Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Break 2

Songkran is the three day water fight festival throughout Thailand. This was the scene in front of my host family's house.

It was also during this holiday that I moved out on my own earlier than anticipated. It's a complicated story that those in my journal email ring are privy to. Sorry general public :)

First things first: set up the wifi

Brian, a nearby PCV, came into town and we hit the awesome weekend market downtown. Too many food options to choose from.

Rainy season came early. Thank goodness, because it's been a million degrees lately, and the rain cools things down a bit, despite the humidity. 

Weekend trip to Rayong for a Peace Corps Consolidation test. It's what we do if there's a natural disaster or anarchy breaks out. We consolidate to a meeting point. In my case, it's at this sweet hotel with a pool. We made good use of it.

Shortly after that about 20 PCVs took a little vacation to Koh Mak, and island off the coast near where I live. It was a relaxing four days with this view.

School is starting this week and life will dramatically change. I'll try to get some pictures up of my rental house too.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Summer Break

We are currently on summer break until the new school year begins on May 18th. As such, I've had a lot of free time to explore the city of Chanthaburi with my host family, eat delicious food, and take a three day teacher retreat.

Chanthaburi is famous for having the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand. It's an impressive looking building on the waterfront. 

At the King Taksin Great Shrine and City Pillar Shrine with my host family. 

Day trip to the National Maritime Museum 

Dessert on Chanthaburi River

Vietnamese dinner at home. I could post dozens of amazing food pics here, but I'll let you visit my Facebook Timeline for those. 

I was invited to join the end of school year teacher's retreat to Kanchanaburi, the other side of Thailand from where I live now. They chartered a party bus, and as you can see below, there was plenty of karaoke, drinking, and gambling the entire drive.

One of our first stops was to the famous River Kwai Bridge.

Srinagarind Dam

We visited several wats (temples), including this one at วัดบ้านถ้ำ

and this one at วัดถำ้มังกรทอง

But honestly, the highlight of the trip was this wonderful foot massage.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Joining the Ranks of the Peace Corps

Since arriving in Thailand on Jan. 11th, we have been wading through pre-service training, several months of technical and language instruction. All of that came to an end this week when 64 of us were finally sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers. We lost 7 along the way. We will likely lose more in the months to come. As we keep hearing, this is the toughest job you'll ever love.

Shared a tearful goodbye to my host family. They were so kind and generous to me since my arrival in Thailand. I am so grateful to them for making me feel like a member of the family. 

We met our teaching counterparts for the first time. I will be working with Jeab for the next two years in the city of Chanthaburi. It's located on the Eastern Seaboard above the Gulf of Thailand. That's my school director on the right.

Later that afternoon I was introduced to my new host family who I will be living with for at least the next month. As you can see in the picture below, they are incredibly sweet and made me feel at home immediately. 

I'm in love with my bedroom which features a/c and an on-suite bathroom. So much for roughing it in a jungle shack. :)

After a brief stint at an English camp today, Mary (another PCV from my group stationed in Chanthaburi) and I went with our co-teachers to the beach. School isn't in session until May, so we have a little time to rest and recover before things get crazy again.