Trip Start Nov 11, 2006
22Trip End Jul 27, 2007
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We arrived in Khao Lak to be greeted by a strip of pubs, restaurants and dive shops and an amazing coast line. It takes all of 10 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other! The nearest city is Phuket which is about 2 hours away and we are surrounded by either sea or jungle. There are lots of little villages around here but Khao Lak is fairly touristy with a few large hotels going up. Khao Lak was hit the hardest by the 2004 Tsunami. Over 5000 people died here and the place was completey destroyed. There is a lot of building work going on at the moment to bring back all the tourists. During our first week we met a German couple who had been holidaying here for 12 years and had been caught up during the floods. They showed us a lot of footage of the aftermath and the wave hitting the coast. Really frightening stuff. They also then proceeded to show us their "Erotica" photographs, yes PORN!!!!! Amy sat and said things like "Wow, that's a nice effect" or "She has a good figure" while Matt was kicking her under the table! A strange evening spent with 2 crazy Germans!!!!
We both started work 5 weeks ago. Amy is teaching English in various Burmese and Thai primary and secondary schools and Matt has been helping with a construction project for the re housing of thai sea gypsies whose homes were destroyed. We started work the same day as a group of 25 Ozzies and lots of other Brits and have had a ball. Everyone has been so friendly that we both felt part of the team immediately. Most people volunteer for about 2 weeks so we will see people come and go over the next few months.
A few weekends ago we celebrated Australia day on the Friday night. It involved a huge party on the beach where a vast amount of Chang and Singha Beer and Samsong were consumed. Eventually people were jumping naked over a fire at 4.30am and Amy and her mate Erin proceeded to play hide and seek behind plant pots in a closed bar..... a very cunning plan! The next day at 10am 23 of us jumped in one of the Centre's van's and Matt drove us all to Khao Sok, a national park further up north. We then spent the afternoon drinking beer and tubing (sitting in rubber rings) down a river. We stayed near where monkeys lived in the nearby trees and watched them dive in and out of the river. An amazing sight!
Over the past couple of weeks a lot has been happening. As Matt was working on constuction the villager's of Naem Khem decided to throw the TVC volunteers a party. It was great to spend the evening partying with local thai people. They know how to throw a good party. We also went to watch a famous thai band called Job 2 Do. This was an excellent night with everyone dressed in funny masks. Finally there was a Toga party for the Ozzie's leaving doo.
Last week Matt started a new job with D-Trac, another NGO working in the area. He will be conducting research into aid distributed by NGO's..... and will be getting paid!!! As you can see our time is split between work, socialising, work, sunbathing and socialising!!!!
Amy's birthday was ace with lots of eating and drinking. Amy wished she hadn't spent so much time in the sun. See the photos of her lobster face!
The next thing we have got ourselves into is a 100km sponsored bike ride. The building project Matt was working on has run out of money and needs $15,000 (8000 pounds) to finish the houses. We have both said we will cycle from Khao Lak to Phuket which as we have said already is 100 bloody km's!!!! Amy biked to work this morning (the first time in about 6 months), a 15 minute bike journey up hill and realises this is a pretty huge task. Anyway, to make it worth our while, and for all the pain we will suffer in the meantime we want to raise at least a 1000 pounds between us. We send this blog out to 90 people so that is only 10 pounds each!!!!!! It is going to a really good cause as the thai people who will live in these houses are living in tin shacks at the moment with many memebers of their family. I hope you are all able to donate something. We will email the details onto you all and will definately send photos of us hopefully finishing the task!
Hope you enjoy the photos and send us all your news!