Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Notes on Completion

This morning I headed to the hospital for the PHA (Persons Having AIDS) meeting and would ceremoniously mark the completion of the project I had been working with the group.

After the normal tasks of chatting with everyone, sitting with nurse as she passed out medicine, condoms and face masks, I collected the final signatures and receipts needed for my project report. During this time, I couldn't help but notice an ornate bouquet of roses in the corner of the room. And of course as the meeting began to wind down, some the group members began to hang up a banner and set up chairs for picture taking.

Though the formality of this is directly related to Thai culture and hierarchy, I was touched by the actions. Not only did the ceremony represent the completion of our project, but also the completion of my time with the group. The roses were beautiful, as were the bushels of corn, three large watermelons and bag of crickets that I received.

After two years of attending meetings at the hospital, taking 2 group leaders to a Peace Corps Conference in Bangkok, undergoing countless brainstorming sessions, raising 1,555 dollars from friends and family in America, and making numerous house visits I helped 13 families affected by HIV/AIDS to start small businesses to be run out their homes. It was in this project that I truly learned why Peace Corps service needs to last for 2 years. I am immensely proud of this project and how it added to my service here in Thailand. And I am immensely thankful for the link it provided between my friends and family in America and my life here in Thailand. Thanks again for all your help. And finally I am immensely thankful to have worked with this group of people. Though they are affected by HIV/AIDS, and most do not have enough money for electricity and did not have a chance to complete even a middle school education, this group of people have become some of my best friends in Thailand and have taught me a lot about life. 


  1. What a heartwarming conclusion to months of dedication on your part. Congratulations! All of these activities in Thailand will always be
    enbedded in your heart. I love you and and
    immensely proud of you.

  2. Great job Sarah. I know you are both emotionally glad and sorry at the same time that your tour is up. I know when I left both times it was both exciting to be going home to the USA but at the same time very depressing to be leaving so many Thai friends that I would never see again...If you come this way, holler
    I would like to talk over Thai with you. Choke Dee...Robert