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Howdy! I'm jessie- a mother of 2, living on the beautiful island of Koh Lanta in Thailand. I live on a property that has 2 houses and 3 concrete bungalows on it, with my mother and my 2 young kids. We used to run a backpacker hostel but recently sold it and are enjoying a quieter life on the quiet side of the island.
We are experienced workaway hosts, as we have had volunteers for over 6 years already with very highly rated feedback. We understand the importance of clarity and everything being upfront, and we know how to communicate and help ensure that the experience is mutually beneficial and a good fit BEFORE committing anyone's time- we look for that quality in others as well. Given that this hosting happens at our home instead of business, it's particularly important to me that we get a chance to speak and get a feel for each other before any agreements are made. That is why its best to arranging a video chat to hash out the details and ask questions from both sides first :)
What we need help with at the moment, is just general helping hands around the property. My mom is the one with the green thumb, but her 67 year old body has a hard time pulling weeds and she'd love a little help in the garden. I just got a wireless electric grass trimmer I'm excited about, and we just generally have enough land that it takes a little effort to tame back the jungle.
We have a tool shed from hell, that is in dire need of some organization as well, if you're the organizing type ;)
Perhaps a little DIY, a little artistic creation, and some assistance with some domestic responsibilities, but nothing major. I also have two super rad kids who maybe you could help with things like learning to ride a bike, practicing reading, or maybe just playing outside on an adventure (they're 4 and 6). These are all just options, don't feel like you have to fit the bill on all of them ;)
*️*️If you are a teacher or interested in a
teaching option, I'd be happy to add a small financial incentive to some more structured learning time as well. My son goes to a Thai village school, and reading and writing in English will have to be learned at home. At the moment, they're both at various stages of flashcards and basic alphabet work- I have tons of materials, just need to sit down and engage in creative learning games. They don't need to learn to speak English (they're extremely fluent), but reading and writing skills. It doesn't matter if you're a native speaker or not. I'm a teacher and am TESOL/TEFL certified myself, and would be happy to outline easy tasks- no experience necessary, just motivation ;) Please mention this option if that's what you're after.
I would ask for a commitment of approximately 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. This can also be broken up differently, like working a long weekend and having the rest of the week off even. It all just needs to be planned and accountable. You would need a scooter to get around the island (which you would likely want anyway), but we can help find you the best deal around, at locals pricing. Being on the quiet side of the island, you'll surely want to explore the other side and enjoy the beautiful beaches in your free time, the closest one being 5km away (hence the scooter needed).
You'll have a safe and clean concrete bungalow with private bathroom, and a basic outdoor (jungle style) kitchen setup. The property is tranquil and lush, backed right up against jungle. You'll hear the sound of birds and wind in the trees in the day, and the frogs and crickets in the night- with the occasional monkey hoots and hollers... and sometimes a visit too. Dog barking, chicken crowing, and the call to prayer can also be heard, but those are just the usual sounds of southern Thailand that you quickly become well accustomed to ;)
If you think this might be a good fit for you, feel free to contact me :)
Babysitting / child care
Help in the house
Thailand is a beautiful country and this island in an amazing one. I can give you TONS of local tips and show you some hidden gems for food and wonderful spots on this island. We have an awesome little community of friends here too, so you'll get a chance to meet people from many different backgrounds. I'm not Thai (I'm American) but I've lived here almost a decade, speak the language pretty well, and have a good grasp on the local culture- which I'm happy to share ;)
Our water is pumped from our well, and if you're interested in that kind of stuff, there's an opportunity to learn about it here. You get forced into fixing alot of things in a DIY manner, so basic building, plumbing, and basic electrical has been added to our bag of tricks, and it can be added to yours too if that's part of what you hope to gain while here :)
Creative projects, up cycle projects... It's all part of our lives out here as well :D
So given that you'd be living on the property with my family, let me tell you more about us :)
I'm Jess, 33, and am hospitality and marketing oriented. I love photography/filming, nature, and technology.... So naturally I'm a drone pilot too ^.^ I love extreme sports, but my extreme days are over after multiple surgeries from accidents have left me with a fair share of metal in my body. Plus, my focus is mostly on my kids theses days ;)
My mom, Marilyn, is retired here and enjoys her days with her hands in the dirt, gardening and making things lovely. She brings the 'homey' feel wherever she goes, and I'm not just saying that as her daughter- everyone calls her Mama or Nana around here. She's a hippy, and and a singer, and an adventurer herself.
And now for my tiny humans :)
So Jaydon is 6, and Mali is 4. They are half Thai, but their dad isn't in the picture anymore. They both speak very clear (american) English. They're both really clever kids and generally get along very well- sometimes just need an adult to mediate when there's a conflict over who had what toy first, but generally we'll behaved kids. Jay should really be in acting school- he will crack you up. And Mali's cheekiness and compitancy with mobile devices is always a jaw dropper. Jay goes to the Thai village school just down the street, and the local kids like to come over and play with the bikes and skateboards on the driveway sometimes. It's a warm community of people here and everyone looks out for one another.
In regards to volunteering for spending time with the kids, I'll preface by saying I'd be looking for someone who's fun and engaging with children, without being in their face. Someone who's relaxed without being careless, and maybe even with some experience in au pair or childhood education. Child philosophy wise, I guess you could categorize us as Waldorf or Montessori type people- hippies at heart, but not in a new age crystal healer type way. I believe kids should get dirty and play outside. I think they should climb trees and explore and go on adventures. I think the forest kindergartens in Denmark are super rad (YouTube it if you haven't seen it!). I want my kids to go out and have fun- go on walks, play on the beach, do art projects, build stuff, feed animals, explore their wild nature- all the fun stuff. They also need to practice their ABCs, especially given that Jay's school won't be teaching him how to read and write in English, so that's on me!
Schedules can be flexible for sure, but we try to plan them out each week.
If you're a big nightlife person, this might not be the best fit for you. We're on the opposite side of the island from all the bars and action. This neighborhood is probably still the most authentic village on Lanta, with minimal tousit activity (just a nature walk and kayak rental shacks). I've lived in the middle of the bars before and it got loud and old quickly. I'm very happy to now live on the quiet side, while knowing that all of that action is a 10 minute drive away. We have minimarts (1 that sells beer) and little basic restaurants all walking distance, but we usually stock up on the good stuff, cook, and get takeaway from town when we want. You could do your own thing with food, but would always be welcome to pitch in and jump on our bandwagon too whenever you wanted :)
There's also a little breakfast stand that served super cheap Thai breakfast foods for 10-20 baht and yellow rice with chicken to go (also 20 baht). We can show you the cheap spots with locals pricing around the island too ;)
English, some thai
On our property, we have: 2 houses stacked on top of each other (my house with my kids, and my mom's house below) and 3 bungalows. We have friends visiting during the high season, but 1 bungalows will be allocated to a WorkAway volunteer (or couple).
The bungalows are clean and secure, raised up with a front deck to string a hammock on. They're studio bedroom with private bathrooms. They're both fan and hot shower.
It's rather cool on this side of the island, with less solar gain and most lush jungle keeping the temps down, so aircon is easy to live without here.
I want to note too, that unlike the social scene we used to have at our hostel, we only host 1 or 2 couples/people at a time, so it's highly possible that you'll be the only volunteers staying with us at the time.
Being smeone who can drive a scooter is really a must. Not being able to take off and explore is the recipe for you feeling trapped and bored, which is the opposite of what we hope for your experience. If you are an avid cyclist and would prefer that, it's pretty flat and a straight shot into town on a beautiful scenic and mostly shaded road too. It's very safe in the day time and early evening, but I don't know if it's the best road to be pedaling down super late at night... I never see anyone else out on it super late.
Did I mention that the island is particularly amazing and gorgeous? I've lived here for years and work in tourism too, so will have plenty of time to give you all the inside tips on places to check out ;)
Anyway- if interested, please contact me here and PLEASE put your proposed arrival date (even just the month) in the subject line. That's important (and also shows me that you actually DID just read this massive description).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
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