The furious pace continues. Yesterday we learned bike maintenance and got to ride through some very interesting and beautiful country. We rode through rice paddies, by a Wat (a Thai temple), and through diverse housing from very nice to slum conditions. Rivers and canals everywhere with people fishing. One woman in a dug out canoe was picking Buddha lotus for her spirit house. After biking (the biking was fun and so interesting but the maintenance was very hard). we returned to the hotel to figure out cell phones, a confusing process, have a health interview, and get our photo taken.
Today we met the governor, had our biking core competency test (most everyone passed), our first official language lesson, a cross cultural lesson, and 2 vaccinations. Biking safety is a big emphasis as we all will be riding bikes everywhere we go. Traffic in Thailand is a bit chaotic and the rule seems to be the biggest wins, which means the bike always looses. It is the biggest cause of injuries to PCVs. Not wearing your helmet will get you sent back to the states. The language lesson was hard but so interesting. The philosophy is to learn in context, not through translation. Lots of props and repetition.
Dr. Williams informed us about the 20/20 show airing tonight. I haven't seen it, but it apparently has a very negative bias against PC. If you would like to hear PC's response, check out the website, Peacecorps.gov. I think when you join the PC you put yourself out there in a developing country and that there are risks. I also believe that PC has a strong emphasis in the safety and security of their volunteers. Because we are working in diverse locations at a grassroots level, the training focus is on how we can best do our job and be safe by taking personal responsibility. There is also a plan for emergencies. Risks are everywhere and Thailand is a very safe place to volunteer.
Tomorrow we move in with our host families for 8 weeks as training continues. I will most likely loose Internet.