By: Soufian, Co-Director, Thailand
As this is my first blog post with IHF, let me Introduce myself to you, my name is Soufian, born and raised in Agadir, a coastal city in the southern part of Morocco. Being a social worker has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I have taken the first step towards fulfilling this dream by being a part of a few local organizations, volunteering in children centers and by participating in the social and cultural events in my city. Such experiences over the past several years have made me into a highly self-motivated, energetic and creative enough to seek for a volunteer opportunity abroad. Surprisingly, hearing about IHF and (YES) being a part of IHF is a great opportunity for me to fulfill my dream to serve!
I arrived in Thailand on the 15th of August, at Chiang Rai airport and I started my new journey of life through volunteering with IHF. I initially planned and tried to apply two years ago when I was a student but then I was lacking experience. Anyway, Now I am here!
Being new to the Thai culture even though there are a few similarities between the Thai culture and my culture, I get confused on numerous occasions and I had to struggle to communicate with person who can’t speak English with a Farang (Foreigner) like me. When I arrived at the center I met a great young IHF kid, Pratya, he is a good help to me and I can see in him a great independent man. I didn’t know anything about the city or culture, all I know is some Thai cuisine and that I WANT TO LEARN how to cook. This was a great integration tool for me with local people. The market is a very interesting place in Chiang Rai, and going on shopping spree with the housemother is a great way for me to understand food culture, bargaining and more importantly learning how to count in Thai, Whoa!
Even though she doesn’t speak fluent English, we always find a way to communicate as she challenges herself to find the words to explain things to me and satisfy my curiosity. And cuisine language was a great way for me to get acquainted with the kids. Even though it’s hard to find all species I need in Chiang Rai, I tried to cook a Moroccan dish. I used “Pani”, a local fish and baked it with spicy sauce and vegetables and cooked it in a typical morocco style!
– The kids just loved it!
Being the only co-director here and I had to look for information, but on other hand I don’t want to be a burden on Pratya as he is going into a busy work schedule and will be having exams soon.
Nevertheless, I am looking forward to having a wonderful time here in Thailand!