I’m overdue to answer this question well. As the title of this blog suggests, I do consider this to be a format in which to journey with you, and you with me. Life seems to be going so fast for me this year, but I do need to take some time to help you catch up with what is going on.
Recently, I asked some friends to give me some FAQs about my work, and how it is emerging. I’m in the process of developing a new professional identity to reflect this change of work venue and focus. I’m very excited about this but it is still in process and will be rolling out in the next few weeks and months. However, this one question needs to be addressed ASAP.
Next month I will be wrapping up a six year stint in China. WOW. Another post on what that feels like is already brewing, but for now I’ll stick to the question of why I’m leaving and why Thailand.
Over the last few years, you have noticed that I’ve been increasingly more involved in addressing human trafficking as a health professional. I’ve still been involved in teaching medicine and caring for orphans all this time in Shenyang (2.5 years), but this work has significantly dropped off as I’ve devoted more time to new projects. The more time I’ve given to the counter-trafficking work the more the opportunities have grown.
The move from China to Thailand will better facilitate my work in addressing the health consequences of trafficking in persons in several ways. For one, I’ll be in much closer proximity to other organizations that are actively working against human trafficking and I will be more available to them and more intimately involved in their health care projects. This is true for Thailand, but also for Cambodia and other neighboring countries. Because of my emerging leadership role in counter-trafficking efforts, I travel more often and it is much easier to travel from Thailand (a more central location) than from NE China.
While trafficking in persons is very big business in China, the political climate here prohibits much in the way of open and collaborative work. I still have ongoing projects here and plan to make trips back to the PRC regularly, but living here limits my effectiveness elsewhere. Yes, there is much work to be done here, and I’d love to get more involved in the thick of it here, but that is not where I’m led to be at the moment.
One of the major bonuses of moving to Thailand is that it already feels like going home when I visit and I can already speak the language. I have friends there and because it is a central location for meetings for Asian expats, I’m sure to see friends from all over China when they swing through Thailand. YAY!
I hope this answers your questions regarding the move. If you want to submit your own question for my upcoming FAQ page, please let me have it!
Thanks for hanging with me on the blog! Love the feedback!