Monday, 25 February 2008

Andaman Discoveries

A few months ago I met up with a lovely lady called Kelly and we had a long chat about the organisation she runs, Andaman Discoveries.

A bit of history - Andaman Discoveries was born from the work of NATR (North Andaman Tsunami Relief) which was an independent, non-profit, non-religious organisation set up by a man called Bodhi Garrett after he lost everything when the tsunami hit the Andaman Coast in 2004. NATR worked with the villagers in the worst affected areas and together they managed to implement over 120 different projects all aimed at proving long-term, sustainable income to the region that will not have an adverse affect on either their environment or traditional way of life. One of the main opportunities identified was in the field of community-based tourism and when NATR closed it's doors Andaman Discoveries stepped in. You can now visit the area (Last year the lovely JJ visited and you can read about her experiences here), stay with a Thai family in their home and experience their way of life whilst learning about their culture and the environment in which they live.

JJ had such an amazing trip that Carolyn and I decided that we would organise a BWG Welfare Trip so tomorrow 11 of us will be getting up at the crack of dawn to start our adventure on the Andaman Coast.

I am so excited!!! We are going to be staying in two different villages, planting orchids in the jungle, taking part in a workshop run by the Tsunami Batik Co-operative, learning how to make roti pancakes, weaving Nipa palm roofing, taking part in a workshop run by the Tsunami Soap Co-operative and helping with the restoration of the Mangroves. I think it's going to be rather amazing!! (although I have to admit that I am not looking forward to spending four days sitting on the floor and having to use a squat for a toilet - still.....it's all character building isn't it!!)

9 comments:

  1. Sounds fantastic - and exhausting. Look forward to hearing all about it.

    Love
    Mum xx

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  2. Sounds marvellous! What an experience! I'm sure you'll write fabulous things about it when you get back. xo

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  3. Oooh fab. I'm looking forward to a blow by blow account when you get back ... but maybe not re. the loos:-)

    Have a great time Carol:-) xx

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  4. This sounds like an awesome opportunity. I can't wait to hear all about your adventures when you get back and I'll definitely be keeping Andaman Discoveries on my radar for the next time I'm on Phuket.

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  5. Can't wait to hear all the details! I had to laugh about the floor sitting and squatting though..lucky you've never visited me - we always have meals on the floor and have a squat loo (not to mention no hot water!! eek!)

    Have a safe and fun trip C, talk soon x

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  6. Well, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did honey - or you'll be cross with me.
    JJx

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  7. Squats away and all that. Don't fall in or get lost in the Mangroves -remember it's a swamp not a soft beach no matter how pretty it may be
    Tomato

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  8. Can't wait to hear all about it x

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  9. Mum - It was absolutely brilliant!! I've just been run off my feet since I got back trying to catch up with everything so I've not had any time to blog!!

    SueG - It's taken a few days to process it all....it was such a privilege to have the villagers open up their homes and way of life to us.

    Lane - I will write a blow by blow account I promise :-)

    Thailand Musings - Welcome. If you get the chance then you should definately go.....it was wonderful!!

    Mel - Oh dear lord the loo's.....

    JJ - I knew I would love every minute of it and I was not disappointed!!

    Tomato - Planting the Mangroves was one of the best bits!! (I am also happy to say that there were no 'Squat's away' moments!!

    Caroline - OMG I am so crap....I've not had time to blog and am getting withdrawal symptoms!!

    C x

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