Now that you have met the rest of the team there is only one more person that you have left to meet. That person is our manager, the medical coordinator and all around go to for volunteers and her name is Nam.
Nam with our baby elephant Katin, when she was only a week old
You may have seen Nam in a couple of older posts about Medical or our company meeting down to Cha Am but this will be her proper introduction to you all. No matter what project you are working on, whether it be teaching, elephants, childcare or medical, you will meet Nam, along with the rest of the team, on arrival in Surin. She also makes regular visits to the volunteer houses to check on everyone and field any questions or issues that you may have.
Born and raised in Surin, Nam is definitely a local and knows some of the best restaurants and haunts that you may otherwise not get to visit or experience. Nams local knowledge and connections have helped Starfish continuously over the two years she has worked with us to create a seamless relationship with projects and volunteers; many of our project locations and contacts are made through Nams connections locally.
After being an English Major at the local Surindra Rajabhat University here in Surin, Nam went on to work with other companies where her English skills were an integral part of her job, this means that Nam has some of the most developed English skills that I have seen in anyone who doesn’t have a parent or step parent who is a native English speaker. Because of this Nam is always the one to deal with any issues that volunteers have because she can fully understand everything you say and she is very sympathetic to any feelings that volunteers may have, whether it be being home sick, struggling with their project or even personal issues.
Nam and some physio volunteers meeting Auf, the tallest man in Thailand
Nam is our regular medical coordinator but she is currently working in the office taking care of the rapidly increasing numbers of volunteers and all of the behind the scenes work that comes with it all, and when I say behind the scenes work I mean hours and hours of organising and orientating where everyone is and what everyone is doing, this requires so much organisation and some rather late nights for Nam in the office. It all pays off though when everything runs as smoothly as it does, even if a problem ever does occur it is fixed so quickly you would never even think it had happened, all because of the work that Nam does.
Whitney and Nam on the way to a home visit on the Medical Project
Not only does Nam do work in the office but she can also be seen on each project checking up on everything and making sure everything is running smoothly. Nam recently attended the huge English Camp that we put on in our previous teaching location as well as coming to check in on the newest location and how the volunteers were holding up teaching there; always giving up her own time to check in on volunteers and make sure that they and their projects are up and running smoothly.
Nam and some medical volunteers having a great night out in Samed
A great example of Nam sacrificing her own time to ensure that volunteers are happy is the amount of weekends she has spent taking volunteers down to Koh Samed and showing them around the beautiful island and everything that it has to offer, from its beautiful beaches to its incredible night life; Nam is full of knowledge about several of the different island around Thailand so if you ever have any questions about which islands to hit, then Nam is your girl.
Nam and her Niece
Nams two Chihuahuas
When Nam isn’t working in the office, on project or tirelessly taking volunteers to the beautiful Thai islands she can be found hanging out with her friends at a clothes store in town, with her two very adorable dogs or with her niece and her family. As with all Thais, Nam is centered hugely around her friends and family and you can see this in the time that she dedicates to making everyone as happy as possible. But if you still can’t find Nam after looking in clothes shops, her house or with her family then the last place you need to check will be Nams favourite haunt and that would be the locally famous Jahbar!
But no matter where you are, Nam is only ever a phone call away from being your fairy godmother or your knight in shining armor depending on what kind of pickle you have managed to get yourself into!
To see what Nam is up to then take a second to check out her Instagram ‘salitanam’ or even check out her Twitter which she regularly updates with pictures of what she is up to day to day. To take a look at the projects Nam is in charge of then shimmy on over to the Starfish Website and the Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook and Starfish Tumblr pages.
Build. Protect.Teach. Care. – The Starfish Motto