Video: Final eight months

Here it is, my final video of pictures of my Peace Corps service.  In case you didn’t see the first two, representing my first year and a half, they’re below.

First year:

Next six months:


Video: A Day In the Life

I’ve been slowing working on this video for months and finally found the ambition to sit in front of the camera and talk to you and then put the clips together.  This should give you an idea what my daily life has been like for the last two years.  It’s not as complete as I would have liked (I didn’t show you where I get drinking water).


Dreaming of dishes that don’t involve rice and real beer

Two weeks from Thursday I’ll be at the Bangkok airport and leaving Thailand. I’ve been here since I arrived in January 2011. Many of my fellow volunteers have traveled to nearby countries or gone back to the United States. I have chosen not to. I’m ready to leave.

With my plethora of free time, I made a list of the food and drinks I plan to consume when I return to the United States. Here it is.

– Bratwurst with Silver Spring mustard
– My pancakes with real salted butter and Aunt Jemima syrup
– Papa Murphy’s pizza hot out of the oven
– A baked potato with butter, pepper, Lawry’s and more butter
– Three scrambled eggs, quality & healthy wheat toast (with butter) and half a pound of bacon, three strips mixed in with the eggs with the bacon grease used to lubricate the pan and flavor the eggs
– A bowl of Corn Chex (with 2% milk) lightly sprinkled with sugar
– Raspberries
– Hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven, peanut butter cookies
– Mom’s homemade lasagna
– Jimmy John’s No. 9 sub sandwich – I’ve forgotten what it is, but I know No. 9 = delicious

– Rolling Rock beer
– Red wine (anything but Merlot)
– 2% milk (I have a glass about every month here. I plan to go back to three gallons a week in the states)
– Newcastle beer
– Tap water (I took it for granted)
– A Grain Belt or Summit beer at a St. Paul Saints game
– Real black coffee – not an Americano, but a dark cup of coffee from my own home or a locally-owned coffee shop and maybe a shot in the dark (cup of coffee with a shot of espresso)
– Fitger’s Oatmeal Big Boat Stout in Duluth
– An A&W root beer from an A&W stand/restaurant –
– Any beer that’s handed to me by a friend

Photos: Nearing the end

It’s been a busy February and January.  I ran in a quarter marathon with four fellow volunteers.  I went to Bangkok for medical week where the Peace Corps medical staff made sure I was okay to return to the U.S.  During that week, I got to see most of the volunteers from the last two years.  I had a visit from Josh and Joe and then Sonya and I took one final Thailand vacation to Bangkok.

As I write this, I have less than three weeks remaining in Peace Corps Thailand.  As I write this, it’s also 100 degrees and supposed to get hotter in a few days.  I’ve started packing and getting rid of a lot of my possessions.

As of now it’s looking like I’ll be back in the U.S. in early May.  I’ll be taking the long way home and spending over a month in Europe before getting home, beginning in Rome.

Ambition is at an all-time low, but hopefully I have one more blog left in me before I leave.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Photos: Best of last month or so


Remember me? Notes from a Surin internet cafe

Guess who?  You just cost me six-thousand dollars.

What are you talking about Jeff?  Not sure and that’s likely because Jeff is going a little crazy and writing in the third person. Village life is making Mr. Jackson begin to think about reading James Patterson novels, listening to Creed and rooting for the New York Yankees.

I’m writing this from a Surin internet cafe (though, it won’t be published for a number of days.) I have no major theme to discuss or project to show pictures of. I’ve been offline a lot recently because going online in my village requires more effort than I’m willing to give. This behavior is not unique among fellow Peace Corps Thailand Group 123 volunteers. The vast majority of us are “waiting out” our service time. Sure, we’re still visiting with the locals when we get our groceries and exercise, but there’s not a lot of work being done anymore.

As for Triple J, the booming music, barking dogs at night, roosters during the day and apathetic neighbors are getting to him. He only has about 50 days left in Thailand until his March 20 close-of-service date. He’ll make it, but a few more Leos (the only decent and affordable beer in Thailand) may be required.

I may have actual internet access from my computer this weekend where I can post some pictures of the last month which included a mini marathon in Khon Kaen (11.55 kilometers) and … That’s all I got.  Life’s been pretty slow, but thankfully I’ve had some great friends to help me through – face-to-face and via cell phone.

I’m also working on a video called A Day In the Life, which will give my friends and family back home an idea of what my days have been like for the last two years. Ambition is dissolving, but I’ll rally and get it out eventually.

Thailand, I’ll miss you, but I can’t do that until I leave. Until then, America, I miss you. I miss your four seasons. I miss the fact that you don’t stare at me. I miss your baseball. I miss your diversity. I’ll see you soon.

Photos: Best of 2012

I did my best to choose only two photos per month.  Some have a few more and some have none.  These are my favorite photos of 2012.