I hope everyone is doing well and surviving the winter wherever you are. The weather here in Thailand is mostly hot and humid right now, and it is even currently the “cold” season. There are three seasons here. To make things easy you can think of them as hot, hotter, and hottest, but in reality they are “winter”, SUMMER!, and monsoon season. I hear the ideal vacationing time here is November! So make your plans now :wink wink:
As for news from me, life seems to be pretty routine now during training. But even having a routine there are defiantly crazy stories to be had. Living in a new culture, not as a rowdy American tourist, but as a respectful teacher, presents challenges everyday. For one, I must be home by 630 at night when it gets dark. I normally have no problem sneaking in a beer after training when we get out early before going home to about 30 kids awaiting my arrival. So don’t worry, no wild and crazy parties to write home about.
I have been asked by the chairman of the village to teach English to any villagers who are interested. I was going to teach on Sundays, but we’ve changed it to Monday thur Thursday from 7:15 pm to 8:15pm. They have set up a classroom outside my house which was a surprise for me when I got home yesterday. The big dry erase board said “Welcome to Carolyn’s House!” I think it will be a successful and fun program for the people here. I don’t know of any other volunteers who will be teaching nightly for their village during training (which ends March 28 and then I will move to my permanent site for 2 years!). I think it is quite an honor. Sao, my sister, even made an announcement over the speakers spread throughout the village about Peace Corps and told them that Ajaan Carolyn (pronounced Care-o-lean here!) will be teaching at her house. I didn’t know she was making the announcement and I was playing Frisbee with the kids when I heard the speaker saying as-sas-sa-mak ten million times. I knew that word meant volunteer and then I heard America and knew who ever was speaking was talking about Peace Corps. Then I heard my name and put two and two together that it was Sao. Pretty funny! When she came home after it she was so excited… she said she has never made an announcement over the village speakers.
I found a pup, and took him in. His name is "lucky" and he's spoiled rotten.
My parents came to visit me at Thanksgiving!(2005) What a treat it was to have them here. They were worried they'd have nothing to do, wow were they ever wrong!
Aerobics still remains the highlight of my day and my only social outlet. The daily rice field walks have been cut out of my hectic schedule since Lucky started chasing and killing chickens, And now that I've hit a year mark in Thailand, people are no longer impressed with my ability to speak Thai. People are even starting to stake claims on my possessions knowing damn well that I am not leaving for over a year.
Here's me & my family at Christmas
I headed down South to a coastal town, Krabi, with other volunteers. We went on the coolest, most challenging hike of my life that led us to a lagoon on the top of a mountain. Despite three 10 meter descents straight down with no ropes, we got all 12 of us down (an up!) safely with only a few scrapes for battle wounds. We all felt pretty bad ass after that and could then justify a heavy night of drinking.