Name : Diana van der Tuuk
Age : 34 years old
From : The Netherlands
Period : November 2009-December 2010, 1 month
Email dvdtuuk@hotmail.com

I stayed with Jack and his family for 1 month at the end of 2009. Having been 4 times to Thailand before I wanted to do something else than just being another tourist again so I looked into volunteering and ended up signing up with Isan Survivor. Nothing and nobody could have prepared me for what I experienced and the feeling that I had when I left.


I'm Diana, 34 years old, from Amsterdam in The Netherlands and being here opened my heart. I taught mainly at Pak Suay (Beautiful Mouth) primary school but also helped out on other schools, primary and secondary. I've loved every minute being here and teaching the children. They are the sweetest and cutest you will ever meet and they have the capacity to give you so much affection and love, it made me feel extremely special. My farewell, after only a month, was probably the best thing I ever experienced in my life so far. I sang and danced with over 100 kids and they covered me with hugs, smiles and gifts. And teaching is sometimes about improvising but mostly about giving the kids confidence to speak as they hardly speak to foreigners. I played a lot of games, danced and sang with them, but also practiced conversations. I have seen what a difference you can make in such a short time and you will get so much more back from them than you're able to give them.


Because of Jack, his family, his friends and the other volunteers, I had an unforgettable time full with interesting an fun experiences. Had so much fun on the rat hunt and bbq, had a spiritual encounter with a forest monk, laughed so hard during karaoke and learned more about Thai and Isan culture and language.

Harvesting rice

I'm deeply grateful that I was able to spend time here and hope to come back to see 'my' kids again, and to meet Jack again of course.