Last time I wrote about Chiang Mai, this time, I´ll write about Wildflower Home, the place I work in. You may have read a bit about my tasks there already, but the organisation itself might not be familiar to you.
Wildflower Home is a non-profit organisation that provides shelter for single mothers and pregnant women. It is located a little outside of Chiang Mai in a rural context, surrounded by fields. The foundation itself contains beside the main building and the mother´s homes a day care for the older children and a small farm. The whole complex is designed with passion and love, the columns of the main building for example, are trees and all walls are painted with floral motives.
A lot of small channels and lakes help to water the plants in the farm during the dry season and give the whole area an idyllic outlook. It is truly a place to rest and recover, a place of peace – at least for me. That doesn´t mean that things are always sunny at Wildflower Home. It is like everywhere, you deal with the everyday life issues as well as the sometimes hidden personal problems. And I have suffered enough hours under the inclement sun fastening the soil around one of the ponds or shipping rice husk for the stables to know that the so called “simple life” is in the first place hard work and not simple at all. That it has nothing in common with the romantic idea of being consistent with nature and yourself you can find in many western societies. Still, I can imagine places to work in, which are worse. Every time I take a break from work, sitting in the shadow with my water bottle, with the beautiful view over the farm, the ponds and banana trees, the stables and the vegetable garden, I do feel very privileged. Privileged, because I am able to experiences this all, to see what we have done and what is left to do, because I have the opportunity be a small part of this organisation, joke with the other farm workers and just be thankful for a moment of rest.
Now I am writing again about my experiences here and you still don´t know more about Wildflower home. The whole point of the organisation is to encourage the mothers and give shelter for them and their kids as long as they need it. It is hard to write about “the mothers”, each of their stories is different and not all of them shall be shared in public. Their age varieties over almost twenty years, some have only one child, some a lot, some only stay for a couple of days and some for years. The only thing, that unifies them, is that they and their children are in needs. Wildflower Home tries to find a solution of each and every one of them, encourage them. For me as a volunteer this variety of needs means in the first place to be very flexible and creative. I try everything what needs to be done – you never know, you might be able to solve a problem if you just try. But it means also, to except, that from time to time an expert is needed or just someone, who is fluent in Thai.