Jochen’s Experience at Yaowawit
Thailand is another country if a schoolkid takes you by the hand and leads you through the local market. Everything is more personal and colourful. The salespeople ask you to taste the exotic delicacies, and the foreigner is now part of a Sunday morning ritual because of that child. Thailand is another country if you experience the meditation at the local Buddhist temple in a group of schoolchildren. Everything is more serious and meaningful. If you really care about Thailand and her people you should stay as a guest at the Yaowawit School and Lodge, at least once. The school is barely a two-hour drive from Phuket, in the midst of the rain forest, but still a short bike ride away from the nearest small town. The visitor will be rewarded with a unique view into the soul of Thailand, and into the future of the country. Every child at this school could recount a tragic story. But this school provides them with a childhood which allows for both seriousness and joy.
Surrounded by the ever-changing moods of nature I experienced one of my most relaxing and educational vacations. In the mornings I would wake to the chanting of the children. At breakfast I would watch everybody rush to their classrooms, while three cooking ladies prepared lunch for more than 100 hungry mouths. The two domestic dogs pretended to fulfill their roles as guards before succumbing to fatigue and looking for a quiet place to lie down. After breakfast I would either join in the classes or enjoy a bike ride into the surrounding area. The day would always go by too fast, and it would be dark before I knew it. After dinner I would go for an evening walk or take part in a Thai dance practice. Slowly the place would quiet down, leaving me with the concert of the rain forest.
— Jochen S (November 2018)