with anything whatsoever- ‘I wish Daddy was here’ was a continuous echo 😜…. Arrival at Manila went […]