This past few weeks have certainty been busy! I am now over the half way point with less than 100 days left until I return to Australia.
This month we had the opportunity to head to the International Office of Migration’s (IOM) regional office here in Bangkok and learn about the work they do. Broadly speaking IOM works in the areas below.
· Migration and development
· Facilitating migration
· Regulating migration
· Forced migration
IOM activities that cut across these areas include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants' rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration. The training was run by an expert with over 20 years experience and needless to say the session was very useful.
Last month I was very fortunate to have my family visit. We had a lovely time in Phuket catching up all together. It was great to explore another part of Thailand and see the variety that this country has to offer. A personal highlight for me was the snorkeling tour!
April 13th– 15th also marked the beginning of Songkran, or the Thai New Year. It is known as the ‘water festival’ however it is more like a nationwide water fight. The roads are the arena, and armed with buckets, water guns, ICE cold water….the fight is on against every local and foreigner alike.
I spent Songkran in Chiang Rai with the Morley Family and we, alongside three other families took our posts either in the back of a truck or by the side of the road and splashed anyone we could find. Needless to say, we were splashed back. By the end of it, I was very wet and cold! It was quite an odd occurrence to be cold in Thailand but it was a lot of fun.
It was also a wonderful to spend time with the Morley family who have just moved to Thailand with a family of 7. Five kids, all under the age of 12! To hear about some of the work they are doing in beginning a Crisis Pregnancy Home click here. I also got to spend time at The Little Farm Thailand. This little farm exists with the purpose of helping those affected by human trafficking, the sex trade and poverty. Chiang Rai is not only a beautiful place, its filled with beautiful people doing inspiring work.
At the end of April, we had another training session run by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). UNFPA, is an agency of the United Nations that focuses on reproductive health and human rights. Their mission is to deliver, “A world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.”
As time goes on, I’ve truly learnt what it means to be alone in a city, to have things lost in translation and have come to realize that although there are significant challenges to living in Thailand, it is also a pretty cool adventure.