Monday, February 3, 2014

Thai-ing to Understand

Sorry for the lack of updates! There was a computer glitch, but it's fixed now, so here's the update!

I am living in a village of about 6,000 with a host dad (who's the mayor of the district), host mom, and 17-year-old host sister. 
My room when I first arrived, it's a lot messier now.

Here are some things I've experienced in Thailand so far:

Don Gedi, the re-enactment of an epic battle between the kings of Burma and Thailand that took place on elephants. The king of Thailand won.
Chinese New Year in Suphan Buri's Chinatown.

Riding past BEAUTIFUL rice paddies every day.
The oppressive heat of fog in Thailand. I did not love riding my bike the morning this happened.
The 100 year old market in Bang Pla Ma.
Going to temple on Sunday in Wat Pho Takuan.
So far I've been blessed with some really cool experiences. The culture here is rich and historical and it's been amazing to explore. People are really friendly, and you have to watch out because they LOVE to feed you. Thais are very direct, so they will feed you and then tell you that you are fat, and that's taken some getting used to, but they don't mean it maliciously. Today my family told me that when I lose weight I will be beautiful and I simply told them that I already am beautiful. I'm not going to lie, I've struggled with being told I'm fat all the time because I've always fought so hard to not let that define me, and I've lost so much weight the past 4 years, but I'm trying to just maintain face and know that I am beautifully and wonderfully made, and to understand that it's not so much and insult as an observation spoken out loud. Other than being called fat, the Thai's have shown so much warmth and hospitality to me. There is a concept here called "naam jai", which literally means "heart water"; it's basically a spirit of generosity, and making sure that everyone feels accepted and that their needs are met. Thais look out for each other, and I've definitely felt that here.

In short, has everything been easy? No. Are the people wonderful and am I so glad that I decided to do Peace Corps again? ABSOLUTELY!

1 comment:

  1. Let me just say I'm so happy you are doing the blog thing! :P Especially with pictures! It looks like you are already immersed in an fascinating culture. Everything is so colorful. Do you have any idea where you will be moved to down the road or do they keep that hush hush? I'm sorry you are having to deal with comments about your weight, even if they mean it lovingly, it still must hurt. Miss you love you! Im going to pass on this url to Tim if you don't mind. :)