Before being accepted as a volunteer at Baan Unrak, I had to fill out a rather extensive application. I am going to include the essay portion of it here, because it is in this essay that I feel I best answer the question "why?"
Losing one’s self in service is the best way to find one’s self. At least, that’s what I’ve always heard, and that’s what I’m hoping for. I’m at a time in my life where I’m approaching some big decisions: where to live, who to marry, and what to choose as a career—just to name few. I feel like I’m expected to make the biggest decisions I’ll ever make at a time when I hardly know who I am or what I want. I’ve started looking for volunteer opportunities in hopes that perhaps through leaving my own culture and cultural expectations and serving someone in another culture, I will be able to not only increase in experience, knowledge, and love, but I will become more aware of who I am, and how I fit in the world.
I love people, especially Thai people, and I want the experience of serving someone who is truly in need of help. I plan to work hard, but no matter how much I strive to help the mothers and children at Baan Unrak, I have a hunch that this experience will have more of an impact on my life than my service will help them.
Baan Unrak’s Neo-humanism approach especially appeals to me. I’ve long been a believer that to learn to love others should be the primary goal of this life, and I am anxious to learn how neo-humanism puts this view into practice. I’ve never had a cigarette, partaken of drugs, or had a sip of alcohol in my life, so I’m relieved to know that Baan Unrak supports this lifestyle. I am not a vegetarian, so eating vegetarian meals will be a new experience for me, but it’s one I’m anxious to try.
Although I am excited to try out a vegetarian life-style, I’m looking for more than just a diet change from Baan Unrak. I am praying that Baan Unrak will provide me with the opportunity to love more than I thought I had the capacity to, work harder than I thought I had the ability to, and to completely lose myself in the experience so that I will emerge having found a part of myself that I’ll never lose again.