It has been 4weeks of our fellowship from Southeast Asia in Missoula, Montana, The United State of America and it has been almost 2 weeks that all of us have been staying with our American host family. I and one of fellow from Thailand were placed with Mr. Eduardo Capulong from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law of University of Montana. Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson the Executive Director of the Montana Innocence Project which is one of the projects that cooperates with the Law school and also American fellowship partner of one of fellows from Vietnam and one of fellows from Thailand. It means four of us are able to learn with the Innocence Project and also the Law school.
During our time with the law school and the Innocence Project, we have learned so many things such as the common law system, the immigration law of the state of Montana and the immigration law of the United State of America, the justice process of the state of Montana and the justice process of the United State of America. We have had a chance to meet and talk with Judge Marie A. Anderson and Judge Landee N Holloway from the Justice of the Peace Court of the State of Montana and tour Missoula Country Detention Facility, Police City Office Station. We met with one of the former prisoners that the Innocence Project assisted until he was released from the prison and proved that he is innocent and one person who experienced the Federal prison. We have seen so many places and met so many interesting people who are working for the community.
One more thing that I could learn from here is staying with my host family. Erin and Dan Semmens and two children, Franny, who is 6 years old, and Joseph, who is three years old. Franny already speaks Spanish and she wants to be a Spanish teacher. I live next door to one of fellows from Thailand’s host family, Theresa and Curtis Noonan and both of us have the same American fellowship partner. We walked to the Law school together every morning and back to home and somedays we rode bicycles to Law school. Our host families are neighbors and they are very kind and nice to us. Last weekend we cooked Tum Yum Kung and green curry or Keng Keaw Whan and fried eggs, Thai food for our host families. Even though it was spicy and might be a bit different from American food, our host families still tried our food and enjoyed it with us. Yesterday, the snow fell in Missoula. I woke up early morning because Jub, one of Thai fellows who has the same American fellowship partner as me and lives next door was calling me to see the snow and she was very happy to see the snow as it was her wish before we left Missoula. Actually, her birthday was on the 16th of May and her host family and my host family planned a birthday party for the two of us together because we were born in the same month but my birthday will be on the 27th May which is the day that we leave Missoula for Washington DC. I am so happy with my host family because they love Thai Food and Ice cream and Joseph and Franny are very cute and adorable. I love to play with them and spend time before dinner and before the bed with them. This weekend we plan to cook Thai food again and bake red velvet cake.
The people who I met in Missoula are very nice and thank you YSEALI and Mansfield Center for your hard work and for the opportunity to know fellows from Southeast Asia. Thank you Mr. Eduardo Capulong from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law of University of Montana and Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson the Executive Directorof the Montana Innocence Project. Finally,thank you to the Semmens family for hosting me.