Friday, October 28, 2011

Thai Draft

Thailand has the draft and a professional army. ALL men at the age of 21 must participate in the draft process – zero exceptions according to my office. They pick a card out of a container and if they get a black card they are free, but if it is a red one then they must serve for 2 years. Getting a red card is very unpopular, as you can imagine. If a young man is interested in the military he would try to enlist. Try is the word, because they don’t take everyone. The professional army is highly selective. The young man in the white shirt, the one not smiling, just got drafted. The other young man, his brother, just got back from serving 2 years. This family is 2 for 2. The parents have a string ceremony, notice the wrists, and a party where guests bring baht in an envelope to give to the family in honor of the occasion. Serving in the Thai army is dangerous if they get posted in the far south due to terrorist activity, otherwise it is a peaceful tour of duty. Seems like a very fair system.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Support for Host Families

Dear friends and family:

As many of you know when we stepped off the plane in January, we soon departed to live with generous host families during our 10 week training (PST) in Ayutthaya.

In the past few weeks, our host families and their neighbors have been devastated by the recent flooding in the region. Offering our physical presence during the disaster recovery will only hamper the efforts and should be left to the agencies trained for such emergencies, but as volunteers here it would be remiss if we didn't do anything....

This is where you come in. The volunteers of Group 123 have set up a website to accept donations that will directly help our host families.

100% of donations, excluding transactional fees, will go directly to the families in need living in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Proceeds will be used for food, water, boats, clothes, medical supplies and other resources.

Please click on the link below and help us in whatever way you can. No donation is too small (or too large). ;-)

Thank you in advance for your support.

Peace Corps Thailand Group 123

Sisunee and her grandson, my host family, in their outdoor dining room, now under water.

Where I hung my laundry, now under water.

The front of their house, across the street from the canal, which was at least 10 feet below street level when I lived there. The whole street is under water and all residents had to evacuate.

Disclaimer: This website is not endorsed by, and does not reflect any official position held by the Peace Corps.
Devastating Floods in Ayutthaya, Thailand