BK magazine interview with Marko Cunningham
Mobile Ambulance Driver Marko Andrew Cunningham
Marko Andrew Cunningham changes careers more often than some of us change our underwear. He was born in Liverpool, moved to New Zealand and then traveled throughout America, Europe and Asia, eventually settling down in Thailand. He’s now a teacher and a volunteer for the Ruamkatunyu Foundation, an organization that helps people deal with accidents, death and poverty. He spends B15,000 a month working for other people and running his mobile ambulance. You can help him helping the others by logging on to www.markokang.fabpage.com.
Is it hard changing from one field of work to another?
No, not at all. I normally choose the things I like to do. That’s why I’ve changed from electrician to policeman to manager to teacher to paramedic. I just follow my heart and basically do what I want to do.
What’s next the next one?
I think this is the end of the road, though—it’s what I love doing. Saving somebody’s life is probably the ultimate thing. This is the reason why I was born, the reason why I am here.
How did you get hooked up with the Ruamkatunyu Foundation?
The father of one of my first students was one of the bosses of Ruamkatunyu. She invited me to do some volunteer work. I went to a flood-hit area in Saraburi five or six years ago. It was my first time to meet poor people who had lost everything.
Your co-workers at the Foundation don’t speak English—any Lost in Translation moments?
Two days ago, I went to help somebody, but actually it was a snake. I thought I heard “puad” or “jeb”—I wasn’t sure. I went there very quickly and the pranakorn asked me why I came and I said, “Chuay kon jeb” [to help the injured]. They said it was a ngoo [snake] and the other said, “ngoo jeb mai?” [is the snake hurt?]. They started making fun of me.
What can we do to help?
You don’t need any experience to work with us—all you need is a strong stomach and a big heart. Or just donate food, clothes, toys or books—basically anything, money for coffins even. If you drive into a petrol station and see some volunteers, buy them a drink. It’s really appreciated.
In five years?
My five-year plan is to have my ambulance running and to be speaking fluent Thai. I also expect Ruamkatunyu to increase its service to the community in Thailand. I would like some support from the farang community in Thailand, as well, because I think farang like to help.
What would you like to do next?
Get married and have a kid. I really want a child. My girlfriend left me because I didn’t have time for her.
You can read the original story here.