So in the last 6 weeks I’ve been in four different countries, with four different time zones and five different languages – from Tetun, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai and English, I’ve currently got many words, phrases and numbers that I’ve learnt swimming around in my head as I begin to process the many experiences I’ve been blessed with since I last blogged.
My 4 week trip to East and West Timor with the Oaktree Foundation was a huge learning experience, challenging my perceptions and understanding of development and giving me the opportunity to meet with a variety of young people, all doing some pretty revolutionary things in their country.
Following my trip with Oaktree, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a leader at the 2nd University Scholars Leadership Symposium held in Pattaya, Thailand. After attending the 1st Symposium in Malaysia last August, it was a huge privilege to return this year and provide 340 new delegates from around the world with an even better learning and cultural experience then I’d been given the year before.
The conference aims to introduce students to humanitarian issues around the world and encourage them to take action about such issues back in their home countries.
I’ve got many stories to share from these countries – stories of defeat, stories of hope, stories of poverty and stories of small people doing HUGE things in their villages and communities. Over the next month I’ll share all these stories with you, so bare with me as I get through the backlog of blogs I need to write!
Some blogs to come include stories from Oaktree’s projects in East Timor, impressions from both East & West Timor, including the surprising differences between the two areas, an inspiring story of a woman named Poo from the Klong Toey slum in Bangkok and an overview of the Father Ray Foundation, an organisation I worked with in Thailand.
I look forward to sharing these experiences with you, and many more, in hope of giving a voice to many marginalised youth in Timor, and raise awareness about some exciting projects that are occurring in Thailand.