Coming to Huay Pakoot I had no expectations about what to expect when living here for a month, this had its benefits and hindrances.
One of the benefits was that I felt open minded about living in the village as I had never been to Thailand before let alone a semi rural village in the north of Thailand. Joining GVI I knew it was important to be this way as it’s an experience that differs from person to person, this meant I was able to embrace the difference rather than fight against them. An example of when I done this was with the rooms in the house stay, when I walked up to my home stay I had no idea what would be my room for the next month, but what I found was not necessarily shocking but more different. To embrace this I put up my fairy lights I had brought from home and began to make it my own room for the time I would be staying there. I found this made me more settled at night for when everyone else was back at their home stays I was by myself at the end of a busy day seeing these home comforts reminded me that this was also someone else’s home and safe place much like ,one is back in London.
However a hindrance that I encountered, which isn’t much different from my normal life, was my fear of spiders. I really hadn’t thought about it much before coming out here I think because I knew I would end up psyching myself out. On my first night when at base the panic set in for what was waiting for me back at my home stay or lurking in the bushes on my walk back. I expressed how I felt to two of the longer term interns and they assured me I would be fine as someone else part of GVI had the same fears, they then walked me back to my home stay as it was my first time walking through the dark and unfamiliar roads. I was feeling more settled as they had comforted me about not seeing the eight legged creatures. They then showed me my toilet at my home stay and to my surprise there was a spider on the outside of the bathroom which scurried to the other side of the wall. This obviously scared me and made me fear my toilet at my home stay. However a week later and 2 bug spray bottles down I am feeling much more comfortable with my fear as speaking to lots of different members of GVI we all have differing anxiety’s and fears that affect us but everyone being so friendly and welcoming has made me feel less alone.
-Charlotte Smith, intern