Alumni Spotlight: Leslie Osterloh

Why did you decide to volunteer with Kaya in Thailand?

Leslie: My husband and I are advocates of giving back. We couldn’t see ourselves sipping margaritas on the beach for 2 weeks, that’s just not us. For our honeymoon we had a very non-conventional itinerary. We wanted to go to Uganda and Thailand; Uganda to work with Malaria and water needs and Thailand to focus on child trafficking. We ended up just going to Thailand because of the political turmoil in Uganda at the time and the non-profit we were working with decided to cancel the trip because of the danger.

Kaya Volunteers in Thailand

I’ve been a lot of places in my life and have done a lot of crazy adventures, but to go into a country and try to gain an in depth understanding of the culture you’re visiting is radically difficult. As you walk through life there are always two sides; Light/Dark, Need/Want, Truth/Lie. My hope is that you now understand the truth about Thailand. The beauty this country has but the darkness that undertones that beauty.

Volunteering in Thailand with Kaya

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Emily: Due to the fact that we were only there for about a week or so, we really didn’t have a chance to dive into all the problems. We just got to learn about them which helped us better understand this social injustice issue as a whole. Our goal was to come back to the States and to be the voice for these people and help others understand what is going on here. Our hope is to also raise money for COSA (Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia).