Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's been a while...

but we've really just been hanging out at the office, I in many a bra choom (meeting). We started our first unit today (Monday, 22/2/10), and I am one of five facilitators for the unit. To explain, there are six process facilitators for the whole group, who oversee the group process over the course of the entire semester. The rest of us are unit facilitators and we are basically in charge of the content of each unit- we facilitate the briefing before the trip, the exchanges and check-ins while on the trip, and the reflection and workshop once we return to Khon Kaen. I've been working with Bijal, April, Barrie, and Maggie P. over the past few days to plan the briefing for tomorrow. As slightly nerve-wracking as it is to be the first facilitators, we have an amazing group and are really well prepared, never mind that agriculture is such a great unit. I will be able to work closely with Bennett, the Bowdoin grad who was the first and only Bowdoin rep for this CIEE program before Maina last semester.

We watched Food Inc. today- I highly recommend it, as it really does try to show many sides of the issues surrounding our food industry, a major requirement of mine for documentaries. I am quick to reject anything one-sided- too much manipulation. I am trying to commit myself to buying as many local, organic, or at least free range products as I can this summer, as I'll be cooking for myself at Bowdoin.

I just wanted to check in before I headed out, as the next post is going to be one of those 3- pagers once I get back from my trip, which I refuse to believe will be the day before March. What a tease the month of February is- where did it go?

The newsletter we wrote should be heading out soon, so if you are in NY check with my parents, if in ME, the Study Abroad office should be receiving one if you're interested.

I am excited to embark on our first full unit/trip with the group, 31 individuals who I have gotten to know on a much more well-rounded scale than prior to our two weeks in Khon Kaen. We’ve all gotten to know the campus and the city well, picked out our favorite restaurants (unfortunately, the group’s two favorite and most conveniently located restaurants are getting bought out for their land and will be bulldozed by the time we get back) and met a slew of Thai friends.

A shout out to my roommate who got a scholarship to go to China for the month of April (and I just watched her 30 min. movie for her English class- it was awesome.) Also, I’m learning guitar from Gianna’s roommate.

Oh and I played softball and bananagrams in the same day. Best ever.

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