Our first team meeting on December 11th was full of information, ideas, and introductions. As we all struggled to learn and memorize names, the room buzzed with excitement. Team members and mentors told about their new service sites, and their means of fundraising. We heard about Julie’s experience tutoring and hanging out with kids at a local middle school, and everyone’s jaw dropped when one of our team members affirmed that he’s raised $4,000 already. (Sorry man, I’ll catch your name at the next meeting!)
          Everyone is thrilled to be traveling nearly 9,000 miles to Thailand this summer. But I don’t think I was the only one wondering how difficult it will be communicating with people who speak Thai. Megan Dunn shared with Team Thailand some totally worthwhile information! The Salt Lake County Library has an online language learning center called Mango Languages. If you have a library card with the SL County Library District, the service is free. If you live outside the district, the fee is $40 for 6 months (Oh, hey, our trip is in 6 months!). This should prove to be a straightforward way for us to get the basics of conversational Thai down!
           Finally, we were split up into our separate committees to begin brainstorming. Each committee reviewed its overall year/January goals and got started on planning fundraising projects. In the education committee, we discussed our means of acquiring materials for the school children. Between now and our next meeting, the committee will have some basic English lesson plans down. Learning English is especially important for the children in Phang Nga because many of them become involved in the tourism industry. I feel like what my committee will be helping them with will make a difference in their future, and I’m really excited to meet and help these kids.

Just a couple reminders to recap!

If any of you Thailand-ers are doing some fantastic local service, email (saraswami94@gmail.com) me about it! I’d like to blog about what members from our team as a whole are doing in the community!

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