After more than 40 hours of travel and trapezing through airports, bus stations, and overwhelming shopping centers, 3/4ths of the GROW 2013 team arrived in Mae Sot, Thailand. Our bus (more on that in my traveling blog post) arrived into the town, which is located on the Thai/Burma border, at 4:30 am. As I write this, it is about 5:30 pm. Don’t worry, we took a nap almost as soon as we got to the office.
Mae Sot is the location of one of BWU’s offices, and is the main place we will be staying during the next six weeks. We met with Noe Noe Htet San (one of the main managers at BWU) along with other staff members (Zin Zin, Zar Zar, Lay Dee, and May). We decided what us interns would be doing on this year’s GROW trip.
To boil it down to the basics, we will be:
- -Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the reproductive health discussions at BWU
- Buying teaching supplies for the nursery school in the Mae La Oon Refugee Camp
-Evaluating the nursery site for the future possible implementation of a community garden
- Interviewing BWU Members to help their future university partner (St. Edwards in Austin, TX) become familiar with BWU and hit the ground running next year
- Agreeing on a MOU with our new partner (Burma Humanitarian Mission) and assessing the needs of local schools
- Teaching English lessons to other BWU interns (Zin Zin, May, and Zar Zar)
- Visiting schools in Mae Sot district and other organizations with similar interests to BWU
- Conducting research on the social stigmas surrounding birth control use in Burmese communities, the varying attitudes toward Burmese migrant communities, and assessing the current opinion within Thai/Burma communities on political injustice in Burma.
If I’ve missed anything, I apologize. We three interns who are here (Morgan, Rachel, and myself [Rachael B]) are still a little tired from our travels. For the most part, though, we will be busy from 9 am – 3 pm each day, M-F. Saturday and Sundays are our “holiday.”
Dandi will be here next week, and we look forward to her arrival.
Here are some pictures of the office and where we are staying:
Look out for a blog post detailing our adventures on our way over here!