Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Now, you are probably thinking that my lack of posting means that I have been very busy and now that I am posting that I have many exciting things to tell you. Sorry, that's not the case. I have been at site for the past 6 weeks or so (the longest I have ever stayed in my village at once) just living life. Not much work, not many projects, and definitely nothing exciting. At times it was excruciating, at times it was fun, at times it was relaxing and at times I really wondered if I could really eat another bite of rice.
During this time I did have the chance to see 1 other American. Yes, one. I had a visit from a Peace Corps trainee. This was fun, refreshing and and gave me a sense of pride about the work that I have done since the time when I was a trainee visiting a current volunteer this time last year.
Things are pretty slow around the village right now. The hot season is here and its almost time for people to start planting rice. The schools will be closing for summer break next week and the favorite Thai holiday of Songkran is in two weeks. Most people are content to just sit around and wait for summer, and that's basically all you can do when its this hot.
Luckily for me I will not be sitting around for much longer. Tomorrow night I'm taking an overnight bus to the training site of the new group of Volunteers. I will spend Friday with some fellow volunteers supervising their VAC election and introducing them to GIGs or the international Peace Corps committees. Following this short assignment I will visit a friend who lives nearby for a girls weekend with some of my best volunteer friends.
Then one week from tomorrow I will board yet another overnight bus to head into Bangkok to catch my flight to Vietnam for a week! I will be visiting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city with two good volunteer friends and simply can't wait! After that I will visit my host family from training for about 2 days and then head up to Northern Thailand for a week of Songkran (Thai new year's festival). Most, if not all, of my PC friends will be up there and I'm thinking its pretty much gonna turn into Peace Corps Spring Break.
In other news, I finally got word that I will be recommended to receive funding for the completion of the recycling bank that will be managed by the youth group. This was my first experience in writing a grant and I'm so glad it seems to be working out. Also my counterpart at the office has been much more honest about what we can work on together and her feelings about the support that the office has been giving me/her (not much!). We know we have a year left and have set a few project goals for ourselves that we are determined to make happen. Knowing my counterpart, and the way projects are completed around here, I think it will definitely take the whole year to make anything happen. Fingers crossed!
Monday, March 1, 2010
Apparently American eat meat differently from the rest of the world. We cook meat thoroughly, usually disposing of all parts but the meat in the process. This is not so in Thailand, or for that matter many of the other places I have traveled in the world (Africa, Nepal, China, etc.)
Last night we had roasted chicken, with peanut sauce wrapped in lettuce leaves. Sounds delicious right?? BUT, the chicken was served, on the bone (ok i can deal with that) with all its skin, organs and even some hair still on it! I as I watched my Thai family dig right in, I noticed a big difference between us. They were completely comfortable with this whole chicken thing, while I definitely was not.
I definitely think that there are other Americans who would act the same way, had they been in this situation. Now I'm not trying to be a whiny, little you know what....I dug in after a few minutes and enjoyed what little white meat that I could and some unknown parts of the chicken and made my lettuce warps. I just wanted to point out this difference. Ya'll know what I'm saying???