Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bangrachan Village

Our transition out of the resort and into a host family in Bangrachan Village was a little unnerving for us. Nobody knew exactly what to expect. Would we be thrust into a situation where we can barely communicate with people who really want to communicate with us? Yes. Would we be taking cold bucket showers and squatting to poop for the next two months? Quite possibly. Would we be sleeping on a dirt floor and using stray dogs as blankets? Thankfully, no.

At last the wait was over. We met our new host families in a big room and were driven to our new homes for the next two months. Couldn't help but feel a sense of relief during the house tour when I saw I had my own room, a bed, and screens on the window. Things got better after spotting the heated shower, western toilet (sans seat), and washing machine. All in all, I have it pretty good. Wifi would have been frosting on the cake, but once I got data going on my phone, it wasn't a big deal.

Rice fields near my home

My host family's house

My bed area with  my PC issued mosquito net

The first night was super awkward, as I was a stranger in a strange house with almost zero ability to speak in Thai. I wasn't sure what to do or when to do it. After talking to other volunteers, this seemed to be the norm. However, things got dramatically better over the next few days. Soon I was meeting neighbors and extended family, feeling independent on my bike, and becoming a member of the family rather than a guest. 

A neighbor's pet squirrel

Language and technical training has been non stop since we arrived in Thailand. I feel like I'm back in high school and college--places I never wished to go back to. I'm not the greatest student, sleeping through a good portion of my classroom hours. It's even tougher for me to stay awake here with the heat, dressed in riap roy (business casual). I keep thinking--2 months, I can do this. 

Group 127. There are 70 of us now after one went home. 

Culture training

Community mapping bike ride with my language class

The silver lining to everything in Thailand is the food. It's been great!

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