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, September 24, 2006

Roadside Assistance

Bob was getting ready to fix a flat tire on his bicycle when four neighborhood boys showed up. Pretending to not knowing how to change an inner tube, Bob had more help than he imagined! One of the boy's father is the auto mechanic, so the boy ran the assembled tire to get air after they discovered the hand pump was too slow.
When they were finished, the oldest boy said, "Pom kaw len." Bob figured out he was asking to play.....but play what? He soon figured out that they all wanted to ride the bike because they had never seen a bike with 18 gears! Soon two more boys showed up and there were three boys riding on Bob's bike and three on Carol's bike. We were getting worried about how long this would go on until Bob said, "Paa lao" which means "enough" and the bikes were instantly returned with the customary "wai" (hands together in front of the face).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Let's Think Outside the Box!

Carol was teaching Thai English teachers how to make a box. However, the instructions were in English. The strategy is to learn English by doing! Hopefully, the teachers will return to their classrooms and have their students make the boxes while using English terms: paper, fold, crease, square, box, top, bottom, etc.

Is That the Ice Cream Man?

Rice season is in full swing now! The fields are planted by hand and are constantly being tended to by workers. We have seen brown barren fields turn into lush green paddies with the onset of the monsoon season. Rains fill reservoirs and a series of canals flood the paddies.

Harvest Time

This is a field next to our house. It is 90 degrees with almost 100% humidity. The plant grows thick tuberous roots. The plants are pulled out of the ground by hand, the tubers are cut and hauled away in the "e-dtek" and taken to a building where they are ground into meal for livestock. The workers work from dawn to dusk and cover every inch of their body. Bob helped them for 15 minutes get the cart unstuck and doesn't know how they work in the sun for 12 hours a day!

Breakfast at Pornatiffanie's

We sat down with some friends during a break from our workshop. They insisted that we eat with them. Yes, those are grasshoppers! Bob cleared his "plate" like his mother taught him to do. "Eat everything. Don't throw anything away! There are people starving in Afghanistan!" Carol decided she would join the ranks of the Afghanistans. Actually, she told them it was a Catholic holiday and she was supposed to fast for 24 hours.

Bob Trades in his Lawn Boy for a Lawn Buffalo!

We went to the hardware store and said we needed something that could "mow". I think the owner thought we said "moo". He said he had something that could that could mow (moo?) and fertilize at the same time! However, we still don't know how to change the air filter because the fumes are pretty powerful!