Our time at Baan Dada was the highlight of our honeymoon. The people at Baan Dada are amazing. The Dadas and mothers take very good care of the kids, who are happy and healthy. The long series of kind volunteers at Baan Dada has made it so the children immediately expect new volunteers to be their friend. One of the best things you can do as a volunteer is simply to play with the kids. The extra attention and interaction that they get from volunteers is very important. The younger children are happy to have someone else to play with while the older kids can practice their English with you and learn about the world beyond Baan Dada.
We also spent time making life for future volunteers more pleasant. Up at the volunteer house we cleaned, painted, installed lights and a hot water heater on the ladies side.
One thing that the children could really use is more dental care. In town, we bought toothbrushes for all of the children. They enjoyed brushing their teeth, but after a few days the toothbrushes were lost in the chaos around the shared sink. Maybe you can think of a way to help the kids brush their teeth.
Do you know a dentist who would be interested in volunteering for a week in Thailand? They would have a great time, and their services would be greatly appreciated.
The main building at Baan Dada is ready for a second floor. A few thousand dollars of construction materials is all that is holding the Dadas back from starting construction. A second floor would alleviate the crowded sleeping conditions for the boys, and give some of the older boys more private space.
Some specific activities that we recommend with the kids are:
-playing stick ball
-pushing kids on the swing
-rock, paper, scissors
-teaching songs to sing
Things you can bring from your home country, that aren’t available right in town:
-Clothes for dress-up
Best wishes from San Francisco!
Tom and Lauren