Monday, February 21, 2011

Out on the Town

The past weekend gave PC Thailand volunteers 3 days since Friday was a big Buddhist holiday. This meant an opportunity to travel, hang out with some other Americans, and to eat a lot of "farang" or foreign food. All volunteers in proximity travelled to my favorite Thai town of Ubon Ratchathani. As I only have 3 weeks left as a Peace Corps Volunteer, this was the last chance for a weekend get-together.

I would say it was one of the best get-togethers we have ever had. We spent our time, eating, drinking, bowling, swimming, trading stories and sharing future plans. After returning to my village I feel refreshed for my last few weeks here. However I am feeling a range of other emotions as well.

I think it would be hard for anyone other than a Peace Corps Volunteer to understand what I am feeling, but I will try and explain. Though at times it felt like my two years here would never end, now that its almost over, I feel like its flown by. I can't help but feel like this whole experience was a dream and when I return to America, I will resume my life just as I had left it, no time having past at all. But of course when I think about resuming life in America I am met with some feelings of anxiety as well. I know there will be culture shock, I know that I am changed and grown into a new person, and I know I might have trouble fitting in. I am used to being alone, I am used to the slow pace of village life, and I am used to having 30-plus close friends that understand exactly what I am going through. I am used to picking up and taking off for the weekend to explore. I am used to taking public transportation and riding a bike everywhere. Will I remember how to drive? Will I still have time to read one or two books a week? Will my friends and family think I am weirder than I was before?

My mind is sort of a mess these days as I contemplate saying goodbye to Thailand and saying hello to America. Because of that I am completely thankful for this past weekend and all the good times we had. It reminded me that no matter what happened these two years were some of the best in my life and I am so lucky to have a group of Peace Corps friends that have become like family in my life and in my future life in America.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil...

My group, 121, scheming on how to beat group 122 in a game of chicken. 

Our whole group with the tuk-tuk driver after all fitting into the same tuk-tuk for the ride back to the hotel!

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