My two months in Krabi, Thailand was nothing less than a dream come true. Since the day I arrived, I noticed how much Thai people smiled and how hard they work to make you happy. These were consistent throughout my home stay at Koh Klang, with Project Abroad staff, and the staff at the school where I volunteered.
My experiences here in Thailand have been so unique and different I loved every minute of it. My home located in Koh Klang was in the muslim community where I got to taste the delicious meals only seen in the area. My days began with the gentle morning sun falling onto my face accompanied by a cool breeze and the big smiles of my host family. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to a day. Getting to town with a long tail boat every day and seeing a variety of animals such as buffalos, goats, chickens, singing birds etc is scenery that will stay with me forever.
Crossing the water with a long tail boat and riding a motor bike taxi for about 5 minutes got me to the school where I experienced how Occupational Therapy is practiced in Thailand. Collaborating with the OT and other staff members was at times a challenge due to the language barrier; however, I feel that this made the placement even more interesting. Challenges I would not otherwise face at home is what made my experience unique. When communication was difficult because of the language barrier, I used gestures, funny faces, drawings etc to communicate. When resources were limited, I used materials available to make splints. Most importantly, I learned that although I might be practicing in a setting where cultural and systemic differences might impede my services as an OT, I was able to practice Occupational Therapy without limits.
Prior to my arrival to Thailand, I had many uncertainties inside of me. I worried about almost everything because it was a country I had never been to and had no idea how things were run or how people were or if it was even safe for a girl to go on her own. Now that I completed my placement, I can say that thanks to the people I met, I’m going home satisfied with a wish to come back again in the future. During my stay in Krabi, I never felt scared, alone, hungry, lost, angry, sad, ignored or as a stranger. Everyone at the boat pier, school, Projects Abroad office, the internet café, the tourist agency, the motorbike station, home and Koh klang always tried their best to help me with their smile and made me feel welcomed.