Saturday, October 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by joshi-porgy.
I have been in a bit of a haze since I arrived in Malaysia... both literally and figuratively. Being in a new place and not getting enough sleep has left me a little fuzzy, and the city has been cloaked in a smokey haze resulting from Indonesia's slashing and burning. The two countries do not just share a religion and language, but also air quality apparently.

Both hazes aside, things continue to go well for me here. I have decided to work on the Indonesia project because I know I can do it and it would be more helpful to the organization. I will be facilitating the closure of a multi-year project that has brought together 7 women's NGOs across the diverse country to build their capacity to advocate on women's health issues. Each organization has taken one issue (access to contraception, safe abortion or obstetric fistula for example) and written an article based on research from their community and they have been compiled into a book. The book is just about ready to be published so my role is to bring the groups together and coordinate an evaluation and closure/next steps planning. I think this means that I will get to go to Indonesia (Jakarta) in November. The passport is getting a lot of stamps, which is very exciting for someone who had never left North America before this year!
Today I moved into my new semi-permanent abode. I am sharing a three bedroom apartment in Michelle's building with two expat guys, one Brazilian and one Aussie. They seem like nice boys. I think they both work a lot and go out a lot so we might not see eachother much. I will be there for the next two months before the place is handed over to new owners and I have got to be on the search again. Initially I was not into this idea, but now that I am here I just want to get into work and not have to go into a full scale house hunt at the same time I am getting used to everything. I have a really huge room with my own bathroom and I am only 20 mins from work.

Last night I met a woman who is working as a child welfare officer for UNHCR and she is basically acting as a social worker, interviewing refugee/migrant kids and trying to get them the services and support they need here. It seems that this is a pretty big issue here with many people fleeing from Myanmar but the Malaysian government is not officially accepting or serving them from what I understand. This work sounds very interesting to me as it combines individual social work problem solving with a much broader global social justice issue. That is totally something I would be interested in doing at some point down the line. Maybe I could convince Jono to take some time off to do this with me in the future.
I look forward to coming home to Canada but I can see myself wanting to work abroad again-- but not by myself next time!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Your internship there sounds so good!