I know, I know, I know!!! Two months between blog posts is ridiculous. I had every intention of updating more often, but life happened as it often does :). I always figured that once I got settled at site I would be able to process my feelings about this crazy adventure and astound all of you with many posts about my profound insights. I need both time and insights though to make that happen so you’ll just have to wait.
Since I’ve gotten quite a few emails wondering what the heck is going on here, I’ll just use this post to quickly update you on my last eight weeks.
Then I spent the next weekend in the province of Loei at the Phi Ta Khon Festival. It is sometimes referred to as the ghost festival and is a celebration that commemorates the return of the Buddha-to-be Prince Vessandorn. It is said that when the Prince returned from a long journey after being presumed dead the town’s celebration was so loud that it awoke the dead and the ghosts joined in the celebration. The festival today includes parades, games, rockets, and sermons. It was really interesting to see and I had a lot of fun.
After the festival I returned to my site and to my last few weeks with my host family. I was living with a seven year old boy and a five year old girl, so most nights consisted of me spending many hours turning a jump rope for them and usually 3 or 4 other neighborhood children. Their absolute favorite game though was when Pii May (that’s me) would pretend to be a rabid Thai dog and chase them on their bikes. The kids loved it, but I think the adults think the farang (foreigner) is absolutely nuts. I’ve also discovered that if they are persistent enough you can fit 6 Thai kids on your twin bed to watch cartoons on your laptop.
Then I moved into my very own Thai house! It is right next to where I work at the Tessaban. It is concrete and while it doesn’t have a western toilet it does have a shower so no more bucket baths for me!! I do still have to handwash my laundry which mostly means I am becoming an expert at putting off doing my laundry :). I don’t really have any furniture yet, but it’s nice to have my own space. Here are a few pictures…
So immediately after moving into my new pad I left site for two weeks to go to Peace Corps Reconnect training in the province of Nakhon Sawan. It is the first time since swearing in that all the members of group 126 have been together. We had some language and technical training and spent some time talking about the first three months at site. Of course the best part was just getting to hang out together.
Reconnect was a ton of fun. I managed to eat obscene amounts of pizza and cheese, but also got a few good runs in with my friends at a beautiful park near the hotel.
After that everyone went back to site, but I took a few vacation days to go up to Chiang Mai with Carly. I think that will be a different post since I don’t have any pictures of that yet. She took all the pictures of course lol. It was probably my favorite weekend since being here though. We went to an elephant sanctuary and even got the chance to talk to some American High School students who were in Chiang Mai about the Peace Corps. I’ll save all those stories though. I’m getting tired of writing and you are probably tired of reading. Plus it’s lunch time so I get to go eat some rice….mmmmmm rice!
I’m back safely at my site now and starting to get down to business. I’m on the volleyball team this coming weekend for sports day and then I’ll be going to help with an English Camp. I can’t believe it is almost August, time is flying!