Thursday, February 3, 2011


Today is Saturday, so PC school is half day. We did community mapping, riding our bikes around the tambon (collection of villages) and locating markets, restaurants, Wats, government buildings, where each PCT lives, and other local land marks. We also located where various officials live. Thai government structure is very complex with 2 somewhat parallel systems in place. The long standing traditional system and the newer structure put in place about 50 years ago in the Thai effort to decentralize government. The smallest unit is the village, then the tambon (a cluster of villages), the district, and the province. Each one has someone in charge. Many PCVs work at the tambon level, called SAO (sub district administrative office). Many of the officials are elected and some are appointed, similar to an American elected mayor and appointed city manager. PCT families all seem to have a role to play.
It was nice to have the afternoon off. Got laundry done (we have a washer and hang the clothes to dry by the river), some studying by the river and took more photos. A Thai university student studied with me. She is studying English and thinks grammar is the hardest part. I told her I agree! Next door to my house is a drinking water station. For 1 baht (30b to $1) you can fill about a liter. In the same area is a village meeting spot and a rice mill. The rice mill turns the rice plant into: rice to eat (kaao), a smaller version used for dog food, and the outside shaft used to feed the pigs. The primary occupation in Thailand is rice farming. Thai ice cream is excellent and was delivered today by a vendor on a motorcycle. Watermelon via the back of a pick-up. Outdoor markets (balat nut) are everywhere and sell everything. Just like home, they are in different spots different days. You can get prepared food, groceries, office supplies, tools, clothing, household supplies and cleaning products. They are also a community gathering spot. The most unusual thing I have seen (at least that I recognize) is a complete pig skin, whole with face and all, but no insides. Not sure if it was to advertise that they sold pork or if it was for sale!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I’m so impressed with everything you are learning and that you remember. Sounds like you are getting a strong grasp on the language and forming a bond with your family. Who does the grandson belong to and why is he living with the grandparents? How many actually live in your house.

    Brentie’s 60th is tomorrow so on Friday night we had a few friends in to help celebrate. We missed you and everyone always asks us how you are doing. Hope you are finding a few special friends amongst the PCs. I know you are homesick, but know that this is the experience of a lifetime and we are ALL so PROUD of you!

    Em, glad the SPF has gone down from 50 to 30!

    On the 19th I’m going to Orlando to visit Wanda.