Friday, January 14, 2011

End of the First Week

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, 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.


  1. WOW,they certainly do pack something in for every minute of your day. BUT it all sounds interesting and facinating. I'm so glad you got to see some of the country. Miss you and love you lots but know that this is the experience of a lifetime!

    We celebrated Elizabeth's B-Day and tonight she goes out with the girls to PARTY!! Ashley brought her flowers and a small cake to SOS because she knew nobody would remember, so sweetand she still await the baby.


  2. I am doing just fine. anxious to get the radiation over. Started on Tuesday and the machine broked down for two days. start again tomorrow. you are truly missed for last minute drinks and dinner. Adi's w/p team beat Newport 9-3 last night! The girls came out smoken! Planing our trip to Greece with the girls. Think of the exercise you are getting on your bike! M

  3. You are certainly making a diverse, interesting group of friends. I never really thought about bike training but good to have the knowledge under many circumstances. Is the PC allowing you to take photos often or does that vilate some kind of protocol? Good luck on your new adventure and I hope you do well with little sleep as it seems they are really keeping you going.

    Thinking of you and will be anxious to follow your blog. Cheers! Rochelle

  4. I really do know how to spell "violate"...I have gotten used to rushing through and leaving grammar and spelling as it is when I chat with Shawn...who is loving Cambridge.