Khiri REACH: Freelance Guide Support Fund

10 Jun 2020

Stories from our guides...

 

Mr. Sounthone – Local guide in Laos

How is the lockdown going for you? 

Oh! My Goodness! Of course life has been a bit more difficult lately with watching out for the daily expenses but even during this situation I feel blessed because I have much more time to stay with my family, and especially my little princess daughter.

What do you miss the most about your job as a guide? 

Ah great question! I miss meeting my colleagues but most of all, I miss giving tours and showing off the beautiful natural forest and rivers of my country, explaining and sharing our culture and traditions…

How do you spend your time during lockdown?

I play with my family, doing some light activities in the yard like playing badminton in the front yard. I also spend time reading books and teaching English to my kid.

Where would you like to travel when all of this is over? 

I would like to travel to Japan, Myanmar and Indonesia, but also focus more on discovering parts of Laos where I have never been.  

 

Mr. Anton Suranga Perera - Local guide in Sri Lanka

Anton has been working with us from starting since 2017. He is one of the top guides we have and he has always received excellent feedback from the clients because of the service levels he maintains consistently. Anton drives a sedan car and hence most of the time handles couples. In addition to this, he has handled a lot of Bird watching tours which is his passion and where his knowledge is the strongest.

Anton is a valuable person for Khiri as someone who has the ability to get a client to visit Sri Lanka again and again. Anton most worried right now about the tourism industry as a whole and the future of everyone involved.

The most difficult aspect of Coronavirus shutdown has been that without having any tours for months, doesn’t have any other income to maintain his family.

During this time Anton is still trying to keep a positive attitude by being involved in gardening , planting trees, playing with his children and helping the family for the household works.

He hopes the world will find out a vaccine for Covid-19 virus soon and tourism industry will recover.

Anton is looking forward to give the maximum service to our clients following government safety rules and the company rules.  

 

Mr. Sinh - Local guide in Hoi An, Vietnam

What are you worried about the most in this current situation?

The problem I worry the most is no body can tell us when all the countries reopen  and tourism will come back as normal. This can be over a year even 2 years. The virus has not only a serious influence to tourism field but also change the customs of most the people in the world.  Therefore, our guests in the future won't want to pay a big amount of to travel because they also want to save money. The agencies try to find more tourist market in a short term of research and preparation, this will give us more choices but we can not do the best because we have not understood much about the new market yet.

What is the most difficult aspect of coronavirus shutdown and no work?

All of the business fields in the world have been affected by the Corona but the most difficult one is tourism and people who are working in this field. There are too many travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, tourist transportation , shops which have been closed for a long time, sold to the richer one or even bankrupted.

What have you been doing to keep a positive attitude while there is no work?

I've spent most the time with my family, house and garden. I think we have been too busy and this is an opportunity to look after each others. I suppose that I am not the only one lost the job but many people even lost every thing. We are all try to find a new job to support our lives, and I choose teaching English for this time because I can easy to open my own course and it help me keep my English communicate skill well until I can work again as a tour guide.

What are your hopes for the future? 

I hope every one is safe and fine. It is not easy but I hope tourism will get back soon and better than before. I hope my job can be more convenient and stable

What are you looking forward to the most when tourists come back? 

I can not image how my first group tour look like when I work again. I maybe will give every one welcome flowers and a warm big hug to thanks for their coming. I am looking forward to have more challenges from tours because I am always ready for that.  

 

Mr. Namal Perumathanthri - Local guide in Sri Lanka

Namal has been working with us since 2017 and has always received great feedback ever since. He has his own style of handling clients and everyone likes his sense of humour. He has good knowledge about our cluture and wildlife and also loves hiking and trekking.

Namal has also supported us with product development when we created a signature programme in Polonnaruwa, which is his hometown. Namal is worried the most right now about the health of his family and the community at large . Apart from that, he is also worried about how to pay the lease for his vehicle.

The most difficult aspect of Coronavirus shutdown and no work is that he doesn’t have any other income to maintain his family. He is trying and thinking of how to create different sources of income.

What Namal is doing to keep a positive attitude while there is no work is Gardening, trying to prepare new dishes while helping to his wife for cooking. He likes spending all the time with his family to stay close with each other.

He hopes for the future a speedy recovery to the entire world and our industry will be back to normal soon. He is waiting to give his best for Khiri.

Namal is looking forward to when tourists come back, to start fresh, with new things. Expecting to give exceptional service for our clients.

 

Mr. Anton Buu – Local guide in Indonesia

When I was a student, some of my friends called me Stickman because I made use of a stick to walk. It’s because I got polio when I was two years of age.

My name is Antonius Buu. I am from Flores. When I was a student, some of my friends called me Stickman because for I made use of a stick to walk. It’s because I got polio when I was two years of age. Nowadays children in this part of the world also receive vaccination against polio. I just missed the boat.

In 1991, I started working in the tourism field. I was employed by an Amsterdam based Travel Organization as a tour guide. I worked for this company until 2003. I mainly guided tourists’ groups in Java and Bali although sometimes I traveled further with them in the area of Small Sunda Islands. My stick doesn’t bother me doing my job like going up and down a hill or climbing the steps or walking through the jungle, on the contrary it helps.

The downfall of tourism after the World Trade Center attack and Bali bombs made me pack my bag and return home to start a video studio named Malobo Studio. But in 2005, I returned to the tourism industry working as a tour guide and tour leader for Small Sunda Islands (Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores) for Sunda Trails and other companies. From 2010 until now I am only working for Sunda Trails which later became Khiri Travel. I love leading tours so much. I think it is just in my blood. I have tried other jobs such as video (clip) editor, cameraman, and computer technician but I like being a Tour Leader best. Traveling around, doing tours and meeting a lot of people from different walks of life widen my horizon.

As a man born and bred in one of these islands, I am happy to be your tour leader/guide to show you around to see and feel the differences we have in life. I do think that the central theme of your booking a trip is the ‘difference’. I do realize that there is a big difference between a tour leader and a tour guide. But I am a tour leader who was once a tour guide, so I know a lot of small information that would make your holiday more than just a holiday. When I tell you things, I do not merely tell you from what I see or read but also from what I experience and feel in life because I am grown up with all these things.

Souvenir I expect most of my clients to take home is not pictures, home videos, key rings or statues that would be placed somewhere in the house or office and soon forgotten because of the daily routine but the memory in the heart. I will do my best not only to make you see Indonesia but more than that to feel Indonesia. Welcome on my tours.  

 

Ms. Penkhae Nilla Camsa (Bammie) - Local guide in Chiang Mai, Thailand

What are you worried about the most in this current situation? 

I really do worry about no income and there is not much to do since everyone around the world is struggling in the same situation

What is the most difficult aspect of coronavirus shutdown and no work?

Again, no income is the hardest thing right now.

What have you been doing to keep a positive attitude while there is no work?

I keep myself busy by making some handmade for sell which I often do when I have free time after the tour as a hobby. I also plant some vegetables in the backyard and around the house so we have some organic veggies to eat.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope that tourism will come back booming again very soon and another business as well.

What are you looking forward to the most when tourists come back?

I just wish tourists will keep Thailand as one of their top list destinations as before.  

 

Ms. Gayan Abeykoon - Local guide in Sri Lanka

Gayan has been working with us since 2017 and has specialized in handling couples as he drives a sedan car.

What he is worried about the most is that this situation will last long and that he will not be able to do what he loves the most for a long time. Guiding is his Life.

The most difficult aspect of Corona Virus shutdown and no work is actually missing the social part of his job. Not just the connections he made with the clients and ensuring them to have the best experience in Srilanka, but also with other people he met during the tours like other guides, third party suppliers and other travelers. He has grown a big social network all over the Sri Lanka in the past years.

What Gayan is doing to keep a positive attitude is to keep connected to his job and updating his knowledge about Srilanka. Although he has been working in this industry for a long time, He believe there are always new things to learn and update or to see different points of view. Also these times in Lockdown helped him to spend more time with his daughter, as she did not go to school of course. As she is planning to go to University next year and start a new life. This is one of the last chance he got to be close and see that as a positive side of the lockdown. And he is trying to keep updated about what is going on over the world, so that he can relate to the situation new clients are arriving from .

Gayan is looking so much forward to see how eager the people will be to travel to Srilanka when this situation is getting more stabilized. Everyone has been in longer or shorter lockdown and has their own stories to tell. And most of all, people will be happier because they can travel again. All the more reason to make sure that they will get the best experience ever that is what makes them happy.

 

Mr. Artana - Local guide in Indonesia

What are you worried about the most in this current situation?

Worry being infected with coronavirus. Just like the other people, I'm scared to go outside, not good for current of trading, not good for the economic, no job no incomes of course even can be stressful

What is the most difficult aspect of coronavirus shutdown and no work?

The most difficult aspects are no job, no income.

What have you been doing to keep a positive attitude while there is no work?

Keep social distance, Just stay at home and do daily activities like clean house, laundry for myself and my kids, cook for my own food etc.

Following the protocol, I wash my hands when I go outside, use a mask and hand sanitizer, and change clothes after use. Also  take a shower as soon as possible and enough rest and good food.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope no coronavirus, I  hope corona will be over soon. I hope WHO could find out the vaccine for the coronavirus and worry free of the coronavirus..

What are you looking forward to the most when tourists come back?

Good health, normal life, a lot of activities, good current for the trading and economy, a lot of jobs and a lot of tourists with good health and free from coronavirus.

 

 

 

 

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