Hi my name is Anne. After my graduation I wanted to travel and ideally do something meaningful while being abroad. Me and my friend found the project in Thailand while searching for possibilities on the Internet. We decided to spent one month there together. During the preparation process, bookings and planning we were supported by the NATUCATE team. They gave us helpful advice, from daily costs to the best type of clothes we should bring.
We could not wait to start our adventure, but we were also asking ourselves if the project would meet our expectations and if we could meet the expectations of the project! After our arrival, we were shown around the shelter and to our rooms.
We were living together in one room next to the shelter. Quickly we got to know all the other volunteers from all over the world: Australia, South Korea, Finland, England, Austria. We built up a great community and often spent the evenings together and were chatting about the day or went out to a karaoke bar together. The whole communication was in English. We got to know so many interesting people and different cultures, not only from the other volunteers but also from the locals.
The people were very friendly and generous. I remember one day a Thai family invited us over for dinner. Even with the language barrier we managed to understand each other and were treated like old friends who were invited over for a traditional family dinner.
Every week a work schedule was put up where we could find our working hours. We had morning and afternoon shifts. Our main task was to clean the cages, take care of the animals and give them their daily attention or go for walks with them. There were around 50 dogs and 60 cats. The number of animals was changing daily though, because some animals only spent some time here to recover or to get a certain kind of treatment. Injured and sick animals which had to be treated by a vet were bought to the shelter from the whole region, because the shelter was the only place with a vet.
The first days were a challenge for us. Apart from the physical work we were also experienced some very sad moments, because not all animals can be saved. Fortunately most of them became healthy again and could even find a forever home. The animals quickly found a place in our hearts and I still keep up with the development of some of them. We also had enough free time after work and had time to rent a scooter and to explore the island. We even could go for day trips to the surrounding island like Koh Phi Phi.
It is, of course, not possible to compare the living standard with the standards in Germany, but you get used to it very quickly! And even though I was looking forward to a proper bathroom, I do not want to miss any of the experiences I have made and would go back any time!