Two in Thailand

After raising three children and watching them graduate from college, Bob and Carol decided to leave the educational field and pursue a dream that had been put on hold for 35 years (since graduationg from the University of Northern Iowa). "Two in Thailand" is the journal dedicated to that dream - to serve in the Peace Corps. This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed within do not necessarily represent the views of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's off to work I go!!!!!

We live in the country and bike to another site for our language lessons and then into the city to observe the local educational system. We are learning to "bike softly and carry a big stick!" There are thousands of wild dogs in the country, in the city, and at the schools. The dogs are usually quite docile (and undernourished) but the thrill of chasing a person on a bicycle brings the worst out of them. It's definitely an adventure!

Even though the temperature and the humidity are both in the 90's, we must always dress "rip roy" which means Carol in a skirt and Bob in shirt, tie, and slacks. In America, people would think Bob is "spreading the gospel".

Look!!!! A "farang" (white foreigner)

We both had to complete a student teaching assignment in Uthai Thani before being allowed to teach at our assigned site. You may question an experienced teacher having to student teach, but it allowed a glimpse into the very different teacher-centered Thai education system and prepared us for the challenges that lie ahead (i.e. how to incorporate an activity-based system into the Thai system).

Student Teaching -- again?!?

Carol teamed with fellow volunteer, Lindsay (the only person pictured who does not have black hair). We student taught for 2 1/2 weeks during our stay and in the end still had no idea what lie ahead. But what we need to remember is the excitement of a journey is not the destination, but the small steps we take to get there.


No shoes allowed, please!!!!

Students are not allowed to wear shoes in the classroom. We may not wear shoes inside any home including our own. When teaching we are either barefoot or in socks. In fact, I am in an internet cafe (a few miles from my host family's home) right now and my shoes are outside!!!! This actually makes a lot of practical sense since shoes do track a lot of dirt onto the floors.