Day 38: Elephant Nature Park.
Today was the best. day. ever.
As we drove into Wildflower, I was enamored by the beauty and simplicity of the area.
New HIV/AIDS infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been increasing significantly in Chiang Mai. The diverse MSM community in Chiang Mai faces increased vulnerability due to stigma, violence and discrimination which could enhance MSM risk of HIV infection. According to the Thailand Department of Disease Control, ‘the city’s MSM do not have as much access to public health services or medication for HIV/AIDS’ as the general population.
It is my second week in Chiang Mai as a BABSEA CLE intern, and last Friday (10th of July, 2009) was my first time teaching Human Rights and Law by teaching ?English at the Juvenile Detention Center. The lesson we conducted revolved around the different feelings, how to express them and represent them through drawings and facial expressions. I was very much looking forward to the experience – a very privileged opportunity for us to access the center and interact with the girls. The hour in a half of teaching was even more dynamic and interactive than I would ever have imagined, and it was a pleasure to share a few personal anecdotes with the girls. I was amazed by their cooperation and their enthusiasm. The majority of them were very affectionate and keen to learn.
BABSEA CLE Supporting Harbour House – Thailand Shelter for Child Victims of Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
“Remember, if we screw this up, they don’t eat until next rainy season!” Kelly (BABSEA CLE Legal Studies Intern) kept reminding Corn (BABSEA CLE Volunteer Coordinator) and I of this as we waded through the foot-deep water getting stuck in the soft mud of the rice paddy. It was Saturday afternoon and we were fresh off the 5 hr bus ride from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai, a town on the border of Thailand and Burma. We had arrived at Harbor House, a shelter which provides support, safety and opportunity to child victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, to learn that the germinated rice seeds were ready to be replanted in the paddy. The shelter has a large organic farm and is almost completely self-sustaining.
A number of significant ideas were raised during the discussion of what life would be like with only $1US per day.