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. 


DANGEROUS ZONE
DON'T STEPPED ON SLING


Saturday, March 07, 2015

The Rest of Pre Service Training (PST)

Things got kind of crazy these past few weeks, so this post is a quick catch-up of what we've been up to. We had a mandatory cultural trip to a neighboring area. Most of us went to Lop Buri, a city overrun by monkeys. If the rage virus from 28 Days Later ever surfaces, this place will be ground zero.


 David getting monkey attacked


I stumbled upon hundreds of ladies dancing in rhythm inside a temple. Pretty impressive. 


We also took a trip to Bangkok to visit the Peace Corps office. 


Visited the old train station and a cool temple near Chinatown.



We held a successful English camp for the some of the local kids. We will all be organizing these camps at our new sights. 


A selfie from lunch out with my host brothers


And finally, this ASEAN poster. Bad English translation in the third line.