Sawadee Krap from all of us at Starfish in Sangkhlaburi!

Bit of a change from the usual story here. For the next few weeks I am going to interview each member of our team, so you get to learn more about us, what makes us tick, why each member is here and probably a few embarrassing stories too!

Fun in Sangkhlaburi

First off is our Assistant Regional Manager, Talisa! Talisa is a vital cog in what we do here in Sangkhla. Always ready to help anyone. She’s as equally handy with a calculator as she is with a 4×4.

Introducing, Talisa!….

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Name:
Talisa Keogh

Age:
25

Where are you from?
Runcorn, Cheshire, England

What is your role within the Sangkhlaburi team?
Assistant Regional Manager

How did you come to work for Starfish, and how long ago did you start?
I booked onto the Thailand Experience in August 2012, and had the time of my life. So much fun infact, that after a 10-day stint in Vietnam after our tour had finished, I travelled back to Sangkhlaburi and volunteered for a further three weeks.

What was your favourite part of your trip?
Spending time at the children’s centre, and volunteering.

What have you found to be the biggest differences between living in England and Thailand?
Food definitely comes in the running for the biggest difference. Bowls of Fish sauce, Chilli, Sugar, and White vinegar are almost always on your table for adding extra flavours to your food. No salt…no pepper…and no knives because…what is there to cut?! Sharing is caring when it comes to food over here too…we’ve spent many a mealtime having delicious food passed over our fence from our neighbours, and it’s almost guaranteed that you can be invited into a random neighbours house at any point to join them for a sit down family meal (and by sit-down, I mean sat on the floor!). Being so close to Burma, also throws a whole new set of Indian-esque flavours into our food too, with such gems as Massaman Curries (an Indian/thai influence dish) Burmese breakfast Nambia, Samosas, and authentic Burmese curries!

What is the best part about living in Sangkhlaburi?
The people in Sangkhlaburi are very welcoming and friendly, as I mentioned earlier there are a lot of different cultures here and each one is widely accepted as part of the community. You can walk down any street and children will run out of their houses just to shout “Hello!” at you.

Any advice you’d give to anyone coming to Thailand?
Throw yourself into everything you do, the food, the culture, and the parties! Everywhere you go in Thailand you get more out of it than you could possibly put in! Well worth a trip!

What is your favourite thai meal?
Pad Kha Pow Moo Grop is my favourite of the week! Crispy pork crackling fried in chilli and basil leaves over rice. Amazing!

With all the groups of volunteers and groups that come through Sangkhla, you must know some pretty funny or embarrassing stories…
Plenty! One time one of our long term volunteers spent the day on the building project helping to re-cement a floor, and accidentally bent over and ripped open his shorts! Luckily he did it when no-one was watching, as he had to admit to us it was laundry day and was going commando! Fortunately one of our staff had a towel handy and he had to spend an hour or so with a towel round his waist while she sewed up his shorts for him!

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Any advice you would give to someone coming to Thailand?
Throw yourself into everything you do, the food, the culture, and the parties! Everywhere you go in Thailand you get more out of it than you could possibly put in! Well worth a trip!

Until next time!

Ali, Sangkhlaburi Volunteer Coordinator

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