Volunteer Intern Haddie Lyons

Haddie volunteered and interned for Mundo Exchange and Laekplian Lokgatat, at our cross cultural centre in Isaan, Thailand during November and December of 2009.

Haddie gained the respect and admiration from village and town leaders to the farm workers that she learned from and with during her stay in Thailand.  Her sincerity and ability to work with all types of people from different backgrounds and cultures was amazing.

Volunteer Haddie works on a Thai farm

Haddie helping out at a farm

Despite language barriers and cross cultural strains she was able to work together with her Thai cohorts as a team member.  She organized projects with others and accepted ideas while leading the process of beginning our centre.  She offered assistance in English regarding the cultural centre’s mission that matched what had been created by Thai staff prior to her arrival.

The Thai leaders enjoyed working with someone with ideas that often matched their own.  If her ideas and ways did not match her Thai cohorts she was able to blend the two ways without conflict or any problems.

Haddie’s ability to understand and adapt to Thai Isaan ways proved her to be a culturally sensitive volunteer intern, enjoyed by both Thai and western volunteer staff, and volunteers from other countries.  Our charity promotes social justice and peaceful coexistence between people from all countries.  Haddie embraced this belief and soon became part of the Thai volunteer cultural group.

Haddie collaborated on many projects during her time with Mundo Exchange. In order to prepare her for volunteering and developing our Thai centre she was taken to Thai homes in small towns, to Buddhist temples where she met and worked, to ceremonies based on animist and Buddhist thought so as to improve her understanding of the life and ways of the people of this area. In all areas she excelled when meeting, communicating and showing respect to all despite income, ethnicity or age.

Haddie joining with an Esan family.

Haddie enjoying the warm and curiousity of the Thai community.

Haddie also helped global exchange volunteers that came to assist in other areas.  Other volunteers were impressed by her ability to organize the group and give written and spoken instructions clearly and ideas about the projects concerned while still laughing and enjoying what she was doing.

To improve the centre’s learning program she organized hundreds of photographs that are used as a means of learning English and cross cultural ways.  She taught our staff how to improve our visual component of learning as well.  The exchange of knowledge was equally important to her and the Thais she worked with at the Centre.

Haddie continues to assist with our Thailand projects by communicating with volunteers and interns about cultural visions, cultural ideas and projects.

Haddie is able to be a team member with all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds.  She taught our Asian and Western team members to document the cultural ways of the past and present in such a way that her work continues through others helping and organizing at the centre today.  Her strength in teaching about the importance of using visuals, short documentaries and artistic work depicting the ways of the Isaan past are now part of the Thai process in developing the centre.

Children of Thailand get an education from Intern Haddie

Haddie using informal education techniques in rural Thailand

Haddie was and continues to be valued by our volunteer and global cross cultural exchange organizations.  Her creativity, flexibility, respect for different ways and people, and ability to organize and complete both academic and creative projects is totally amazing. We wish you well with your academic pursuits and will miss you greatly. Chock Dee Haddie!

From the Lokgatat and Mundo Volunteer Team