The Peace Corps Volunteer

7 Weeks into my Peace Corps adventure and this is my first post. I've refrained from blogging for a couple reasons:

 

1. I've been to busy learning and adjusting to Thai culture.

 

2. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to write about

 

Well, I've made up my mind and I decided not to write about my personal experience at but Instead, focus on the volunteers I work with. Let's start with week 1

Week 1- Anticipation

All of us meet in San Francisco at the Sheraton hotel. We all were walking into the lobby, wide-eyed and with bags in hand. My initial hesitation to greet people was immediately shattered with an overwhelming amount of smiles and extroverted-ness. I honestly have never been around such a large group of generally happy people in my life. It was an instant feeling of comfort that I figured wouldn't last. I knew once the comforts of home were gone, the smiles wouldn't last. Or so I figured....

Week 2- The Party

Holy shit, that was a long plane ride! We traveled from San Fran ⇒ Singapore ⇒ Hong Kong ⇒ Bangkok. We arrived at the Golden Dragon hotel after 36 hours of total travel time but to my surprise, the smiles were still planted on most people's faces. Half asleep smiles, but smiles none the less. We spent the next few days nodding off through power points and learning basic cultural and language skills. We also drank a looootttt of beer 🙂

 

At this point, just about everyone knew each others name and were getting very familiar with one another. Everyone was so eager to learn and share bits and pieces of their life with each other. I couldn't believe how ridiculously similar we all were and how warming every single person was.

Still, we hadn't had to experience much hardship yet. We were staying in a nice hotel surrounded by fellow Americans. It was basically college all over again! I thought that once everyone moved into their host families things would start changing and true colors would start showing.

Week 3-7 WTF

The best way to explain the first day of moving into your host family is this, Imagine being a giant toddler who knows how to say "I like food" and "hello" and then is thrown into the street with a bike. You're smart enough to know basic human function but have no idea where anything is or how to do it. You need someone to hold your hand through everything but you absolutely hate it and throw temper tantrums because you just can't "LIFE" yet.

 

This was an eye-opening experience for most everyone. Myself, included. The amount of frustration and emotion shared between us for the next few weeks could have filled the Great Lakes. Even still, the smiles were still there never faltering. I couldn't believe how strong and supportive everyone was! Never in my life have I seen such a thing. I mean, These people are juggling sleeping, biking, eating, learning Thai, Teaching, families, boyfriends, girlfriends, marriages, finances, and none of them even know how to juggle! Yet, they always have an extra hand to help you out.

 

In short, Peace Corps volunteers are the most mindful, motivated, and caring people you could ever run across and I'm damn lucky to be surrounded by them every day. Looking back, It's crazy to me that I ever got asked "what the Peace Corps is." because the men and women volunteering are the absolute best representations of what it means to be an American.

 

I appreciate you for reading and please fill free to email me with any questions! I will try to be better at posting now that things are slowing down so stay tuned for more detailed info and my training experience!

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