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