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Russian student becomes temple boy and helps out local community

Samui Times Editor

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Russian student becomes temple boy and helps out local community | Samui Times
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25 year old, Russian student Ivan, has been stranded in Thailand due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

Due to being broke and stranded, Ivan earns his keep by helping out around the Surat Thani temple.

Such as, handing out meals alongside Buddhist monks, teaching English to novices, sweeping the temple courtyard and handing out lunch boxes to give to the villagers who suffered from Covid-19, causing him to be quite popular among the local villagers.

Phra Khru Pisal Pattananukit, the patriarch of Wat Mai Pattararam in the Surat Thani municipality, says that the tourist, identified only as Ivan, has been staying at the temple since March 26.

“Ivan is well-mannered, kind, and industrious. he wouldn’t accept money from us. He wanted to work, but I was afraid it would be illegal, so I let him stay in the wat and teach English to our novices.”

The abbot says the visitor arrived from Koh Samui, where he had been on holiday. Running out of money, he asked if he could stay at the temple while waiting for a flight back to Russia. But there were no flights to be had, as most airlines grounded their fleets and inbound flights were banned from Thailand in early April.

The monk praised him for not sitting idly at the temple, saying he helped other monks to clean the premises and worked in the kitchen preparing free meals for people in the neighbourhood.

Ivan declined to give his last name.

Luckily for him, the government has allowed foreigners holding all types of non-immigrant visas to stay in the country until July 30 without the need to file for extensions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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