one whole year!
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i am a peace corps volunteer. i became one for a multitude of reasons- some altruistic, some selfish, some i didn't even know until i got here- but i am a volunteer nonetheless. and i have now been in Thailand for a whole year. when i got here i was excited. then i was disappointed and disheartened. next came fear followed by anger... finished with a whallop of confusion (this is 11 months of emotional rollercoster we are talking about here).
it's amazing to think how far i've come. i speak thai. i eat food spicier (with grosser ingredients) than i thought possible- and i enjoy it. i live without air conditioning- and i enjoy it. i ride a bicycle everyday.
in america we all walk around inside our bubble. i LOVED my bubble, my privacy, my aloneness...things that i had to give up in order to stay sane here. while i fought for months, i now have the perspective to say that the bubble is bad. THROW YOUR BUBBLES AWAY (or, at least, make them more permeable...more a screen door than a glass one).
haha, of course, i have a lockable door where my neighbors have none, and i often lock it (thai people don't know how to knock, my friends were always just walking right on in.
i more than live in sawang arom, i am part of sawang arom. it effects me and i effect it. in the end that is the best thing about this past year. I belong- to Sawang Arom, to Peace Corps Thailand, to a group of fellow volunteers who I consider family...Thailand brought me belonging...and i am forever grateful.