Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Thailand 2023 - 2024
Sawadee ka! My name is Anna, and I am traveling to Bangkok, Thailand where I will serve as a Volunteer Legal Advocate at Asylum Access Thailand (AAT). AAT provides comprehensive support and legal services to refugees. At AAT, I will conduct client intake and research. Read More About Anna →

Goodbyes and new beginnings

I can’t believe it’s already the end of April! April 30th will be my last day of work, and I will return to the US in the first week of May. It’s really starting to sink in how soon that’s approaching, and I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions, including gratitude for my coworkers and friends that I’ve met in Thailand, as well as excitement to see my loved ones back in the US. I feel so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had here to meet amazing new people, explore beautiful destinations, and also, to expand my knowledge in the immigration/refugee law field. I’ve been able to grow my skillset through increased client interaction and have seen firsthand the impact that local NGOs can have on global organizations and agencies. I’ve also witnessed and experienced the importance of maintaining one’s own mental health, in order to be able to effectively carry out this type of work. My experience in Thailand and with AAT is one that will further inform the activities and coursework I participate in throughout law school, as well as my future career.

Recently, my friend from the US visited Bangkok, and we also went to Railay beach near Krabi. It was great to see her and made me even more excited to be back in NYC – talk of summer concerts, hot pot nights, etc! The islands here are beyond gorgeous, and it was nice to be by the water, especially during this extreme heat. Railay beach was pretty calm, a nice escape from the city. We saw tons of island cats and different types of monkeys. The monkeys even made guest appearances at our hotel, swinging through the trees and balconies. We also saw bioluminescent plankton in the water!

beautiful Railay beach

the water is so clear!

island kitties

I have about one week left of work, and I’ve been spending this time wrapping up cases, including one final appeal case. Although, of course, there’s much more for me to learn in this field, I feel as if I’ve made great strides in my role as a caseworker and have gained confidence in conducting client intake, interviewing clients, etc (a huge thank you to my incredible team and supervisors for their support, kindness, and mentorship). I also recently worked on correspondence to UNHCR – flagging cases for those who have been waiting for registration, etc. for a lengthy amount of time. I am glad to be a part of an organization working on behalf of clients to achieve progress in their cases and ultimately, recognition.

My last week or so in Thailand will be spent packing, saying my goodbyes, as well as planning for arrangements in the US. I appreciate those of you who have been following along with my journey here, and the next time you hear from me I’ll be back in the US!

momos and Tibetan food with coworkers .. so good

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