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, May 12, 2006

Our Transportation to Our Second Site

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, our second city was in a village about 25 kilometers away. A few weeks before the start of the new school year, we made a practice run on our bikes. It was a typical hot day in Thailand with temperatures and humidity both in the 90's. On the way back, Carol became extremely dehydrated and we had to stop for an hour, We thought, we have to do this twice a week? What happens when the monsoons arrive and it rains in the morning and the afternoon? We called our supervisor and said that it was asking a little too much for these two senior citizens to make a daily 50 km trek, especially given the weather and the narrow roads.

Luckily, arrangements were made for a van to transport us to and from school.

To say the van was in bad condition was an understatement! We usually arrived at school in different seating arrangements, since the seats weren't bolted to the floor. The needle of the gas gauge had never seen a position off the "E" and we were usually running only on gas fumes. We often convinced Khun Thaa, our driver (the agriculture teacher), to stop at a gas station and gave him 100 baht so we wouldn't be stranded next to a remote rice field. The other downside is that are driver frequently forgot to take us home, because he was so busy with the crops. In the second picture, we asked him "what happened". His response was, "Pom luum", which means "I forgot."

Looking back, we had more laughs with the driver about the transportation even though he spoke no English because humor is universal. We would often stop midway at a local gas station/convenience store and offer to buy him any refreshment he wanted .... but he would only take water. He was extremely kind and humble and as the Thai saying goes ... jai dee ... which means kind-hearted.


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