Hi! My name is Lara. I am 17 years old and I come from Australia. Joining GVI was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have made new friends, learned valuable life lessons, helped others in need and has opened up more job opportunities for myself!! Its like a win win scenario!! My trip was to Phang Nga in Thailand in the Under 18s Program. I have a great thirst for adventure so when I found out about GVI it was like hitting the jackpot! The days were never long enough and we did a variety or marine conservation, interacting with the local community and construction. One time we played soccer with some Burmese girls which they beat us pretty quickly! Even though we couldn't communicate with each other, it did not stop us from having heaps of fun! At one point it started raining and it was extremely muddy with us kicking a ball into the huge puddles and some of it even ended up in my mouth because I was laughing so much! In Thailand I became immersed in the beautiful culture of the Buddhist religion and also the food. Because we were in a traditional place the food was authentic and probably better quality than they were at home in Australia. The challenge was having rice for literally breakfast lunch and dinner! And battling my cravings for pizza! I learned so much about the religion of Buddhism. In our adventure week we went to see a couple of different temples in which I learned how the religion came to be and who exactly Buddha was. I thought I had a general idea but gosh how I was wrong! The people of Thailand were so friendly and would smile and say hello every time you would see them it was really refreshing from my own traditional homeland. The staff were really nice. They would inform us about all of the places we would go in presentations, they respected us as young adults and would give us our free time to do what we wanted.