May 2013: The Tale of the New Volunteer
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 May 2013 is brought to you by Cari Siebrits, our newest Office Fellow:
Hey everybody! It’s a new month, time for a new volunteer!
I’m Cari (I will also respond to “the new girl”) and I can officially say that I’ve lasted my first two months in Kamala!
I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the office on my first day. I will admit that I was nervous – about the new country, the new job and all the new people. I know now that I didn’t need to be. Everybody welcomed me with open arms and went out of their way to show me the ropes. They have patiently helped me master the Sponsor a Child spreadsheets, send my first media releases and help out with events like the Pub Quizzes and Mystic Mirage. They’re helping me navigate my way through the world of fundraising and development, and I am so grateful to have them to learn from.
The best part so far (as sappy as this sounds) has been the people. My coworkers are some of the smartest, toughest, most inspiring and (hands-down) the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. Being around them is like having a front-row seat at a comedy routine one minute and having the privilege to watch them change the world the next. I constantly find myself in absolute awe of who they are and what are capable of. Hopefully some of it will rub off on me before I go. They’re the type of people who make an effort to watch the sunset every night. They end every workday with a “Win of the Day,” where everyone goes around the dinner table and lists their highlight of the day. They take care of each other, and they’ve been taking care of me. New as I am, I feel like I’ve already got a Kamala Family. I can already say that Thailand has shaped up to be the adventure I was hoping for. From fried rice to beach walks to motorcycle lessons, I’ve enjoyed ever minute of it.
School and Coconut Club
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School’s out! The kids are all home for the holidays. The school feels quiet and empty without them. They’re expected back mid-May, but in the meantime everyone is really missing them. We’ve been lucky enough to get some donations for the new school year though – everything from school supplies to swim shorts to birthday presents.
In other exciting news, we have just welcomed two new teachers! Michele and Talya have joined the team and are as happy to be here as we are to have them. With the two of them joining the Fantastic Four – Agie, Shah, Gina and Angela – this is already shaping up to be an incredible school year!
The kids may be on holiday, but we’ve all been hard at work!
The Mystic Mirage took place at Bliss Beach Club on 26 April. After months of hard work and many late nights, the amazing office team pulled off an event that Phuket is sure to be talking about for a while. The days leading up to the event were a whirlwind of preparing silent auction and raffle items, organizing the entertainment and liaising with our many incredible sponsors, who so generously donated their time and resources. Our days were packed with jobs – there were “to-do” lists decorating entire walls in our office – but I think everybody would agree that the hard work was worth it! The Arabian Nights themed soiree was a huge success, raising over 750,000 baht for our students. The unique theme, beautifully decorated venue, delicious food and exciting entertainment have generated overwhelmingly positive feedback, and the office is still buzzing from the excitement of a very successful night.
In the past month, we’ve had two Pub Quizzes. While Lauren ran the show from behind the scenes, our ever-amusing Quiz Master Graham (AKA G-Star) entertained the crowds at Aussie Pub and Sugar Reef. Understandably, there is a lot of pride at stake at these events, but everyone always leaves with a smile on their face and a head full of random and (potentially) useful knowledge, so the nights were a success!