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.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Basket Weavers

Carol is always fascinated by the craft workers in Thailand. She immediately is drawn to them and visa versa. The women get large rolls of plastic that is sent from Bangkok and weave their wares under any cover out of the sun and sell them on the street.
This scene is under a large concrete sitting area used to observe lighted boat shows and boat races on the Mekong River.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Restaurants - Thai Style

Almost all restaurants outside of Bangkok are the outdoor type. You and a host of insects sit down to a wonderful selection of foods. We are eating fish, chicken legs (complete with claws), and sticky rice (kao niao). Most of Thailand eats jasmine rice, but the people of Isaan eat a different variety which has the consistency of oatmeal. You wash your hands by using buckets of water over outdoor sinks. This restaurant featured slices of lime to help remove the smell of the fish. Our supervisor, Khun Sura, is shown washing his hands after the meal.

Freedom Bridge

Trade between Laos and Thailand is conducted by boat across the Mekong River. That will soon change with the opening of the Freedom Bridge in late December. The cost is being split between Laos and Thailand with financing by Japan! The bridge has been under construction for over two years and eight people have died during the construction. The bridge will be only the second bridge connecting the two countries. The picture below cannot capture the enormity of the bridge. At each end are huge buildings for immigration check points.

Mushroom Rocks

Near the Mekong River is a beautiful park that features unusual erosion patterns that results in these unique mushroom rock formations. The Thailand government has set aside numerous national parks to preserve the natural beauty of Thailand. This park is in Issan (northeastern Thailand) directly across from Laos.

Rice Season

The monsoons have come and rice season is now in full swing. We have had an unusual wet season which is good considering the last two monsoon seasons have been dry. This is an example of a home on our ride to a large reservoir which helps deliver water by a series of canals to the area's rice fields.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Carol's "Big Brother/Big Sister Project"

Carol wrote a grant and got approved and funded to start a new program at one of her high schools. The students will go to the neighboring preschool once a week and read books to the "dek-deks". They are shown here constructing an "ABC Coloring Book" for each "dek-dek".

Aroy maak!

Surprisingly, all of the students said, "Aroy maak!" which means "very good" after tasting their first peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Bob made peanut butter sandwiches for Carol's students. They had never tried peanut butter. This followed a lesson he presented on tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, bland, and spicy.