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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Presents - Part 1

Part of the Peace Corps assignment is to share our culture with the people we serve. Thailand is 98% Buddhist, so Christmas Day is just another day in the classroom. Bob decided to arrange a Christmas "gift exchange" as part of his cultural exchange. He placed a Christmas tree cut out on the wall and had the students cut out snow flakes with their names when they brought a present. The fact that some students colored their snow flakes meant something was lost in translation!!! Since many students are very poor, a 25 baht limit (65 cents) was placed on the gifts. He told them they could wrap it "arai go daai" which means "any way they could" since he thought none of them had wrapping paper or decorative accessories. Bob was shocked because he forgot that presentation is everything in Thailand. For example, the schools have beautiful gates but the inside the classrooms, it's a different story. The wrapping paper and bows probably cost a lot more than what was inside the box. After Bob sang Christmas songs, the students opened their presents. The students had so much fun, that they insisted that Bob get in the picture with them!!!


At 9:51 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Veeerrrry nice wrapping!

At 2:21 PM, Blogger ALTA said...

WOW those gifts are wrapped perfectly, presentation is important, we can see.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger matt said...

We couldnt have even bought a can a soda here if we had that kind of limit on us ; )


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