Well. It’s June. I’m a year older and my hair is huge (it’s officially rainy season).
I spend most of my time with a nice little group of people: Burma advocacy volunteers by day, Chiang Mai adventurers by night. With them, I go on 6 am road trips to the buffalo market for breakfast with cowboys. Friday mornings mean Burmese Shan noodles before work and Friday nights – pork belly. Always. We wander the city for fun and once, we bought a pig. We’re really, really into street food and the exploration of cooking without a kitchen (next project: cheese). I feel fortunate to have this little crew with whom I can belly laugh over gnarly food dares and Thai language/cultural woes, but also rely on to talk through the growing pains of being a 20 something expat (usually over a piece of pie). They’re great and I’m lucky to have found them.
When I’m not with my foodie crew – I’m with a different wonderful group of people: my Partners family. Despite weekend adventuring – Monday morning staff meetings are my favorite. A few hours where a group of busy people come together to drink coffee, snack on fruit and talk about what we’ve been up to. We’re up to a lot. Teams returning from Arakan state where they deliver food, medical care and tarps to the 100,000+ displaced and starving Rohingya. Updates on English classes and community development trainings at our new Migrant Center, SEED. Stories of the new medic trainees in Shan State, some of whom travelled 3 months through a war zone to attend. Photo slideshows of internally displaced persons in Kachin State – mostly women and children, as all the men are on the front lines. Dorothy and I continue to organize and streamline the weaving program, while also launching sewing trainings for migrant workers in both Chiang Mai and Mae Sot. We’re all busy and tired and happy and doing the best we can.
This past month as I’ve entered into that shaky stage of cultural adjustment (you know, the one where I miss comforts of home and can get into trouble, but not out of it…) I’ve been exceptionally grateful to be surrounded by so many lovely people. The support and encouragement I receive from here and home is amazing and appreciated to the moon and back (and back and forth again). So much love being sent to you all and sincere apologies for how often I talk about pork.