On the road

One of the joys of working with CAM is that I am getting to travel with some of the staff and see parts of Thailand that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were on holiday here. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to the Fang region in northern Thailand, on the Myanmar boarder. It is a stunning part of the country with mountains, waterfalls and lush forests. I joined the CAM staff as they ran a camp for teenagers about sexual health and HIV awareness and prevention. The camp was for about 15 teenagers, from a local school that they have connections with and it ran for one and a half days. Teenagers in Thailand do receive sexual health education at school, however, recent statistic show that people under the age of 25 have less levels of knowledge of HIV than those over the age of 25 and new HIV infections in people under the age of 25 is increasing (1).  So it is important that more awareness and knowledge is raised about HIV amongst. As well as learning about sexual health and HIV the teenagers were given skills to share and teach what they learnt with their peers.




Near to where we were all staying were hot springs, which we all visited one afternoon, and the springs were hot enough to boil an egg. I had a great time with the teenagers. I wanted to use my Thai as much as possible with them but they also wanted to practice their English on me as well, so conversations were a mix of both languages. But I found out what their favourite subjects at school were, what they hoped to be when they grew up, some said they wanted to be nurses which made me happy, and they are big fans of K-pop (Korean pop music for those of you who don’t know). Some of the girls said I could call them my little sisters and I would be their big sister. It wonderful to be able to connect with the teenagers and be seen as a big sister to them even though we only spent a couple of days together.



 

  1. https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/asia-pacific/thailand#footnote56_3rgojx0