Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer to Fall

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. There has been stuff going on but it's not super exciting.

Summer 2010 is officially over now that's September and that leaves me with about 6 or 7 months left in my service. I can hardly believe it! The time has flown by and I am finally feeling like I really "live" here. It's hard to explain what I mean by that, but since I have been here for so long, everything seems completely normal to me now. I'm sure I will have a real culture shock when I return to America.

Life at site has been perfectly fine lately. I have been able to see friends every two or three weeks and also spend a lot of time at home in my village. Lately I have been completely focused on studying for the GRE or the test needed to get into graduate school. Since I am thinking about the test I have also been researching schools and degrees. Thus my body is in Thailand, but my mind is in America as I think about whether I want a degree in development practice or international development or whether I want to be in New York or D.C. or maybe even the West Coast or Colorado. Who knows???

In a effort to get my mind re-focused on site and my work here I have set up some meetings with community members and leave time in my schedule that is dominated by studying for writing project plans and grant proposals.

This morning I stopped by the site of the bathroom project mentioned in my previous post. The project has been completely funded and construction is under-way! It should be finished and ready for use by next week. I have two more villages interested in similar projects and will try and get those funded within the next few weeks.

The HIV group and I have been brainstorming even more about their secondary income projects. There are nine families that wish to start a business from their home either raising crickets, ducks, or fish for selling. We have created a preliminary budget and I have a meeting with the group's doctor tomorrow to get more statistics needed for the the project proposal. Hopefully I will have a final draft ready to submit to Peace Corps next week. After Peace Corps approves the project, it will most likely either be submitting to a Thai institution for funding or posted on the Peace Corps website and be funded by donations from America. The project will probably cost just under $2000. I really hope it works out.

Other than that, I am busy planning for this fall. I will continue to teach reading, study Thai and maybe help with a library resource center being built in my community. I have a meeting in Bangkok in a few weeks, then the GRE in Bangkok on October 8. I don't plan on traveling too much after that because I need to save up for the Christmas vacation I am taking for 10 days in December and January! I am headed to the beaches and islands with three friends for some mountain biking, sea kayaking, and of course tanning on the beach.

Will hope to have more updates concerning these projects soon!