Summertime Rolls

Well, it’s official; I’m employed in Thailand.  It’s getting better by the day but that first week was brutal!  I’ve also vacated my apartment back home.  It was hard to let Ye Olde Stensrud Upper go, but nothing lasts forever.  Huge thanks to me mums, Sherry and Adam for doing the heavy lifting while I am 8,000 miles away.  There aren’t many people in the world who will do your dirty work and take care of the details of your life, but these three did.  They went above and beyond the call of duty.  I am forever in their debt.

Just to keep  me guessing and on my toes, I’ve been offered a position with Volunteers in Asia – a third-party volunteer placement organization.  So what does that mean exactly?  It means I could work for DEPDC/GMS for another year.  Volunteers in Asia (VIA) would provide me with a monthly living stipend, health insurance, training and a return flight in August 2012.  The catch?  I have to come up with some cash to participate in the program.  I’ll get it all back over the course of 12 months but it’s still cash I have to front.  If I’m to stay in Mae Sai working in the prevention of human trafficking, doing so with VIA is the ticket.  In many ways, this is the answer I needed.  I’m really quite fortunate that VIA’s volunteer for DEPDC/GMS (whomever she may be) dropped out last-minute leaving a space to fill.  I was beyond the deadine for applying but VIA made an exception and my application was accepted.  I was also granted a scholarship for partial waiver of my participation fee.  A sign from Buddha?

I have a few weeks to mull it over.  I feel grateful to have options and overjoyed to be earning money right now despite that teaching primary English is not something I want to do long-term.  It’s exhausting.  And I sound like Kathleen Turner.  That’s what happens when you shout at children all day.  And so the adventure continues.  I have many questions that need to be answered before I can accept VIA’s offer.  I also need to make sure I’m prepared to be here for another full year. 

In more exciting news, this weekend is the big MTV EXIT human trafficking awareness concert and campaign in Chiang Mai.  DEPDC/GMS is tabling the event, VIP tickets in hand.  The headliners are Super Junior – Korea’s insanely popular boy-band so I assume the girls and the gays will be out in droves.  I’ll be on the first bus outta Mae Sai on Friday.  MTV EXIT (and MTV in general) does media and they do it well.  Combined with documentaries on trafficking, prevention awareness, and music videos speaking out against modern-day slavery, I don’t think it gets much better than this!  25,000 people are expected to be at the event including numerous NGOs working in anti-trafficking in Southeast Asia.  I can’t fucking wait. 

Imma need to see you raise your hands at the concert!


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