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 →

Rest, recovery, and reflection

It’s been a week – I seem to have gotten some sort of stomach virus and have been down for the count with it all week. On the third day of feeling unwell, I went to the hospital near me. Luckily, there is one super close; it’s a 4-minute walk. One distinction between Thai and US culture is that people go to the hospital in Thailand for both check-ups and emergencies, while in the US, the hospital is considered to be for emergencies. One of my friends went with me to the hospital and was so sweet to accompany me. It made me feel better knowing that I’m not alone here and am surrounded by such great support. I got medicine from the doctor and even though I’m still not feeling 100%, I’m hoping I’ll feel better in the next few days. This type of sickness really takes it out of you, so I’m definitely feeling pretty fatigued and ready to be better.

This is probably the most distinctive moment I’ve had since I moved here that I felt a wave of homesickness – and craving certain restaurants/foods in the US ... Moe’s I’m looking at you, haven’t had it in forever but so good haha. I also felt a bit helpless to not be able to do much and to be stuck at home. But I’m thankful for the care I received here and hoping to be on the mend soon.

I was planning on going to some Bangkok Design Week events this weekend, but sadly it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make it. Also, I had to take a few days off work and feel lucky to have such a wonderful supervisor and team. Sick leave is often nonexistent or too few in the US, so one thing I’ve really appreciated about being here is feeling like my well-being is really valued and taken care of. So, although I’ve had to miss work and some other events this week, it’s important to remember that my body needs all the rest it can get.

But for now, I’ll give you an update on my previous week

I went to Colorful Bangkok Expo 2024, which was full of activities like concerts, outdoor movies, and booths of artists and creators (artists from all fields). Here, I was so happy to see some of the artists that I met at the Bangkok Illustration Fair and to buy more of their products! The artwork at Colorful Bangkok Expo was heavily influenced by cats, and I am a huge sucker for anything cat related. I bought letters/postcards, stickers, keychains, and a delicate zodiac stamp book from some of my favorite artists. Pictures incoming below:

Also, last weekend, I went to Pattaya with some friends for a quick beach getaway and to spend more time together before one of our friends moves back to the US.

beautiful views from our Airbnb

In terms of work, I’ve been assigned another appeal case, continuing with pre-screenings, and giving interview prep to clients. Also, myself and the other VLAs will likely start scheduling and organizing more legal clinics in the upcoming weeks.

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