Through FSU Global Scholars and Omprakash, I am going to Phrao, Thailand this summer to volunteer with Warm Heart Worldwide. Most of the residents in this area belong to the indigenous Hill Tribe people and because they speak there own language they are often discriminated against and exploited. The whole mission statement for Warm Hearts is to provide equal access and opportunity to this people through education, micro-enterprise, public health, and children’s homes.
I leave on June 10th for my trip and can not be more excited. Though I have been to several South American and European countries, I have never been to an Asian country and want to experience the differences in cultures. I guess a better way to say it is that I would like to experience Thai culture because there is not a distinct “Asian” culture, which would be just heterogenous mixing pot of different cultures blending together. Even when you make the distinction of Thai culture you have to be careful because in Thailand one thing that is thought to be Thai culture to one family may not necessarily be the culture of another family. It is almost like saying “American” culture. Sure we have some things, but to define America as one culture would be doing many people a disservice. Anyways, I am going to work with Warm Hearts, hopefully, in the micro enterprise program. Because of my non-profit organization, Broken Chains, I have learned certain skills of running organizations and will hopefully pass on what I learn, but most of all I will be learning from them. I realize that I will learn more from them on this trip then I can ever help them at this point.