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GlobeMed at Dartmouth started off winter the right way – with breakfast. The E-Board spent Sunday morning (January 13th) scrambling eggs, making pancakes, and drinking OJ and milk. All of the food was delicious!… especially given our limited resources.
The retreat, however, was not simply to fill empty stomachs. Each E-Board member (new or returning) introduced him or herself. Afterwards, we discussed possible meeting topics which we divided into Thailand/Burma and Everything Else. Here’s to a great winter!
New Project for the 2012-2013 Year:
GlobeMed at Dartmouth has accomplished a lot this past term! Thank you to Angela Gauthier ’13 and Nikki Sachdeva ’15 for leading us into our second year! We’re all set for a new project, which involves funding a laboratory for the Ja Reng Yang Clinic to test for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. Crowded living conditions, insufficient food and nutrition, lack of clean water, and poor sanitation and hygiene are causing increased rates of illness among Internally Displaced Persons, especially among children and the elderly. KWAT has set up a clinic to treat people suffering from illnesses resulting from these poor living circumstances, but they do not yet have a laboratory that can identify common infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. The clinic will be better equipped to care for patients with these diseases once these people have been identified. It is also necessary for health care providers to know if their patients have these infectious diseases so they can protect themselves. Our goal was to raise $6,000 for our partner’s project, but our very successful campaigns will allow us to send even more!
GlobeMed at Dartmouth had great success with campaigns this term! Thank you to Leigh Ann Humphries ’13 and Katelyn Wong ’15 for organizing these events! Due to popular demand, we continued our beloved Crepes campaign biweekly; pumpkin crepes were a real crowd-pleaser! In addition, we revisited our Halloween Delivery campaign from last year. Delicious Halloween-themed cupcakes and pies were special ordered and delivered to our fellow students by dedicated GlobeMed members. Amidst baking and delivering our scrumptious treats as a means for fundraising, we planned and hosted our 2nd Annual Benefit Dinner in order to spread awareness of our cause. Benefit for Burma: Health as an Agent of Social Change featured two renowned campus a capella groups and keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Allden. Dr. Allden of Geisel School of Medicine has lived and worked in Burma through Burma Border Projects, and she delivered a telling account of her travels and medical and social work in the region. Thanks to the help and support of our wonderful Dartmouth GlobeMedders, we met our first fundraising goal with flying colors! Our fall term campaigns brought us $1,253.46 for our partner, and we’re looking forward to new, exciting campaigns for the upcoming winter term!
Individual Giving Updates:
We are extremely pleased and humbled to report we successfully completed the Global Giving Open challenge, raising $5,210 from 57 unique donors in a month! Thank you Andrew Zureick ’13 for leading this very successful campaign! Thank you to all of our members, donors, and friends of GlobeMed at Dartmouth. Here’s to a wonderful winter term!
Our ghU coordinators, Zuo Ming Koh ’15 and Aditi Misra ’14, have dazzled our members each and every meeting with jeopardy-style quizzes and presentations about our partner KWAT, Burma, and Thailand. Ming and Aditi have mastered the fusion of global health information and community building, for all of our members gather in groups to tackle the questions Ming and Aditi throw in our direction. It’s all good fun, and we come away learning more than we could have imagined. A favorite ghU presentation centered on the holiday season, seeing as we were about to part for winter break. Ming and Aditi went over the holidays we hold near and dear in our country before enlightening us with descriptions and videos of our partner’s celebrations. We stared in awe at videos of beautifully decorated hot air balloons being released into the night sky during the Burmese Hot Air Balloon Festival known as Tazaungdaing Festival. It is so heartwarming to revel in celebration together with our partner. ’Tis the season!
Community Building Highlights:
GlobeMed at Dartmouth is fortunate to kick-off its second year with a strong contingent of new members. Our new members largely hail from the freshman class, the Class of 2016, and it has been a wonderful journey getting to know each and every one of them. Each staff meeting, we engage in community building exercises to forge relationships, uncover passions, and spice up our work with play. Thank you Heather Szilagyi ’15 for leading these activities! One of our most memorable community building activities was a public health simulation. During our very first info session this term, we collectively demonstrated the unbelievable rate at which disease can spread. The activity is a handshake game that goes a little something like this: all members close their eyes, and two students are randomly selected as “vectors.” These “vectors” are “infected” and will spread disease every time they shake hands with and introduce themselves to an uninfected individual. To transmit the infection, the vector will tickle the inside of his/her victim’s hand as the vector shakes his/her victim’s hand. The victim then continues to pass on the disease by tickling the inside of a new victim’s hand.The activity continues for approximately ten minutes. When time is called, all victims are asked to raise their hands. It is astounding how quickly the disease spreads and dominates the entire body of students. We love interactive community building!
GROW Team Selected!
Our GROW team for next summer has been selected! Thank you to our GROW Coordinator, Nina Boal ’14, for organizing all of this! Congratulations to Harrison Han ’16, Kristina Mani ’16, Tendai Masangomai ’15, Neelima Panth ’14, and Adam Kraus ’14! The group is looking forward to visiting KWAT at Chiang Mai again and hopefully seeing the clinic that we are funding this year. The trip will take place in August once again, for approximately 3 weeks. More details coming soon!
Thank you so much to all of our Fall 2012 E-board members for helping to make this term great! Ayesha Dholakia ’15 managed our email account well and kept us all updated with her minutes. Neelima Panth ’14 kept excellent track of our finances. Erin Becks designed awesome posters to advertise our events. We will miss you three so much next term! We also would like to welcome our new E-board members for the winter term! Julie Ivy ’15 will take on Internal Communications, Harrison Han ’16 will be our External Communications Officer, Sumayya Younus ’15 will head Finances, and Shay Vellanki ’16 will be our new Historian. Looking forward to a productive next term!
And of course, a big thank you to our supportive GlobeMed staff members! Thank you everyone for making this past term a huge success!
On our final day in Chiang Mai, we got to relax a bit in preparation of the long weekend of travel ahead of us.
In the morning, we walked to the Old City and had brunch at the Dada Kafé, which features a collage of many different types of food. Their readymade smoothies are delicious and are purported to cure a variety of ailments. Unfortunately, their bathroom is small and does not contain any fountains. But all of their food is delicious, and we highly recommend it if you ever visit Chiang Mai.
Afterwards we went to Huay Tung Tao, a beautiful lake near Chiang Mai. We played cards, read and took in the Thai countryside for a few hours.
After we returned to the city, we walked downtown and met Mai for dinner at the Dada Kafé (it was good enough to go twice in one day). We had a delicious last meal and got to experience a monsoon rainstorm that delayed our farewell with Mai. We shared some great stories, laughed talking about first impressions of each other, and got to reflect on our work here. We were very sad to say goodbye to her, but are looking forward to doing more Skype sessions with her in the coming year.
Today we had our last day of English lessons with the KWAT interns. We were very sad to leave them and amazingly proud to see them accomplish so much!
We warmed up by having the interns ask questions about their plans for the weekend. They were much more comfortable conversing than they were a week ago.
Afterwards, everyone wrote a story on whatever topic he or she wanted. Some of the interns recounted major experiences from their lives while others used their imaginations to make up stories. The interns were able to use English to express their complex thoughts and communicate effectively. It was truly inspiring to see how far they’ve come!
For lunch, we had our last meal at the intern house. As always, it was delicious. Nick and Katharine are definitely going to miss the sautéed morning glories.
In the afternoon, the interns reflected on what they had learned in the class. We were so touched by their thoughtful words of gratitude and by their declarations of newfound confidence. We told them how sad we were to leave and reminded them to keep practicing their English every day.
As our cab pulled away from the house, several interns chased after us. They wanted us to stay longer! Luckily, we can continue to talk to them over Facebook.
Next, we headed to the KWAT office for our farewell dinner. The KWAT staff cooked us an amazing Kachin meal, including bamboo shoot soup, spicy fish and several plates of rambutan. Over dinner, we shared some great stories about our chapter back in the US and took time to reflect on our work here and talk about our hopes for the future.
After dinner, we picked up our income generation crafts to sell back at Dartmouth. Ah Noh, Mai, and the rest of KWAT staff presented us with a beautiful handmade gift – a traditional Kachin woven banner that we can hang on our wall back home. We thanked them so much and pledged to continue and strengthen our partnership for years to come. They told us how valued we were by KWAT and how much they appreciate all that we have done both in Chiang Mai and at Dartmouth. They very much want us to come and visit them again, hopefully one day in the Kachin state.
Today we had our penultimate English lesson with the KWAT interns. Leigh Ann also spent some of the day working on the migrant exchange video translation with Mai. This video will be used to increase awareness about the experiences of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand and will provide GlobeMed members with a more in-depth perspective of the community we serve.
In our English lessons, we warmed up by asking questions about each other’s favorite things and following up with two more questions as a way to extend conversations. It was very successful- the interns asked lots of interesting questions of each other.
Afterwards, we had the interns write 10-sentence stories about themselves. We were blown away by the depth of language they used to express the enormous struggles they had been through. It was incredible to learn about everyone’s personal story in a way that revealed how much more confident they had become since the beginning of the class.
At lunch, John said a wonderful prayer in English and greatly impressed us all. The Kachin food was delicious, as always.
To finish, we played two truths and a lie. The interns came up with really creative and plausible lies to trick the others, and we learned lots of interesting facts about them. We found out that Rocker can speak Chinese and that Geis won an award for dancing from the minister of the Kachin State when she was three.
In the afternoon, Mai visited our apartment to finish the video translation with Leigh Ann and talk with us. We debated the merits of different Thai fruits with her – Nick likes longan, but Mai thinks that langsat is better. We were happy to spend some more one-on-one time with Mai before we leave Chiang Mai.
Today we returned to the KWAT intern house for our second and final week of English lessons.
We focused on skits and role-playing for our lesson to allow the students to gain confidence and experience engaging in daily conversations. The interns had a lot of fun using their imagination to enter new roles, such as a pilot, an actress, a shopkeeper, a teacher, a doctor, and others.
We then divided up into small groups of four or five and presented short skits on topics like ordering food at a restaurant, presenting the news on TV, and shopping for fruit at the market. The interns did a great job asking questions and developing dialogue.
We tried lots of interesting foods- Nick had an octopus tentacle! We walked around for over seven hours exploring the Old City and visiting the numerous stalls.
We were sad that it was our last free Sunday in Chiang Mai but we were glad to be getting back to work at English class the next day.
Today we visited some places Mai recommended we see.
First, we went to the Pagoda at Doi Suthep. The sculptures and buildings were beautiful and we could see all of Chiang Mai from the mountain. To enter the temples, people were required to cover their shoulders and legs so the girls rented shawls and some very large brown pants.
Afterwards we visited the Royal Flora botanical garden. It was like a theme park! There were many plants from all over the world as well as buildings and company offices. We had the place essentially to ourselves since there were hardly any other visitors to the gardens. Everything at the gardens was entirely in Thai, except for some translations of flora names.
Today Ah Noh took us to meet with some of KWAT’s other partners. It was great to improve our understanding of the organizations that KWAT works within to get a sense of how their work operates.
First, we visited ND-Burma- the Network for Human Rights Documentation. KWAT is one of 12 member organizations that document human rights violations in different states and other divisions of Burma. We learned about the data collection and verification process and how organizations like KWAT develop bulletins to share with the larger news network. The field workers who record the atrocities committed by the Burmese government risk extreme danger to tell the larger world about what goes on, and they have been successful in getting the entities like the Norwegian government to lobby for changes in the region.
ND-Burma also publishes reports like KWAT’s “Ongoing Impunity,” which are powerful records of problems like torture, drug abuse and economic exhortation in various parts of Burma. We picked up several reports, including a documentary, to share with our GlobeMed chapter and the Dartmouth community when we return home.
After visiting ND-Burma, we went to the Women’s League of Burma (WLB). KWAT is one of thirteen women’s organizations that works with Burmese refugees, as is the Burmese Women’s Union (the partner of GlobeMed at Whitman). The WLB works in Thailand, India and Bangladesh through its many member organizations, although its main office is in Chiang Mai. We learned about the history of the WLB’s founding and how KWAT operated with other organizations in its early years.
In the evening, Ah Noh showed us some of her favorite places to visit in the Old City. We had fun spending time with her outside of KWAT.