LemonGrass news

Thai flag

Military coup, June 2014

As we are sure that you are already aware, the martial law imposed in Thailand was quickly followed by a military coup. Understandably, the coup initially brought some uncertainty and fear amongst the population and of course for travellers to Thailand. Lemongrass-volunteering has been monitoring the situation closely and we have been operating normally throughout the recent developments. Whilst there are some limitations e.g. night time curfews, life in Thailand goes on pretty much as normal. We have been able to travel in and out of Bangkok with no difficulty to meet volunteers and escort them to their placements in Surin. . The military have made it clear that the country needs a prolonged period of calm and stability before democracy and elections will return. For these reasons, we believe that volunteers should continue to make plans to come and teach with us and if they have any concerns, to contact us immediately. We will continue to monitor the situation very carefully and if there are any developments, we will provide further updates as necessary.

Thai flag

Political unrest, Jan 2014

Once again, the political situation in Thailand has become unstable with the 'Yellow shirts' staging prolonged protests in Bangkok against the incumbant Prime minister/Governement. These protests have been running for quite some weeks and so far, have been largely peaceful and have had no negative impact on our volunteering activities in Surin. Transport in and out of Bangkok is unaffected and we are still running volunteering placements.

We want to make it clear to all prospective volunteers that we are still running as normal. We are still meeting volunteers in Bangkok and we are still providing successful placements. However, we do not wish to be complacent about the current situation and are very aware that with elections scheduled for Feb 2nd and a recent state of emergency declared in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, we are no better placed to anticipate how things might develop than anybody else. Because the situation is entering a new and unpredictable phase, we would like to urge all potential volunteers to contact us and discuss their volunteering wishes with us, before making any bookings or travel arrangements to Thailand. We shall continue to monitor the situation very carefully and take all necessary steps to ensure that current and potential volunteers are not placed in any risk whatsoever.

Volunteer author

LemonGrass volunteer publishes inspirational new book about his volunteering experiences in Thailand 09 February 2013

Phil Beswick, a previous volunteer with LemonGrass Volunteering, has decided to go one step further than most other volunteers and actually write a book about his experiences. Phil was taking a career break from the Prison service in the UK and decided to throw himself into travel and volunteering projects around the world. He had an amazing year and you too can now share his experiences by reading his newly launched book entitled 'Soaring with Eagles, flying with Turkeys'. For more information about this book and other links, please go to www.philbeswick.com .

Elephant roundup

Elephant round-up festival 2012 and novice monk English camp 04 July 2012

The internationally renowned, annual Elephant round-up festival returns to Surin this November. For one week only, LemonGrass Volunteering are offering you the opportunity to combine this amazing experience with the chance to run an English camp for novice monks from one of Surin's temples. Volunteers will spend two mornings planning activities and lessons, and two afternoons with the novice monks, teaching them English, playing games, singing songs and generally just having a great time.

Once the English camp has finished, volunteers will spend the rest of the week enjoying the various attractions of the Elephant festival. This will include the light-and-sound evening show, the parade through town, and the Elephant buffet where hundreds of elephants descend on the town for an enormous feast, and you can get up close and personal with these magnificent symbols of Thailand. You will also get to go to one of the exciting shows in Surin's purpose-built elephant stadium to experience re-enactments of historical battles using horses, Elephants, historical costume and much, much more. This really is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime festival that should not be missed.

This one-off special placement is only 249 GBPs for the week. It will include someone to meet you on your arrival in Bangkok, your accommodation, all your food, transport, bi-lingual staff support, free internet access and bicycles to get around in your own time.

If this project interests you, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to express your interest and reserve your place on this unique volunteering experience.

Kindergarten class

Working with kindergarten children 29 March 2012

LemonGrass Volunteering has recently carried out a reorganisation of its projects and from June 2012, we will no longer be running childcare projects in Surin. Instead, we are excited to announce that we will be offering volunteers the opportunity to work with young children in a kindergarten. Volunteers will be able to make a real difference to children's lives at this very young and important stage of their educational development. For further information, please visit the project page.

Meals

Weekday and evening meals now included 23 March 2012

As from June 2012, LemonGrass Volunteering is pleased to announce that weekday lunch and evening meals will now be provided to volunteers on all our placements at no extra cost.

Floods

Floods in Thailand 19 October 2011

Thailand has been experiencing record monsoon rainfalls this year resulting in some of the worst floods for 50 years. LemonGrass Volunteering are monitoring this situation closely. At present, the floods are not affecting our projects in Surin, or the ability to travel to Surin from Bangkok. This situation may change in the coming days if Bangkok gets any worse. Thailand is coming to the end of the rainy season and we expect the rains to start to ease up over the coming days and weeks and hopefully the floods will then recede. If the floods affect our projects, we will inform all concerned. In the meantime, our thoughts go out to all those affected and we wish them well.

Temple

Border clash update 17 May 2011

Trouble on the border, for now, has stopped. Border crossings have reopened and life is pretty much back to normal. However, there remains an increased level of military activity and we will continue to monitor the situation in case it flares up again.

Temple

Border clash 26 April 2011

There has been some further fighting between Thailand and Cambodia over disputed land and temples on the border. At the moment, this is very localised and in no way affects our placements in Surin. We are monitoring the situation very closely and if there are any developments, we will let you know.

Trainee monks

Teaching English to Novice Monks 11 April 2011

It is with great pleasure and excitement that LemonGrass announce for 2011, the introduction of a new project, 'Teaching English to Novice Monks'. Most Thai men will spend some time in their life, usually when they are young, learning to become a Buddhist Monk and this rite of passage includes practical as well as spiritual education. It is vitally important that young 'novice' Monks from all walks of life continue their schooling whilst learning to become a monk and LemonGrass aim to help this education, by placing volunteers on English teaching placements at the Temple in Surin. From June 2011, LemonGrass Volunteering will be offering volunteers the opportunity to teach English to novice Monks. For further information on this and our other projects, please email info@lemongrass-volunteering.com.