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, November 25, 2007

HIV/AIDS Network Conference

Bob went to Kamphaeng Phet to work with health professionals and teachers. One of the goals of Peace Corps is to help promote education. This activity was creating murals that educated people about HIV?AIDS prevention and compassionate care. The counterparts enjoyed the activity and were eager to take the project back to their communities.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Interview a Farang!

Everytime the is an event in Thailand, teachers cancel classes and give their students an assignment: "Interview a Farang". The students have prepared questions and actively seek out anyone who looks like they speak English. Fortunately for them, most Europeans speak English since few Americans are encountered. We always praise them and encourage them to speak English. They usually take a picture as proof that they found English English speakers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

American Women's Club English Camp

We were extremely fortunate to be invited to help with the American Women's Club English Camp which was held in Udon Thani this year. Many of the women are married to men who work for the American Embassy in Bangkok or work for large international companies such as Chevron. 145 girls from the northwest Thailand (Issan) were invited to the camp. They had received scholarships to continue their education and represented the "best of the best". The y spent three days and two nights trying to improve their English skills with the American Women's Club, their husbands, and about 8 Peace Corps members.


English Camp Activities

Some of the stations they students went to included a "Fun and Games" station and a "Treasure Hunt" activity where the girls had to read clues to find the ingredients to make a floating flower basket. Another activity was "Shopping" where they had to ask the clerk if they had something on their list and then they had to ask the price. They were supplied monopoly money to purchase the items on their list.


AWC English Camp Egg Drop

The students were allowed to be creative and design a package that would protect an egg from a 25 foot drop. We wanted to encourage the girls to be creative, think scientifically, and have fun. After the event, some of the girls tried to break their eggs in their hands. Bob told them if they held the egg a certain way, that it was impossible to break the egg.


Thailand Culture Exchange

On the eve of the second day, the students presented traditional dances. The girls hurried back to the classrooms where they were slept and changed into their costumes and prepared their hair for their presentations. The dances were both beautiful and graceful and gave a sense of dignity and pride to the girls.

American Culture Exchange

After watching the students perform their Thai traditional dances, the Americans demonstrated line dancing and good old rock and roll! The Thai students easily adapted to the American dancing and were quite good. We then had two guests -- Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny who handed out gifts. The girls were so appreciative of the English Camp and we kept urging them to try to speak English everyday. Although these were the best female students in Northwest Thailand (Issan), their speaking skills were very limited. But, it's events like this that break down the barriers and encourage them to keep trying!

Playing UNO

Bob likes to take time to play board games and cards with his students. It's an excellent way to teach English! "Play the same color! Play the same number!"
"You lose a turn!" (That would be "yut len" in Thai.) "You are the winner!" Although the students had never played UNO and "War", they love to play cards and are very competitive!