March 2013: The New Kids on the Block
Each month, Phuket Has Been Good to Us invites you to learn more about how the organisation runs straight from the people who help run it: our volunteers! The update for March 2013 is brought to you by Lauren Holt, the current Events and Marketing Fellow:
Hello to Lauren and Cari!
Hey y’all, my name is Lauren Holt, and I have been volunteering full-time as the Events and Marketing Fellow at PHBGTU for nearly four months now. Like most of us in the admin office, I do a little bit of everything: coordinating fundraising events, spending afternoons in Coconut Club, copying and filing, going on coffee runs, etc etc etc. Basically, we possess a wide range of skills here!
This month we have been handling the departure of Joao (AKA J-Wow), our main source of testosterone in the office, who went back home to a magical land called Portugal. This not only means that we have to lift heavy objects ourselves now, but also that we’ve had to adjust our job duties. So, if you notice that our Facebook posts have a more American flair these days (mostly due to the presence of the letter “z”), you can thank me for that.
To help ease the pain of losing J-Wow’s presence, we recruited a new full-time office volunteer, Cari Siebrits! Joining us from Vancouver, Canada, Cari recently graduated from uni with a degree in International Relations. After spending part of last summer volunteering in Cambodia, she was inspired to spend more time in Southeast Asia, helping to alleviate poverty through the power of quality education. We are very excited to have such a compassionate and ambitious person join our team!
Events, events, and more events!
After recovering from our first major fundraising event of 2013, the Burns Supper (which you can read about in our previous post), we are gearing up for our next big gig! On 26 April, we will be throwing the Mystic Mirage at Bliss Beach Club. You may be thinking that we’ve got loads of time until this shindig, but we’ve actually been working on making it an amazing event for months now. So much goes into our events, from finding a venue to organizing food and beverage sponsors to seeking prizes, that we need months to make it all happen!
Until the Mystic Mirage, we still have our monthly pub quizzes at Aussie Pub in Kamala to tide us over (the last Monday of every month!). These may not be huge parties, but the participants always have a good time, and we always appreciate the funds raised! We actually put a fair amount of time and energy into ensuring these quizzes go well, so it’s nice to see them become such a successful product of all our work. I particularly enjoy our smaller events, like the quiz nights, because they demonstrate how involved the community is in our organisation’s success. Most of the guests are familiar faces who show up to many of our events, and maybe also volunteer at the school or in the office! The great community support in Kamala makes working for PHBGTU that much better.
School and Coconut Club!
(For the full dish on school and Coconut Club updates, please join our bi-monthly Newsletter and weekly Coconut Club e-mailing lists!)
Our students (over 900 of them!) are finishing up the term with their end-of-term exams. Many of them are basically done with their classes for the year, and will enjoy a school-less holiday until May, when the new term starts. Us office folk had the chance to help our teachers a bit during their oral exams by watching over the students who weren’t testing. This was an exciting opportunity for me, as I had not been able to witness our teachers in action yet. I enjoy any occasion that calls for visiting the school, as all the work we do here in the office ultimately is for the students!
The school holiday also means no Coconut Club until May, unfortunately. I really love being able to spend time with the children, so I especially enjoyed our March Birthday Party for them! 18 residential students whose birthdays recently passed got to spend an afternoon at Bliss Beach Club, enjoying a fun afternoon swimming in the pool, learning to stand-up paddle in the ocean, making pizza, and eating yummy cake! Along with Bliss, that special day could not have been possible without Watermark, TEZ Tours, and Skyla SUP Club. The children really enjoyed their party, and we look forward to the next one in May!