Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CCT Volunteer John Pooler Last Blog Post (Thai Freedom House)

Thai Freedom House
Jack Pooler

I am currently finishing up my last week here at Thai Freedom House, and it feels like I have just arrived. It has been difficult getting ready to leave, especially being here for only 6 weeks, it feels like I am leaving without doing all that I wanted to. With no classes currently being taught at Thai Freedom House, most of the work I have been doing in my time here will not be applied until the next session of classes starts well after I leave. At first, this was hard to come to terms with, because it feels unfulfilling in the current moment. But much of the work I have done in my time here is to make future volunteers jobs easier, and it is taking solace in the fact that my contributions here will have a lasting impact that has made coming to terms with leaving easier, even if I will not be here to see the results.

Not much has changed in the past couple weeks in terms of the work I have been doing. Assisting with curriculum building with the other volunteer remains the primary focus. With no classes currently being taught, it is pertinent that we direct as much of our attention to this as possible because when the school opens up, there will be significantly less time to do these kinds of things.  At this time we have almost finished up beginning and intermediate English curriculums for the upcoming semester, while also continuing to build on an English training manual for the workers in Free Bird Cafe. Even after I leave, I hope to be able to contribute a little bit to these projects when I have time, because it is an unfinished project and one of the few things I can assist with while back home.

Since it is my last week, I also completed my last English tutoring session with the Freebird staff on Monday. Since many of them can already communicate in English, we have been working on emphasizing pronunciation and expanding vocabulary. This past week, we also worked different customer scenarios and what kinds of difficult questions that might get asked about the cafe, the menu, or Thai Freedom House. Their tutoring will continue after I am gone because there are a couple other tutors as well. It is often difficult to see improvements in language over such a short period of time, but even in the 4 weeks of tutoring I was a part of I have seen progress in their understanding and confidence speaking the language.

I have enjoyed my time at Thai Freedom House immensely. The work that is done here is so often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves because it is not as large as other non-profits. But they serve their community extremely well and are dedicated to their cause. The lack of access the community we serve has to many institutions leaves them extremely disadvantaged in education, work, and plenty of other institutions. The work done here is is important to helping them succeed and providing them with opportunities that might not be available otherwise. Being a part of this community and the work that is done here has been an invaluable experience, and I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity.

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