Evgeny ‘John’ Parfenov said that although that was officially their first event, it most certainly won’t be their last.
“Actually tomorrow, we’re going to plant trees at our Orthodox temple in Thalang.”
The group, which comprised mainly of young Russians in their 20s and 30s, were from a variety of businesses and industries on the island.
The only thing that bound them, John said, was their love of Naiharn and their desire to take care of the beautiful island that is now their home.
“There are many Russians in Phuket now, so we wanted to do more social stuff because we want to stay here.”
For John, these events were also a perfect opportunity of showing a positive side to their community, “We want to show people that we are all not just drinking vodka and being badly behaved. The majority of us don’t even drink or smoke. We are normal people.”
Elena Bogdanova was one such environmentally aware member of the Phuket Russian community who helped to clean up more than 20 bags of rubbish from the beach throughout the day of cleaning.
She added that some of the more diving-proficient members would also be going into the water to clean the sea bed later on.
She said, “We’ve started on Naiharn beach because it’s the most dirty place, but after we will go to Kata and everywhere on the island.”