Volunteering at The Little Farm Friendly Project

This is really way overdue! I’ve been trying to get this post up but the WordPress app crashes everytime I want to upload photos. It’s been pretty frustrating because of all the backlog but I have no choice. I think I drafted this post over a month ago.

After travelling for quite a bit, I was a little burnt out from exploration on my own, constantly asking for a table for one and getting odd stares once in awhile from staff not exposed to solo travellers.

So I decided to try volunteering another time (after a wonderful experience at Thom’s Pai Elephant Camp) and chose one which was in Chat Pa Wai, Ratchaburi, 2.5 hours away from Bangkok. This was really convenient to get to after parting ways with my friends in Bangkok.

Found The Little Farm Friendly Project on Thailand’s WWOOFing website.

  • Minimum 1 week stay
  • 1,750baht/week (makes out to 250/day)
  • Accomodation and 2 meals provided (you get taken to town to settle your own dinner)

17 June 2015, Wednesday

Took a cab to Century Movie Plaza where the minivans were and bought the 6.30am ticket on the spot. Boy, was I relieved that I managed to get my ticket. I felt a little uneasy when they wouldn’t sell me a ticket when I went a couple of days ago!

Arrived early in the morning to catch the 6.30am ride.

Turns out there was only one other guy in the minivan. Sweet! Tons of space for me to rest.

Reached around 8++am and called Arnon, the host. He was really surprised when I called him and told him I arrived. He yelled “WHAAT?!” and I wondered if I was too early but anxiously waited for him to show, which he did in his cool scooter with a passenger-extension-carrier thing.

View from the minivan station, waiting to be picked up.
View from the minivan station, waiting to be picked up.
On board Arnon's scooter!
On board Arnon’s scooter!

Arrived at his little farm and met three other volunteers – Sergey (Russian), Ann (Chinese-Vietnamese in Australia), Marian (Egyptian in America). Settled down quickly and started work right away!

He has a daily schedule:

  • 7am: Task #1 – Cleaning the stalls (p00p) and feeding the deers + rabbits, sheep, pig, horses, turkeys, and chickens
  • 8am: Breakfast!
  • 9am/ 9.30am:  Task #2 – Tasks around the farm (E.g. Fixing coops/stalls, planting crops, gardening, bathing sheep)
  • 12.30pm: Lunch!
  • 3.30pm: Task #3 – Cleaning and feeding again. The animals do make quite a mess! Especially the sheep. Usually by 4.30pm latest we’re done.
  • 5.30pm – 6.00pm: Dinner time! Sometimes we’re taken to market to buy food or on rare occasions we get dinner bought back for us/ cooked for us.
Walking the horse! I really really love horses. But these weren't all too friendly to play with.
Walking the horse! I really really love horses. But these weren’t all too friendly to play with.

It was a total different experience from the elephant camp. My thoughts:

  • More work done
  • Dedicated rest times
  • Less personal interactions with animals (he has too many!)
  • Tend to snack more cause there’s easy access to groceries in town (I gained weight at the farm, I swear. But I lost some at the elephant camp cause I strictly ate three meals a day and was constantly active)
  • Had to purchase own water (I didn’t like this fact cause I drink tons of water and I had to limit my drinking amount so I wouldn’t spend too much on water. I was/ am on a budget!!! Elephant camp gave free water. :/ I’m not complaining though, just stating my thoughts)

It was an eye-opener to discover how Arnon and his family members function purely on passion for the animals, a project totally non-profit. I think the only money he gets are donations from volunteers who come and stay.

I would definitely return to help if not for a huge major turnoff – mosquitoes. My legs were visually and physically a mess after a few bites. I was bitten so badly (the worst ever), scratched the bites, and a few of them were apparently infected. Up till today, almost two months later, they haven’t fully healed.

Well, I guess with these scars I’ll always remember Arnon and the farm.

But honestly, other than the horrendous bites, I had a great time at The Little Farm Friendly Project. Arnon and his family members have been nothing short of kind and hospitable, especially his mama who cooks us delicious homemade Thai meals!

Took loads of pictures cause I love animals so will just let this be a picture-heavy post for a change!

Home for 11 days.
Home for 11 days.
I didn't know you could find deers in Southeast Asia!
I didn’t know you could find deers in Southeast Asia!
Same goes for turkeys and pea fowls.
Same goes for turkeys and pea fowls.
We bathed 5 out of 23 sheep one morning!
We bathed 5 out of 23 sheep one morning! L to R: Arnon, Ann, Marian, Sergey, me.
Learning to ride a scooter. Steering off bikes cause I can't trust myself with them.
Learning to ride a scooter. Steering off bikes cause I can’t trust myself with them.
Picnic dinner with Arnon and his family.
Picnic dinner with Arnon and his family.
Gorgeous views.
Gorgeous views.
Woke up earlier one of the mornings to cut grass for the sheep, deers, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
Woke up earlier one of the mornings to cut grass for the sheep, deers, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Well, all I did was carry the grass.
One of the breakfasts that Mama prepared!
One of the breakfasts that Mama prepared!
Arnon makes weekly visits when he can to schools to play and teach with the children. He brought us once to experience it.
Arnon makes weekly visits when he can to schools to play and teach with the children. He brought us once to experience it.
Playing charades.
Playing charades.
I'm not a fan of children. But this was... a heartwarming experience for me.
I’m not a fan of children. But this was… a heartwarming experience for me.
Scooter-ing off the main road.
Scootering off the main road.
GEESE. I've always known them to be aggressive and fierce when you agitate them. But these were really tame geese.
GEESE. I’ve always known them to be aggressive and fierce when you agitate them. But these were really tame geese.
Failed attempt to catch the sunrise.
Failed attempt to catch the sunrise.
Squeezing into Arnon's trusty scooter.
Squeezing into Arnon’s trusty scooter.
Day off! On our way to a waterfall and a hot spring. Beyond those mountains is actually Myanmar. Insane how close we were to the border.
Day off! On our way to a waterfall and a hot spring. Beyond those mountains is actually Myanmar. Insane how close we were to the border.
Such a quirky host, in a good way of course.
Such a quirky host, in a good way of course.
Hot spring! Was so relieving to go in and 'burn' my infected bites. But as you can see, you are not allowed to put your feet in the water. You can only dunk your head in.
Hot spring! Was so relieving to go in and ‘burn’ my infected bites. But as you can see, you are not allowed to put your feet in the water. You can only dunk your head in.
Breakfast at the morning market!
Breakfast at the morning market!
Went to cut grass with Arnon's brother, O*. This time, I really did cut some!
Went to cut grass with Arnon’s brother, O*. This time, I really did cut some!
Pit stop at a local restaurant for breakfast.
Pit stop at a local restaurant for breakfast.
Gobble gobble gobble.
Gobble gobble gobble.
Pumpkin the pig! Obviously not too pleased I was invading her space but I had to sweep her poop and clean her mess. Pig's poop are the smelliest I've ever smelled. We like to annoy Arnon by calling her Bacon.
Pumpkin the pig! Obviously not too pleased I was invading her space but I had to sweep her poop and clean her mess. Pig’s poop are the smelliest I’ve ever smelled. We like to annoy Arnon by calling her Bacon.
This sheep, Ba Ba*, sleeps with Arnon's sister in the house at night! She's the only one allowed to roam around. Apparently she lost her mum when she was young so the sister took care of her and now Ba Ba follows her everywhere.
This sheep, Ba Ba*, sleeps with Arnon’s sister in the house at night! She’s the only one allowed to roam around. Apparently she lost her mum when she was young so the sister took care of her and now Ba Ba follows her everywhere.
Digging crop beds.
Digging crop beds.
With Arnon's other sister, Jip*, and Ann after replanting lemongrass.
With Arnon’s other sister, Jip*, and Ann after replanting lemongrass.
Climbing the cashew nut tree!
Climbing the cashew nut tree!
Cashew nuts!
Cashew nuts!
Olive tree.
Olive tree.
Grapes!
Grapes!
I forgot what this is.
I forgot what this is.
Naughty pony stealing the deers' grass.
Naughty pony stealing the deers’ grass.
Wabbit.
Wabbit.
PUMPKIIIIIN.
PUMPKIIIIIN.
Extremely affectionate sheep who wants to be patted. Ann at the background taking pictures of poop.
Extremely affectionate sheep who wants to be patted. Ann in the background taking pictures of poop.
Our cozy home.
Our cozy home.
Hole in the hut for a bathroom.
Hole in the hut for a bathroom.
Thai Mookata (BBQ) dinner, farewell for Sergey! He was the first of us lot to leave. Photo from Ali.
Thai Mookata (BBQ) dinner, farewell for Sergey! He was the first of us lot to leave. Photo from Ali.

So that was the end of my second volunteering stint. Till then!


 

6 thoughts on “Volunteering at The Little Farm Friendly Project

      1. haha well pretty much all of my work experience has been with kids, so yeah I really like them! Maybe just not for myself :P hahaha. That’s why I’m excited to do work away and have a job not revolving around children lol and yes! I most definitely will be back to southeast asia! Loved Thailand and will be back again! And I want to see all the surrounding countries too

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