BANGKOK, August 3 – Our final meeting with Khun Mechai went well. In the lounge of the restaurant whose profits PDA uses to support programs for villagers like the ones we met, and using the bar’s television as a projector screen, we recapped our progress and takeaways for Khun Mechai and two of the PDA staff members with whom we worked closely.
We agreed that the pilot in Lamplaimat was a success and talked eagerly of ways to build upon the work we’ve done: teach more lessons, require the entire curriculum as a prerequisite to securing a micro-loan from PDA, collaborate with other organizations to strengthen existing efforts and expand to additional villages worldwide. If we didn’t have other commitments waiting for us at home, we’d tackle that list and more. With limited resources, we agreed to adapt our already written stories with market examples relevant to the villagers we met and to brainstorm ideas for additional activities that reinforce our stories’ lessons by engaging and involving students.
And so, like all good things, our time here must end. We are leaving Thailand but not the Barefoot MBA, PDA but not the mission it espouses. Our work here has been challenging and rewarding, eye-opening and inspiring. It’s been remarkable to watch this project evolve over the last seven months from an informal conversation on the beach to the most formal education a roomful of Thai villagers had seen in years. Despite not understanding more than a word or two from our students, the looks on their faces tell us we’ve created something worthwhile – and have a long way to go. We’ve learned from the villagers while they’ve learned from our curriculum and look forward to following their continued success. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions, as well.
This ends the regular blog updates (for now). Thanks for reading!