so, for those of you who don't know, i worked with the bangkok refugee center(brc) to help them out with their school for refugee children. they had just received a few computers from some fund raising and we designed a basic computer class that taught them how to turn on a computer, use Word and the internet as well as teaching them how to use rosetta stone, a language software so that they could learn more english outside of class.
working for an NGO was eye-opening to say the least. these kids have been ripped from their homes and are now in bangkok were they are regarded by the Thai government as illegal immigrants. the brc was there to give these people social services and provide a learning center for the kids. it was amazing to see how happy these kids could be after all they have been through and how much they wanted to just learn and work at.
the project went really well and they are going to start using our class soon. we also gave them an online resource guide and a set of recommendations to improve the school. check out the majority of our project at users.wpi.edu/~brlc
i also experienced a lot in terms of food. the first few days were a little tough, i hadn't quite grasped what i was supposed to do. eventually i learned the key phrases in thai: "can you make vegetarian food?-ahaan jeh day may", "don't add fish sauce-may say naam plaa" and "don't add egg-may say khai" and was able to survive. i met this girl air who is vegan and thai and she was really awesome and showed me a few awesome restaurants. the best of these restaurants was may kaidee. whether you are vegan, vegetarian or neither you should definitely check this place out if you are in bangkok. greatest restaurant i have ever been to. the staff were very quirky and we would get more food than we could eat for under 4 bucks a person. including mango sticky rice for desert which was awesome. on my last day in bangkok i took a vegan cooking class there and it was awesome, if you want me to cook some vegan thai food sometime let me know cause it is fun and delicious.
another highlight was playing ultimate with the soi dawgz. there was a huge tournament where people from all over south east asia flew in to play and i happened to be there at the time. it was great and lots of fun. ultimate people are great all over the world.
now for some of the not so fun stuff of thailand. i got really sick a total of 4 times. i am pretty sure that is more than the rest of my wpi career all put together. ask me what "back on the hose" means sometime if you are really curious.
spring break was spent at koh chang (elephant island) and was supposed to be awesome. we were all stressed out from the project and were going to spend the week on beaches, hiking in the jungle and eating and drinking our cares away. sounds awesome right? things didn't work out for me because the first day there i rented a scooter and then proceeded to fall off of it a few hours later and scratch up my hand and knee. this was bad because due to these wounds i could not go in the ocean and since i was on antibiotics i could not drink. i also couldn't hike because of my knee. overall spring break was kind of a failure, i would have much rather gone to georgia to play ultimate.
overall the trip was amazing. there was much more to it than what i included here including building up friendships and experiencing a different culture. if you want to hear more about it sometime i will gladly talk to you about it, but i imagine if you have read this far you are probably sick of seeing it.
so now i am back in the united states and i have all these mixed feelings. i feel kind of distant from people and not sure if i belong here at WPI. i think i will save all of these thoughts for another entry.