Week 4: Are You Capable Enough to Be a Teacher?

This week I started volunteering at the shelter.

When we arrived to VFI and discussed our duties as interns, our supervisor told us that if we had free time and any skills we would be willing to teach the girls at the shelter, anything we could do would be greatly appreciated. The VFI shelter here in Vientiane houses girls and young women who are at-risk of being trafficked, have been trafficked or have experienced domestic violence. At the shelter, they are given housing, counseling, and livelihood-generating support through vocational training and life skills training. All of this is done with the objective of reducing the girls chances of being trafficked or re-trafficked. Because I am working with the Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children (PEWC) Office this summer, I was excited to do what I could to help out.

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Week 5: Thailand and Ladyboys

I have wanted to go to Thailand for a very long time. All over social media and in travel books, I have seen photos of the beautiful islands and temples in Thailand. So when we needed to go on a visa run this week, it only made sense we took a trip there. 

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Week 3: Being a Tourist is not Always Fun

Working abroad should not mean that the only places you go are the office, your home and the occasional restaurant or market to buy necessary items. It should involve getting to know the culture and history of the country, meeting new people and engaging with the area around you. One way that I have done this is by visiting museums or national monuments as well as talking with coworkers about their lives. Sometimes going to language meet ups or social events at bars allows you to have very interesting conversations with people about things you may have never thought about or learned from your guidebooks and museum visits.

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Week 2: Lunch Time in Laos

In Laos, sometimes we take long lunch breaks. And for these first two weeks,  I have just been going with the flow.

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Week 1: Learning Lao

I once read an article about what it is like to have a job that involves traveling constantly and to countries where English is not the first spoken language or even the third. The author argued that if the people you work with speak English, instead of spending time learning the language in an attempt to connect with your foreign coworkers, you should spend that time actually forming relationships using the language you both know. He found that he was able to learn more about the culture and create connections with his coworkers quicker than if he had tried to learn their language first.

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