Weeks 18 – 21: Internship

Hello! I can’t believe it’s already the end of January – this month flew by! This month I’ve been working at my internship with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures. I’ve been busy, but I get to work with great people and spend time outdoors so I’ve enjoyed it! During free time, I’ve been making the most of my remaining days in Chiang Mai! You can read more below!

Summary:

My internship site, Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA), focuses on rock climbing activities – they do guided trips to local outdoor climbing sites and have an indoor wall in their office. They also do outdoor education and experiential learning based programs for school programs. I’m working with their outdoor education programs during my time here. For the first week there, I worked in the office, getting to know the company and coworkers, and helping with smaller tasks. It gave me another view of Thai culture – Thai culture in the workplace. In the workplace, Thai people tend to value relationships over efficiency. The CMRCA staff definitely has a strong community – we all work in coworking spaces and have plenty of breaks for snacks and chatting. Everyone still finishes their work though of course!

First day of internship at Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures

For the next two weeks, I was in the field working on the school programs. The first week, I worked on a program with an international school in Bangkok. They came to Chiang Mai to learn about Northern Thai culture and spend time outdoors. Three other CMRCA staff and I worked with a group of almost 50 13-14 year old students. Working with such big group was as new experience that was quite challenging at times. Sometimes the attitudes and enthusiasm of the students was also a challenge, but overall it was a good experience. We went to several village community centers to learn about farming, the Thai Royal Project, and other cultural aspects of Karen culture. We also went camping and rock climbing! The activities we did were in Chiang Mai providence, not the city, so it was a good way for me to see the surrounding areas.

View driving to the rock climbing site in Lampang

The next school program I did was for an international school based in Singapore. Of the two programs I worked, this was my favorite! The groups of students we worked with were smaller and the students were a bit older – this made it possible to actually connect with the students. I also just enjoyed the activities we go to do. For a lot of the program, we camped at a campsite with really cool hot springs. We spent a few days trekking with the students, teaching them back country skills like cooking and using a compass. We also did a rope bridge building activity, a farming day, and kayaking. With the CMRCA programs I got to do and see a lot of things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise!

One of our campsites. So many tents!

This week, I’m back in the office in Chiang Mai. I’ve been working on several projects related to the school programs. As part of my internship, I also have to do a research project. I’m researching the accessibility of outdoor education. CMRCA only does programs with international schools because those are the schools that can afford it. I’m looking more into the benefits and accessibility of outdoor education, along with the implications this poses. When I’m not in the office, I’ve been making the most of my time left in Chiang Mai. I’ve been going to the markets and visiting temples with friends. Not ready to say goodbye to this place in about a month!

Exploring Wat Umong – a temple with underground tunnels!

Thank you for reading! I’ll post my next update next time I have done enough to write about! Be sure you check out my photos page here!

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