By Phet Sengpunya (Berm), FLP-CLE, National University of Laos
My internship with BABSEACLE in Chiang Mai was one of the most important experiences in my life and one of the happiest. I learned a lot there. I learned more about CLE and how important it is for our society. I learned how to do community teaching. Teaching at Wildflower Home for single mothers in Northern Thailand was my first community teaching experience. I learned how to write a lesson plan and how to prepare before going to teach. I learned what materials are good for teaching and what to say: how to be prepared by practising before teaching, so that the teaching will be good and effective. I learned how to work in a team. Now I love to teach and give help to communities.
I learned about other cultures from the BABSEACLE staff and volunteers and Fellows and other interns. My favorite memory is of the goodbye party for Sukrat and Ellen. Ellen is Swedish and Sukrat is Pakistani-Canadian and they were going to the United States. I really enjoyed the party: we did a Lao folk dance and I learned a national dance of the Czech Republic and American line- dancing, too.
In CLE English class, I learned English, but I also learned about community teaching and about working in a clinic. I learned how to listen to the client and about client-centered lawyering, which is very important to me as a CLE intern. The role play in CLE English class helped me understand clearly because I could visualize the situation. We also had a special workshop with Professor Melinda Edwards on mediation and a special class on public speaking.
I was only there a short time, but I learned a lot at BABSEACLE and I made many new friends. I loved and enjoyed the externship legal studies clinic, and I would like to go back again, because the people at BABSEACLE are so friendly!