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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Peace Corps Thailand Experience

Our experience as Peace Corps Volunteers from January, 2006, to April 1, 2008, was an incredible life journey. It was more than just a journey to a foreign land because it took us to places deep within ourselves. It altered our perceptions of relationships, customs (both foreign and domestic), religion, and the "American Way of Life". It taught us that a "simple" life is not necessarily a "poor" life and made us rearrange priorities in our lives. It taught us that poverty is not necessarily a lack of money, but a lack of happiness ... and in that respect, many countries that we perceive as being poor are, in fact, very rich.

Being a Peace Corps Volunteer, however, is not easy! You have to give up so many of your "comforts", but you will return as a much stronger and complete person. We strongly urge Americans to either join or support the Peace Corps. What you give to others will be returned a hundred times over in ways that you cannot imagine.
Since this blog was first published, we have taken the liberty to occasionally add reflection at the end of some of the posts. When we first published the blog, we were still adjusting to "culture shock". We found that during our first year we kept questioning the customs and practices of this foreign land. By the time we entered the second year, we were finally assimilating into the culture and began questioning our own culture. We soon discovered that many cultures have much to offer to us and that "Americanizing" another country is not necessarily in their own best interest. Ultimately, we discovered that our mission in Peace Corps was not to change the people we served, but to enable them to lead a better life while at the same time showing them that Americans are kind and sharing people that respect cultural differences.

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