A few weeks ago we had a volunteer from Vietnam, Thu, and she wrote a lovely review of her stay here:
WWOOFing in Mae Mut Garden is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life. I spent 3 weeks doing volunteer here and it turned out into the highlight of my Thailand trip. Marco and Nok are really sweet, genuine and caring hosts. They made me feel at home right at the first day, which is beyond my expectation. Staying here, I had chances to learn not only about organic farming which is quite new to me, but also about authentic Thai cultures and local people. I was privileged to work with local staffs, exchange languages, to be welcome by local people, to be invited to a Thai wedding, play with the kids and to be taken to some sightseeing…
Learning about organic farming:
Living here for 3 weeks, I have learnt some basic knowledge about sustainable agriculture including green fertilizers, mulching, soil fertinity, composting… I understand the importance of soil to thrive the seedlings and how long and how hard it takes to witness a seedling turning into a big tree with flowers and fruits. Marco showed me some pictures of their land when it was just an abandoned plain without any care and I was amazed how hard and passionately they have been cherishing the land. They are such real organic farmers. If you are really interested in learning truly organic farming, I would highly recommend them.
Everyday is not the same, especially when permaculture is a new field for me. Usually, I worked for the whole morning from 9 to 12 and spent afternoon taking care of baby Serena who is their 1 year old daughter. Planting vegetable seedlings, turning over and fertilizing the soil, cutting leaves, picking the grasses… are some of my work. They taught me how to feel in love with nature. I even cut the ripe rice for the first time of my life here, in Thailand, which I should have done in Vietnam. It was a fun experience.
In the afternoon, playing with Serena was so much fun as she is a smart and adorable girl who always smiles and is full of energy and love for life. I am missing her so bad and hope next year, she won’t forget me if I have a chance to come back. And it is so touching that Marco announced I am her big sister now and they will surely attend my wedding in Vietnam someday.
It felt so good when every morning, I could smell the freshness and coldness of air in association with leaves and grasses’ fragrance. I go to bed with insects’ hilarious sounds and wake up with the welcome of beautiful nature. Don’t forget to walk to the rice field which is about 200 meters on the left of Pee Hom’s house. It is extremely fascinating, especially during sunset.
Learning about Thai culture:
Marco and Nok gave me opportunities to integrate into Thai culture. Working with Pee Hom who has worked for them for a long time and is really keen on learning Vietnamese, I had chance to catch some Thai language as well. Moreover, Nok and her mother Oui Phay showed me recipe of Thai cuisine which is really delicious and spicy. Sometimes Marco cooked us yummy Indian and Italian food. And I guess I was in the luckiest time of my life when always going to bed with full stomach.
Fortunately, I was invited to a Thai wedding with Marco and Nok which is really spiritual. Talking to Thai villagers, I can feel their hospitality and curiosity to me as a foreigner. They always smile back when I “wai” my hand. Sometimes, the hosts took me to visit their neighbors, elephant camps and temple.
Marco and Nok are loved by villagers who usually visit their home. And amazingly, I made friend with Pee Poy who is really sweet to take me to the waterfall, visit her neighbor or go to her funny aerobic “club”. I guess I was fully integrated into Thai culture.
Usually at night, after dinner, it was cozy and gracious to have a conversation with my hosts. We shared interests about Thai, Italian and Vietnamese cultures and were open about our private lives. Marco gave me a lot of helpful advices of traveling and I really appreciate it. I feel that they consider me as a member of their family. They never required me in return although they gave me so much more than what I could give. I hope that I was a bit helpful during my time there. And definitely I have to see them again someday because I have a family in Thailand. Thank you so much for giving me such a precious opportunity to stay at your house. I had the time of my life.