An unknown future; welcome to the Peace Corps

“…and I wonder … if everything could ever feel this real forever / If anything could ever be this good again.” – Foo Fighters

There is so much ahead of me in the next month or so that I still have no idea what to expect … and I’m cool with that.  As of right now, I’m still living with a host family who is feeding me two delicious meals a day and I have all the household amenities I need.  I’m also not allowed to travel overnight anywhere until May 1.  In other words, how lost can I get on a bus that’s only taking me an hour away?  I might find out; that could be the next blog.

One month from now I hope to be settling in at my new home, which is about three kilometers from where I am now and my SAO office.  From what I understand, the home is furnished with a bed, kitchen cabinet, a desk and chair along with a dining table and chairs.  There is a squat toilet and a bucket shower as well as reliable electricity.

Here’s the unknown.  Where do I get my food?  I’ve seen numerous stands with vegetables and fruits, but I have yet to see where my host mom gets her meat and rice.  As of now, I don’t know where to get these things.

Where do I get drinking water?  There’s always the option to boil my water, but I’ve been told it’s very cheap to purchase large jugs of drinking water.  Where I get them, I don’t know.

How do I get from my place to the bus station in Sangka when I want to take off for the weekend?  I could ride my bike the 10 miles, but I wouldn’t want to bike home on a Sunday night if I didn’t have to.  My guess is I can catch a ride with someone at work, but I’m not sure of that yet, either.

How do I get to certain parts of the country when every bus seems to be headed for Bangkok?  My first weekend trip plan is to see Erin somewhere between Sangka and the western province of Uthai Thani.  Is there somewhere we can meet that isn’t too much more of a trip for the other?  Luckily, Peace Corps volunteer Tara (from group 122) has been helping us with this situation.  However, it’s still the unknown until we get off at the same bus or train station and see each other.

The bottom line is I really enjoy this situation.  Erin was telling me the other night she is glad she’s not in my situation where everything is still unknown.  She’s not a part of the same program as me (community-based organization development), so she has a little more structure to her world right now.  I have very little structure and it’s up to me to figure all of this stuff out in the next month.  Sometimes I do crave the structure, but it’s not an option so I’ll live with what I have.

I have learned quite a bit in the last two weeks.  Although the Peace Corps taught everyone how to wash their own clothes, I didn’t get the chance to do it on my own until recently when my host mom showed me how.  She got a few laughs in as this coddled American failed to scrub the clothes as hard as they needed, but by the end of my laundry load I had the hang of it.  I also asked her to teach me how she cooks and she’s been showing me a thing or two about Thai cooking that I should be able to carry on to my place up the road.

I am going to screw up.  I am going to make mistakes.  I am going to embarrass myself … again … and again.  Expect the worse and even the mediocre can be pretty cool.  I’m having a great time.

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