Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Site Setting

I'm home.

Well, not home as in comfy bed, bathroom complete with bath and western toilet, air-conditioning, car, nearby supermarket, and people speaking English without an accent home, but home nonetheless. I have arrived at my site in Chaiyaphum and have settled in with my new home-stay family, met my co-workers at my new school, officially spoken publicly at the opening ceremonies for my district's Sports Day (three days, rather), had meetings with the people who run the local health clinic, spoken briefly with all of the local village heads, and had an official meeting with the district official.

My home doesn't have internet and there has been a lot to do out in the community, so I'm only now getting the opportunity to update. It seems there is far to much to pack into one post, but I'll do my best to give a feel of what the past few weeks have been like.

Swearing in was a special day, and I should probably devote more time to it, but I'll give you this snapshot for now. I listened proudly to the history of Peace Corps, its long-standing presence in Thailand, words of encouragement and inspiration from our PC Country Director, and the US Ambassador, as well as carefully written and wonderfully executed speeches by two of my fellow volunteers about our journeys thus far. We all rose and swore in as a collective unit. I felt the 13 year old girl in me jump for joy as her dreams were being realized, and the 30 year old in me filled with wonder at this exciting new world of opportunity that was about to be opened before me.
The day for officially swearing in as a Peace Corps Volunteer has arrived!
Training with my principal and co-teacher was a breeze as they are both engaged in the task ahead of us and eager to grow, as I am. We get along very well, and although there are times that my language skills fall short, they are patient with me and understand where I'm coming from. They're as excited about what I have to offer as I am excited about how much I have to learn. These next two years will certainly be full ones.
A clipping from the local paper announcing the arrival 
of my fellow PCV and me to our sites.
Photo includes the head of English studies for the district,
my principal and co-teacher, myself, the superintendent,
my friend (fellow PCV) Barbara, her principal and her co-teachers.
My new home is warm and richer than I can possibly convey. I'm living on an organic farm complete with guava, banana, mango, papaya, marian plum, and rose apple trees. We have two cows with one on the way (it'll be born sometime next month), at least a dozen chickens, some newly hatched chicks, a rooster (maybe two?), a beautiful black dog (and another that visits daily), and a house of friendly faces. The husband and wife work hard, laugh hard, and enjoy life. I'm learning to cook any and all Thai dishes they're willing to teach me and they've starting eating more vegetarian food and say that they love it and will continue to do so when I leave. Their kids (one girl and one boy) are sweet and loving, albeit shy, and as I teach them more English and they loosen up around me, our time has become more relaxed and and joy filled as well.
Baan Wan Baan (aka Home Sweet Home)
Thus far, life is good, and I promise more posts soon.


  1. I felt like I was sitting next you as you described your new home! Congrats on being officially sworn in! Can't wait to hear more! You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  2. So nice to hear dear Jessie shareing your adventures so far. I know everyone you meet and work with will be blessed by your amazing presence. Your joy always comes through on your facebook and texting I am so grateful they have you near some communication sources sometimes. Life hear is good and I'd be lying if I said "I don't miss picken up the phone to chat" You spirit is hear and I have been enoying your folks more. They are amazing people too. Just enjoy and be the love and peace that you are. Mike and I are working on plans for before the end of the year and hopefully October.So many places over there he wants to show me and of course getting a SS hug and all will make it the best birthday yet!!!