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Lisa Phu

Name

Lisa Phu

Location

Kanglung PS, Trashigang

Level

8 - 10

Subjects

English

Hometown

Douglas, Alaska

Although Lisa is lucky to have called many amazing places home at different times of her life. In 2010, she completed a one year of volunteer teaching assignment in Africa with her boyfriend, Scott. They spent their time with extremely bright Maasai students in northern Tanzania learning more than they taught, and during their off time traveled around East Africa. Prior to that, Lisa lived in Wrangell, Alaska for four years working as a newspaper and public radio reporter. Wrangell, an island community of 1800 people, is where she became acquainted with small-town living and fun activities like king salmon fishing, berry picking, and stomping around in the rain. While in Alaska, Lisa also tried deckhanding on a commercial fishing boat in Bristol Bay and worked for StoryCorps, an oral history project, in the frigid arctic of Barrow. Other teaching experiences involve two years at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where Lisa was a visiting tutor for the English Department and a summer teaching in Xian, China. In 2011, Lisa taught at Kanglung Primary School in eastern Bhutan.

story from the field

Newspaper club

Back in February, I moved my newspaper club from Orkeeswa to Kanglung Primary School. The club is a lot bigger – 22 students ranging from grade 4 to 6 – and there’s a lot more hand holding, but overall it’s been a success with the inaugural issue of the KPS Observer having come out in June. And so, with a new semester, comes a new issue (or two, which is my hope).

There are around a handful of students in the club who have real reporting talent, who take initiative, think of their own story ideas, come to club excited with stories to hand in. And there’s one student in particular, Kiran, who’d probably make a better reporter than some adults who write for Bhutanese newspapers. He’s a kid after my own heart.

This morning, the new PE teacher arrives. Her name is Rika and she’s from Japan. As I walked down to morning assembly, I thought, ‘Perfect. The newspaper club can do a story on the new PE teacher.’ I walked to my normal spot in front of 6A, my class. After morning prayer and meditation, the principal stepped forward to introduce Rika. At the start of his introduction, Kiran, who stands in the front of the 6A boys line, leans toward me and whispers, “Ma’am, we can interview her for the newspaper.” My heart soared.