Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Getting to know you.... getting to know all about you..."

Hello from Chiang Mai, Thailand!

"Feeling a bit jet lagged Mr T.?"  Well get over it!  You've got lots of work waiting for you in Thailand and Laos!

Since arriving in Chiang Mai, I've been as busy as a..... well.... bee! ... meeting and talking with people, and in the process, laying the foundation for my work in Chiang Mai and Laos.  Through ongoing communication,  I have been building relationships and developing trust......  critical elements for a strong and productive relationship.

Sustainable local institutional capacity building is an important part of this trip.  Friends For Asia has asked me to assist them expand their volunteer program to Laos.  This expansion holds great potential of bringing new skills to the people of Laos.

Gaining a solid understanding of the Friends For Asia's Thailand program and its plans to expand into Laos has been much of my focus.  Frequent discussions with the Friends For Asia staff, reviewing the proposed Laos program business plan, along with ongoing conversations on the obstacles and the opportunities related to the proposed expansion, have helped me understand how I can be of assistance to Friends For Asia.

Winter semester at the Buddhist University will start in mid October.  Working through Friends For Asia, the Buddist University in Chiang Mai has proposed the creation of special English classes for the monks, that will I teach.  The curriculum is up to me to develop, however the focus will be on conversational English.
"By George, me thinks we've got us a plan!"


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