Natalie Cataldo
Natalie Cataldo
Thailand 2018 - 2019
Sawadee Ka! My name is Natalie Cataldo, and I am in Thailand serving as a grant writer for the Wildflower Home in Chiang Mai and the Good Shepherd Youth Center in Chiang Rai. The sister organizations provide free long-term housing, education, recovery programs, and legal assistance for young women and single mothers who have sought help from dishonorable treatment (i.e. racial discrimination, domestic violence, etc.). I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to work with these organizations! Read More About Natalie →

Somebody send me their Halloween candy!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are doing well. I am doing fine here in Chiang Mai, and the past three weeks have gone by with a few changes. The Sisters of the home recently attended a conference in Bangkok with all of the other Good Shepherd Sisters in Thailand. This left me completely in charge of all communications and visits for two weeks, and I also was able to put in a good amount of time to clean the office and reorganize a lot. 

I now have more co-workers (long-term volunteers) at the Wildflower Home, and they are wonderful! Pierre and Constanza are from Bordeaux, France, and they have moved to Thailand to work at the home for the next two years! Pierre is helping restructure the farm on the property to create a bigger yield for all of the homes meals, and Constanza is the head educator at our daycare and she will begin to transition it to the Montessori education style soon. Constanza is originally from Chile, and they both speak to their 1-year old daughter Magdalena in Spanish, French, English, and Thai. We now have many languages being spoken at the home, and I love the atmosphere that it creates. I’ve started brushing up on my Spanish skills from high school to speak to Magdalena and Constanza, and I hope to leave Thailand with a little bit of knowledge on how to speak conversational French. I have two more visits with my Thai tutor, Khru Pin, before our time together ends. My Thai language skills are improving, but also becoming a little jumbled with other languages happening. Sometimes a sentence comes out like this: Thai beginning + English word to replace a Thai word I don’t remember + Thai + English word or a broken fragment + English again dangnabbit + Thai + unnecessary Spanish ending such as “para mi” or “por favor” = palm to forehead. 

As we get closer towards the end of the year, I am hoping to finish a few more grants for the Wildflower Home. With so many transitions happening in the next year and the possibility of the home doubling in care for mothers/children, it has become apparent to all that the home needs more English – speaking Thai staff members. I am hoping to lock down grants to provide the salaries for these positions. 

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks!

Sweet Constanza, Magdalena, and Pierre! I am so thankful to have them here with me at the home.

Sweet Constanza, Magdalena, and Pierre! I am so thankful to have them here with me at the home.

A few girls from Remote Year that have volunteered at the home a few times this past month. I have loved getting to hang out with so many people from all over the world!

A few girls from Remote Year that have volunteered a few times this past month. I have loved getting to hang out with so many people from all over the world!

Cabbage from our garden that is used in many of our meals.

Cabbage from our garden that is used in many of our meals.

Watching the new home for the mothers being built has really been a sight to see. The men and women work very hard and they amazing me with their balancing skills.

Watching the new home for the mothers being built has really been a sight to see. The men and women work very hard and they amazing me with their balancing skills.

The current stage of building we are in!

The current stage of building we are in!

The women make these adorable baby holsters and watching them walk around with their babies makes my heart weep (in a good way).

The women make these adorable baby holsters and watching them walk around with their babies makes my heart weep (in a good way).

This is the And Kaew Reservoir at Chiang Mai University. I started going there last week to exercise and relax, and I think it   will be a prominent location for me during my time in Thailand.

This is the Ang Kaew Reservoir at Chiang Mai University. I started going there last week to exercise and relax, and I think it will be a prominent location for me during my time in Thailand.

The Wildflower Home

The Wildflower Home

We are trying to better security standards at the home. Physical changes to the home are beginning as well as changes to the social media and coverage of the women and children. I am starting to post only pictures such as this one to continue the social media platform use yet protect the women and children from exposure.

We are trying to better security standards at the home. Physical changes to the home are beginning as well as changes to the social media and coverage of the women and children. I am starting to post only pictures such as this one to continue the social media platform use yet protect the women and children from exposure.

Our Super Woman staff person, Pi Nonglek, with a volunteer from France.

Our Super Woman staff person, Pi Nonglek, with a volunteer from France.

DSCF6807

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a prominent temple in Thailand. This past weekend, a couple of friends and I woke up at 5am to motorbike to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise. This temple has 1,000s of guests weekly, and we loved being there at a time when there was less than 10 people (besides the monks).

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

 
I’m learning so much here (like how to crack an egg with one hand woahhh she bad), and I am so grateful for this opportunity. Also- I get to see my family in 48 days, woohoooo!

Natalie

I found a (Thai-style) hot dog. It  was amazing.

I FOUND HOT DOGS

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