Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hello from Maggy!

Hi everyone!

I'm Maggy and I hail from sunny Southern California, specifically a little beach town called Ventura.

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (another beach town-I really like the beach...) a little over two years ago with a Bachelor in Communications.

After graduating I did a bit of travelling around Western/Southern Europe and then landed a position in politics, working as a field representative for a state elected official. Through my experience in politics I was able to gain a unique perspective into state law and policy-making, while also using my direct ties to learn about significant issue areas such as water, education, the environment, public safety, and non-profits. Although all interested me, I felt spread thinly across several different topics and preferred to focus on, and be an expert in one field--something I deeply cared about.We can all strive to make the world a better place if we genuinely care about the work we do, right?

As far back as I can remember I have always been passionate about societal issues and helping at-risk populations. To be honest, there is nothing else I have ever really considered dedicating my life to-I don't feel as strongly about anything else. However, for a long time I just knew I wanted to help people. But help people how? I didn't really know. I just wanted to do some good. Working as a field representative I was able to learn a lot about government, but I knew it wasn't something I was going to commit my life to. I see politics as longitudinal systematic change and I'm all about direct, hand-to-hand, help. So I decided to take a risk and do something I have always wanted to do. And that's why you are reading this now.

I quit my job and came to Thailand to spend the next 6 months interning at Urban Light through CCT. Urban Light is dedicated to helping boys at risk of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I am very excited to be able to not only immerse myself in the beautiful Thai culture, but to have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to such an important cause. I am really looking forward to making the most of my time here!

If there is anything else you need to know about me, it's that I am a super upbeat, positive, warm person, who really just wants to be your friend. Oh, and I LOVE to eat and be adventurous-whether it be with food or exploring some new terrain. Need a new buddy? Just say the word :)


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Teaching... With a Twist!

From the 2nd November to the 18th of December I taught English at the Wat Kuang Singh school in Chiang Mai. 

The biggest challenge was the communication with the kids, because most of them had only learned English for a short time and so they understood next to nothing of what I was trying to say. But with the help of tooth and nail, pictures, a Thai speaking teacher or google translate, everything was possible. 

I taught 3 different classes and discussed different topics in every class. With the youngest (6-7 years old) I talked about pets and the numbers until 20. We learned new words with pictures and played pantomime games. 

The middle ones are about 8-10 years old and we spoke about our families and the different rooms in a house. We drew our family trees and the ground plots of our homes. 

The oldest ones are about 10-12 years old and they were the biggest class with about 48 students. It was really hard to work with such different levels in one class. But they all had fun when we talked about weekend activities or the western Christmas. Furthermore we played a lot of hangman to learn and remember new words. 

The other teachers were really nice and from my first day on I was a part of the team. One day we made a school trip to Doi Suithep and to the Bhubing Palace. Because the guided tour was in Thai the teachers did everything to explain the whole tour to me. And at the temple a few girls took me with them and showed everything to me.

Furthermore I learned how to build a krathong, a traditional, boats like structure made from banana leaves and flowers as part of the Loy Krathong Festival. I was a bit helpless at the beginning but the teachers and also the students showed me how to fold banana leaves and how to fix them on the banana trunk. 

The father's day ceremony was also a great experience. Everybody wore a yellow shirt and girls of all ages performed traditional thai dances. They also sang the National Anthem and other Thai songs and every adult had to write greetings for the King in a book. After the ceremony every class made their own chilli paste and then sold them. 

I should also say something about the food because I've never had such delicious food at a school. I am really impressed that one person is able to cook such good food for so many people.

All in all I had a awesome time here and I am really upset that this time has ended so fast. But the time here showed me that I really want to become a teacher in the future and I'm thankful that I was able to have all these experiences.

Alina, Germany