So you found your way here. Lovely. Let’s start with some introductions. I’m Meggie. I’m 21, living in Glasgow, studying computer science. And this summer, I’m going to Thailand. I’m going with a non-profit, Christian organisation called Tearfund.
My team consists of 5 girls, ranging in age from 18 to 23 (24, by the time we get to Thailand). In Thailand, we will be working with Siam Care, who are a tearfund partner organisation based in Thailand. Our main focus in Thailand is families affected by HIV/AIDs. We will be concentrating our time on home visits to people who are so ill, that they cannot leave their homes, and teaching English (and possibly some health/sex education) to children (both in primary and secondary schools). As of right now, we don’t know much more than that. We know that we will be flying in to Bangkok, and hopefully spending time there to get an idea of Thai culture, and then we will be travelling (by bus, probably) to either Mukdahan (pronounced like ‘moo-k-da-han’, not ‘muck-da-han’) or Phang Nga (‘fang nah’, apparently..), which are both rural projects run by the partner. That’s about all I can tell you now.
So basically I’ve decided to set up a blog, so I can tell the world about Thailand, and what we are doing, and also about my fundraising efforts (I need to raise £1,200 plus flights), and hopefully I will be able to update this blog in country. It’s a way of recording the whole thing, both for myself and for other people if they are interested.
There are just three months until I fly out, and there is so much to be done. I need to get vaccinations (but first, I should really register with a doctor…), I need to buy some new, light clothes, so I don’t melt in the heat. I’m also the flight co-ordinator for my team, so I have to find us cheap flights, and make sure that everyone knows the right details, and gets on the same flight! I need to raise the money to be able to pay for the trip. But most importantly (in my mind, at least) I need to learn as much as I can about Thailand, so I can be respectful to the people I meet, and not completely ignorant. I want to be able to know about the culture I am entering into, so that I don’t mess up and show the soles of my feet to everyone I meet! (In Thai culture, that’s about level with showing someone the finger..).
I’ve just got home from the training event, where we were bombarded with information and new people, and we had just 2 days to get to know our team members. My team is the smallest at just 5, and we’re only one of two single sex teams. The other teams we met are going to Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and India. I now have various books about travel health, culture, prayer, vaccinations, medical advice, flights…
One thing that I am very excited about, is seeing how this trip is going to change my view of the world, and my relationship with God. I truly feel God is calling me to Thailand, and I’m so excited to find out why that is. Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country (over 94% Buddhist), and less than 0.7% of the population is Christian (that percentage also includes many other religions). I know this trip is going to be seriously challenging, not only because it’s a new country, not only because it’s a small team and therefore tensions will be more noticable (not to mention we’re all girls…), but because I will actually be seeing poverty and serious illness first hand, and it’s going to hit me so hard how much we in Britain actually have.
There is so much more I could talk about, but I think 600+ words are enough for today! I will try to update this every time I find out more information, because my aim is to take you on the journey with me.
la-gon (that’s goodbye in Thai, apparently)