Crashes, Questions and Challenges, Oh My!

This week has proven to be a bit nerve-racking.  I tried to secure a loan that would allow me to stay for the summer and continue on with my volunteerism but was denied.  My iTunes library became damaged and I can’t seem to restore it.  Two days later my iPhoto library crashed and 6,000 images vanished from my hard drive.  The original images are on memory cards so they are not gone, gone, thankfully, but I’ve lost days of work.  Add to all this delightfulness, an upset stomach with frequent runs to the toilet, and you pretty much understand where I’m at. It’s not been my week.

I have some major decisions to make as May progresses.  My funds are limited and must be used wisely.  Do I return home in June as originally planned?  Do I pay the $100 it will cost to delay my flight and stay for MTV EXIT even if it’s only for one more month?  Do I give up my apartment in the States or do I try to hold onto it?  Do I leave Mae Sai and attempt to find paid work elsewhere in Thailand?  Will I find work if/when I return to Zootown?  Do I bite the bullet and sell my car?

Volunteering internationally is an amazingly rewarding experience. However, it doesn’t pay the bills.  I am not independently wealthy nor do I have a trust fund, so eventually I have to find a job. What to do?  What to do?

Two things currently pose the biggest challenge:  my visa and my return flight.  I do not possess a visa for a long term stay.  Yet I don’t really have the funds to leave the country and get a longer term visa.  My return flight can be changed but I have return by September 22 or lose it entirely.  I can’t imagine leaving yet but it seems pretty challenging to stay.

I know one thing for sure:  these last five months have been incredible and regardless of when I’m leaving or what unfolds in the coming weeks, I know I must relish every minute I have left here.

I know these problems are privileged problems to have.  And they don’t really matter in the bigger picture.  There are far more serious dilemmas in the world.  This isn’t lost on me, I assure you.

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5 thoughts on “Crashes, Questions and Challenges, Oh My!

  1. Suck it up, buttercup. Stay until September, get a job teaching ESL, take some antacid, kick some asses. Your plants are flourishing here in Montucky. Think about the girls you are helping, and how small your problems are in comparison. I know I would be devastated to lose the contents of my I-tunes, but I would just go outside and look at a monkey or a lemur or a tranny or whatever and be thankful that I’m not in the United States Of Assholes. Love you!

  2. I agree. Stay as long as you possibly can, you never know what doors will open up for you there. Have you thought about entering the Foreign Service when you return? I know it’s pretty different from NGO work, but could be really interesting.

    1. Great to hear from you Kari! I didn’t know you were following! I will stay for as long as Thailand will allow and for as long as the money holds out. My best prospect is teaching English. Going home at some point to regroup and secure a fellowship or year-long NGO placement seems like not a bad idea. Of course, I can do this from here as well. I’m just gonna take one day at a time and trust that the solutions will present themselves. The goal, of course, is to stay in anti-trafficking work for the long term. If I can supplement with English teaching, I will. Also, I would like to go back to school; I just haven’t found a program in international development, social justice, or human rights with a solid focus in human trafficking. Let me know if you know something I don’t. I hope you and the hubby are doing awesome. Where are you and what are you up to? Big hugs from SE Asia!

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