Helping and helpx

Since I started this trip I had three experience of volunteer in three different places: Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

About helpx

To find these opportunities I use helpx.org and I want talk a bit about this website. This kind of volunteer is not the classic that someone would imagine. You usually find people who are looking for help to realize their on project and less often people just dedicated to help the poor. Are small local projects not connected with big organizations. This is not bad, for example help foreigns who had struggled and face cultural problems on the way is very useful for explain you how the local mentality works, more then those who had it easy.

Like everywhere also on this website you need to be careful, not because of scam indeed you never send money in advance, but there are volunteer positions that are real works but without get paid or worst you need to contribute with a small contribute, for food for example. Something I don’t like at all is when the host treats you like an employee, for example questioning about your efficiency or pressing you. If you want someone to press and ask efficiency who doesn’t make mistakes you are looking for an employee and you have to pay for him. If I forget the broom somewhere, you ask me where is it but you don’t ask me nervously why I left it there.  I’m traveling since March what makes you thing I like to be an employee without salary?

1˚ experience:

In Vietnam in Sapa, very good experience 3$ a day food and accommodation included. 4 hours a day of work 5 days a week plus teaching one hour in the evening. I helped to build a center to teach english and other material to tribe kids. Very relaxed environment, nice location.

What I learned:

  1. A lot about Hmong mentality and life. ( Hmong are the biggest tribe in Sapa valley)
  2. I really like help people specifically kids.
  3. I like live in the city, there are a lot of pos. but I feel better in a nice environment close to the green.
  4. dedication is more important then organization. Peter the host is disorganized but he is dedicated to his purposes and things work out.

 

Helpx 600 May 12, 2014 - 02

Sapa surrounding

 

Helpx 600 May 01, 2014 - 01

Selling fries

 

Helpx 600 May 12, 2014 - 03

Sapa surrounding

 

2˚ experience:

In Laos near LuangPrabang at the entrance of Kouang Xi waterfall. Had to pay for 6$ a day to sleep in a near by homestay/hotel food included, working hours not specified but I worked in the morning and in the afternoon. Work in a private butterfly reserve, maintenance and improving works. Relaxed environment that changed in a stressed when three four days before a lunch organized for 24 people. The host tried to organized a 5 stars restaurant. Everything did work very well but at the end the agency which organized the lunch for the next time asked for a buffet.

I didn’t get along very well with the host a dutch couple, sometime happen simply you don’t match with the one you have in front. Different characters. Better with the woman not with him. He is a person who doesn’t lose the opportunity to tell the people that sometime he is not gentle and loses the calm. It didn’t happen with me but I didn’t like his attitude He made me feel like I was an employee. So I left after the big lunch. 1 week.

There was not internet nor phone connection for my Lao sim so I had to ask to use their usb key every time I wanted used internet and obviously for short time. I felt too much dependent from them. Something I don’t like. I don’t like ask.

What I learned:

  1. a lot about Lao people mentality. The couple used a lot of people from the nearby village to create the reserve and they had to face a lot of problems. They have been living there the last two years. A really good inside and big information that I had opportunity to verify in my trio through Lao.
  2. small practice on how to work with bamboo with a sharp knife and rope. No nails, no screws.
  3. The incredible variety of the nature
  4. Live in the countryside is nice but not out of the world. A good internet connection and an easy access to the services of a city are needed.

 

Helpx 600 July 10, 2014 - 04

This photo is about the same butterfly you can see in the next photo. Here the butterfly is open then closed

 

Helpx 600 July 10, 2014 - 05

This photo is about the same butterfly you can see in the previous photo. Here the butterfly is closed before open

 

3˚ experience:

In Thailand near Chiang Mai, a farm. I ad to pay 100 bat for accommodation and a lot of food. Working hours up to you. Gardening and improving the farm.

Host an 84 years old American who have been living around the world all his life and a very nice Ahka woman. I spent there two weeks. I didn’t learn too much about Thai and Ahka culture or farming, but I made two good friends a Japanese/Australian man and a Thai girl and something more about me. I was there during the Loy Krathong buddhist festival and thanks to the Thai girl: Anna I had the opportunity to live it very well.

What I learned:

  1. I definitively don’t like small repetitive tasks like pick up unwanted grass. Carrying around a wheel barrel full of cow shit or dig a trench are ok for me, they require effort and sweat so somehow are ok for me.
  2. I like experiments and I can get very dedicated. But it’s not a surprise actually.
  3. I’m not looking for a farm to live. A farm can be a place to live but not to live of cause it would require to dedicate the days to it and it isn’t what I’m looking for
  4. Crickets are good to eat

 

Helpx 600 October 29, 2014 - 06

 

Helpx 600 November 04, 2014 - 09

Makoto a helper and Buddy the Host

 

Helpx 600 November 02, 2014 - 07

 

Helpx 600 November 02, 2014 - 08

 

That’s it.

About waltersupertramp

Sono nato nel 1978 in provincia di Cremona. Nella vita si cambia, ma un aspetto di me non è mai cambiato: la voglia di scoprire cosa si nasconde dietro la prossima curva, dietro la collina, la linea d' alberi, oltre l' orizzonte. Molte sono le motivazioni che mi hanno spinto ad imboccare questa strada. Ma questa mia caratterisca è sicuramente alla base di tutto. Riflettendoci è la caratteristica che più sento mia.