Women are Wonderful

Bangkok Travel Blog

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discussing how to tackle domestic abuse

Being a Peace Corps volunteer means a lot of different things.  You can build or farm, you can teach, you can network to find the materials or skills they need, you can be a facilitator…the possibilities are endless.  And they vary from volunteer-to-volunteer and from site-to-site.


At my site there are plenty of open doors but there are also lots of closed ones, too.  HIV/AIDS, for example is not a project that I cannot directly tackle, due to its taboo nature and community members unwillingness to approach it.  Instead of getting upset or pushing my people to participate in activities that they don’t want, I’m trying to find ways to work on what they do want.


I recently went to a GAD (Gender and Development) conference in Bangkok.

female monk talking about non-traditional roles for women
  Personally I didn’t want to go.  But my counterpart was extremely interested and really did want to go.  We filled out the application and off we went to the big city.  And I am so glad that we did! 


Not only did she learn so much new information, but we had a great time exploring the issues in our community.  Now we have a great project plan to work on and I have committed and involved community members to work with. 


The conference was 3 days, mostly in Thai:

  • There was a female Buddhist monk (very rare in Thailand; they are ordaned in Sri Lanka) who talked about non traditional roles for women.
    our goal for our community
  • We had a women’s health advocacy group come in and talk about all kinds of health issues- cervical cancer, STDs, drug abuse, teen pregnancy.  They also spent half a day discussing the body/sex/gender and traditional Thai stigmas about it.  
  • A woman from a family advocacy group talked about domestic violence and female discrimination.  
  • It was all finished up with a day of project planning where we talked in depth with our counterparts and cooperatively found some topics that are worth tackling.

My counterpart (who is also the teacher that I work with at school) was so wonderfully engaged and engaging.  She absorbed so much information and learned strategies for tackling our community problems.  We are now designing some workshops to teach kids and families about drugs, health and diseases, domestic issues, and teen pregnancy. 


The most rewarding thing about Peace Corps, for me, is that we get to work with and educate/learn from all types of people.  I think it’s so amazing how little steps can lead to such big improvements.

X_Drive says:
Here is Visalia, California we have the only Caucasian female Buddist priest in the world.
May your little steps be many.
Posted on: Aug 29, 2006
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discussing how to tackle domestic …
discussing how to tackle domestic…
female monk talking about non-trad…
female monk talking about non-tra…
our goal for our community
our goal for our community
blowing up condom for life-skills …
blowing up condom for life-skills…
life-skills game about safe sex
life-skills game about safe sex
working on our project proposal
working on our project proposal
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photo by: Deats