Fellowship Orientation – Day 2

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, January 9, 2014

The morning started with a series of videos about Chulalongkorn University and the Rotary World Peace Fellowship and after reviewing the history of Thailand, we were asked to write a letter to ourselves, which we will be opening at the end of March, when we finish the program. In the afternoon, we had a live discussion about the current political situation in Bangkok and about what could happen next week and I reminisced about the agitation in Caracas. I keep seeing parallels in different contexts, this time with the Red Shirts and the Chavistas (aggressiveness aside, of course) and the exaltation of the people (the young students) whose political consciences have been awaken and who want to be involved and participate in the process. However, the issues at stake here are very different and the division in the population is more evident between red and yellows.

The day ended with dinner at SASA House with some of the fellows, lots of laughs and some decent vegan soup, followed by a long night of studying/preparing for my presentation on Friday: refugees in war/conflict zones.

Things to remember: waking up to a smog-free skyline and seeing the red sunrise over Bangkok; bumping into students meditating by the pond on my run around campus. Having lunch with the Center’s staff, sharing stories about family and life back home. And one very boring but lovely: quiet time in my room for the first time, preparing my Individual Conflict Presentation and in between that, escaping for dinner with some of the fellows and Martine -and admiring the special combination of characters that our class has.

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