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 →

Hong Kong for the week

Hong Kong

I recently went to Hong Kong for about 5 days, where I tried lots of good food and explored different neighborhoods. I really enjoyed going to Kowloon Park, West Kowloon Cultural District (open green space/exhibitions/harbor view), Victoria Peak, Wan Chai neighborhood, Pottinger Street (often referred to as “Rocky Road”), Upper Lascar Row (one of the most renowned antique streets in Hong Kong), and Sheung Wan to do some cat spotting. I also got dinner with one of my coworker’s siblings who lives in Hong Kong; we ate dim sum, and he showed me some notable spots in Mongkok, a neighborhood known for shopping.

unique Hong Kong architecture and historic building, the Blue House

Pottinger Street

cute cats in Sheung Wan

classic pan fried buns

HK snacks

I also went to a heritage building, Tai Kwun, where I saw an amazing exhibition titled “Green Snake: women-center ecologies.” The exhibition focuses on the connections between art and the larger themes of ecology in the context of rising temperatures. The exhibition features more than 30 artists and collectives from 20 countries, with over 60 works that draw on mythologies and world views to explore possibilities for other ecological relationships. Green Snake points to the extractive economies at the root of ecological crises, and the exhibition asks about alternative narratives which are grounded in notions of care and ecofeminism. This points to the labor of care that is essential, but has been undervalued in patriarchal and imperial systems.

Green Snake exhibition

On my last full day in Hong Kong, I took the ferry to Lamma Island, which is home to many creative types. There are indie boutiques, craft stores, cafes, and hiking trails with sweeping coastal views. However, due to high humidity, the visibility at the top of the hiking trail was not great when I was there. However, I still enjoyed hiking and being at the beach.

Lamma Island

These are a few things I noticed and really liked about Hong Kong:

  • easy to get around – signs everywhere! & good public transit
  • water refill stations
  • public toilets
  • phone service on the subway
  • hiking trails
  • interesting architecture
  • lots of cuisine types
  • cats

Back in BKK

It was nice to have a getaway in Hong Kong, because even though it was still humid in Hong Kong, it was much cooler than Bangkok. Thailand’s hottest season seems to be starting early this year, and there’s currently a heat wave, with the “feels like” temperature projected to reach almost 50 degrees Celsius this week.

even the Grab driver has a little umbrella over his phone because of the heat and sun here!

I’m definitely not excited for the heat, but in other news, one exciting development is that a care package from friends in the US finally arrived! They sent it back in December, but somehow there were issues with the postal service, and it was about to be sent back to the US, but luckily I was able to contact the post office before this happened. It was filled with all of my favorite things, including chocolate, Goldfish, Christmas decorations, snacks for my cat, body products and face masks, etc. This was such a sweet reminder of their love and care for me, and I can’t wait to see them when I’m back in the US.

the care package arrived!

At work, the community engagement team has been facilitating projects such as Body Maps for Healing. Between October and December 2023, AAT facilitated four PFA art therapy sessions with 43 participants from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Somalia, DRC, and from the Vietnamese/Jarai/Khmer communities. During these workshops, several pieces of artwork were created, which will be exhibited for World Refugee Day 2024. To identify the pieces which will be shown in the actual exhibition, the AAT team voted for the paintings that we found the most intriguing. On the left side of the paintings, the participants were asked to find symbols for their past experiences, while the right side displays symbols for their future hopes and wishes. For the event in June, AAT will embed the selected pieces in specific story-telling format to better understand their context and significance.

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