It has been awhile since I blogged, but I have some pretty good reasons why so here is the story…
Right after my last blog post I headed to a regional check in/test of the emergency consolidation procedures for Peace Corps. Since I was in Southern Thailand that means I met my fellow south volunteers in the Province of Krabi. Which looks like this…
We had some meetings about…ummm…something. It was hard to concentrate though when things look like this:
And there were boat rides to take
And there were restaurants that let you lie on the floor
And McDonalds to eat!!
And time needed to be spent with good friends
So I might not consider the meetings the highlight of my trip, but I did manage to stay awake through all of them! So I’m sure I learned something 🙂
So after I spent some time in Krabi with my friends I returned to my site in Chumphon. I had been having a bit of a rough time at site due to some sexual harassment that was going on. Peace Corps had been helping me with the situation for the last couple of weeks, trying different strategies to help me feel more comfortable at site and get the harassment to stop. However, right before Krabi it was clear that the sexual harassment had moved into stalking. After talking it through with my friends and having a near panic attack about having to return to site, I was certain that it would be impossible for me to be an effective volunteer there. So the day after I got back to site I reported the stalking behavior and Peace Corps immediately pulled me out of site and I was headed to Bangkok to talk about my situation.
It was decided that the situation at my site made it hard for me to accomplish my project goals and was a threat to my safety. This meant that Peace Corps would work on finding me a new site and in the meantime I was to remain in Bangkok. So that’s what I did for the next 12 days!
I made some new friends from Group 125 (they have been here a year longer than me) who happened to be in town and they quickly taught me all the delicious places to get farang food (western food). They also took me to the huge market, malls, and taught me how to use the skytrain!
My friend Ashley also came down to see me for a little bit which was awesome!
My friend Carly from group 125 introduced me to the greatest place on earth and my new favorite spot in Bangkok… The Cat Cafe!!!
Behold your worst nightmare Mom!!!! Lol
I also used my time in Bangkok to get over a cold and I had various meetings with Peace Corps as we tried to find a site that would be a good fit for me. It was fun and a little weird to be in Bangkok for so long. It doesn’t even feel like Thailand really, at least not the bucket bath, bike riding, rice eating Thailand that I have come to know.
It was finally decided that I would go to a site in the northern part of Thailand in the province of Tak (pronounced somewhere between tock and dock)! So after twelve days in Bangkok I set off for a whole new adventure in Thailand.
Tak is located in northern Thailand on the Myanmar border.
So I have been at my new site in Tak for 5 days now and so far so good! Everyone has been really welcoming and nice. This site is different than my other site in almost every way. My old site was full of palm oil farms and very rural. I now live in what could be considered a small town. We even have a 7/11! At my old site I worked at an SAO which had 28 people, now I work out of a Tesseban with close to 150 people. I’m currently staying with a lady from work, but after a month I will be renting my own place here. There are lots of people here around my age and I have already joined their running club! I’m really liking it here so far and can see this place being a good fit for me.
I will eventually get around to taking pictures of my new site to share with all of you. Right now though I’m just trying to find my groove. It has been a crazy time, but I feel like I’m finally starting to breathe a little. Thanks to everyone for the emails and messages. They helped me get through this rough time. I miss you all!
I’m going to end this blog with a picture of my new niece for no other reason than I think she is freaking cute! I can’t wait to meet her!