Falling In Love With Thale Noe

Thale Noe means ” The Sea ” and if you saw the piece on my Journey to the sea, you know right away how beautiful, and unique this area is. But today I want to let you see how the Peace Corps program works with the Tessaban Office in Panantung. I have been attending many school events and participating at most. In some just handing out awards, but in others actually speaking or doing an activity with the kids. However , I had not been invited to help in a camp or extended school program. All that changed last two weeks. We had a Holiday here called Songkran. It runs several days with activities each day. The Tessaban is the organization responsible for doing this, so while others had days off we worked. But I met so many great people through this. One terrific opportunity presented itself. Would I help at an English Camp with 103 kids ? Of course I would . Many of the Thai students, can read and write English, but no practice speaking it. So a camp for 10 days mostly in English is ideal. An intense hands on immersion into another world for them.

20140420-143834.jpg so come last Thursday they arrived.

20140420-144006.jpg some looked around with wonder as students from many schools came together.

20140420-144137.jpg but soon the room was filled to overflowing !

20140420-144251.jpg then we got down to business. Greetings in English occupied the first day. It was awesome working in tis arena.

20140420-144512.jpg there were two trainers,I was one, and six teachers from the schools.

20140420-144707.jpg there were major activities each day to encourage teamwork, and creativity.

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20140420-144904.jpg everyday there was a full review of the materials presented, and introduction of students and friends.

20140420-145103.jpg we always finished the day on a high note with awards for the top teams as well as outstanding efforts by students. Now I could feel why I was here, the looks on those faces was all the reward I needed.

Journey To The Sea

All I knew was I had to be at the Tessaban at 5:30 am to take a journey to the sea. I knew we were next to a lake, but the sea? We drove in the dark to a launch area, where an incredible journey took place. A picture is worth a thousand words so here goes. First the boat to go on the sea !

20140328-163554.jpg impressive isn’t it ? I being the American got to enter first, and walking,no more like crawling to the last seat on the boat. I made it. Then we took off.

20140328-163930.jpg what do I see next out on the water? Alien space ships ? No fishing nets used by Thai people who were called the people of the sea.

20140328-164213.jpg another view from our boat.

20140328-164323.jpg can these boats go fast,just look !

20140328-164429.jpg Then sunrise in Thailand ! Yes the sun is red in Thailand.

20140328-164630.jpg Just imagine the sense of awe I experienced.

20140328-164757.jpg Next we saw water buffalo on pieces of land surrounded by water. How did they do that ? They call them Water Buffalos for a reason ! !

20140328-165051.jpg Then we hit the wetlands inhabited by the sea people.

20140328-165236.jpg if I had taken a hundred pictures, I could never capture , what my mind will never forget. And just when you think you have seen it all, a sea of water Lillie’s or in Thai, LOTUS FLOWERS !

20140328-165609.jpg I was speechless as we sat and as far as we could see, were these incredible plants. I hope you get a chance to take this Journey some day !

One door closes- another door opens

This day had to come. Two months ago I said hello to Mr. A and his family. A week ago I had to say good by. This family was so good to me. I became part of them. They taught me a lot, I only hope they learned from me. We had a farewell party, where we ate, sang and spoke of the future. I am including pictures of them and the award to them the night of the party.

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20140323-102133.jpg the emotions we feel at times like this are intense. No matter how long or short,the impact will be felt by me for years.

Twins Reunited for Two Years in Phatthalung

20140314-170658.jpgb Yesterday it was announced that Mr. Jim and Mr. Matt who are twins Born 40 years apart are partnering to bring Peace Corps Services to the south of Thailand. Phatthalung is an awesome place and I am excited to be chosen to serve. Our current Nayoke at Wat Dao is sad we are going,but is thrilled where we are going. We get ocean and mountains. thanks for all the prayers and support.

TRAINING’S OVER !

Today was language testing day. Learn Thai in 8 weeks ? We did it ! Pressure packed, 30 minute situations, can you have a conversation ? Words come in a blur,but you can hear them this time. Time slows down, your brain doesn’t need to translate because you are thinking in Thai. Man this is so awesome. I can do this. Perfect, no way, but what language did you learn in the past two months ? I won’t lie and say it was easy, it was not and is not. But why do things have to be easy ? I am so stoked today on completing this program. It was hard. Did I want to give up ? Once, but several of my teammates, one I only know over Facebook, picked me up and kept my head in the game. Was this what it was all about, to show me that I am not going to be alone in my village. We may all be superstars, but could we learn to play as a team ? I have taken and passed a bar exam to be a Lawyer. I took and passed several securities exams. I did that. I can’t get through my Peace Corps assignment by myself. I know that now ! Have we not all had team building exercises, and then reverted to our old ways ? For me those days are over. My next birthday in August I will be Jet Sip B in Thai, may I tell you that this past week I made out goals for the next five years. Push yourself, take a risk, instead of I want to,how about I am going to start a theater troupe this year in my village. What dream can’t you let go ? I need help to do this ? Will you support me in prayer ? Next week the announcement of our sites is made, god knows where I am going, will you pray that I will be ready ? Thank you so much. Love you all.

Peace Corps hosts Two Hundred Youth At English And Lifestyles Day

From all over they came, different schools but so much in common. Wanting to know more about English and healthy lifestyles. We had all of four days to plan and PULL THIS OFF. I am including lots of pictures. Also, I finally have the VIDEO of the Thai Performence Day. Thank you to the other Jim in my team 126 for his willingness to pull it together. This video can be found at it’s intended spot at One Practice Skit Becomes Thailand Hit a prior blog. I know you will love it !

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20140227-070335.jpg Love you all and pray for you.