Wesley In Thailand

I am currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Peace Corps or the United States government.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Last Blog Entry

Hey All, this is my last blog entry...why because its my last day in Thailand! That's right...I leave for the states in about 14 hours. Ive thought a lot about this last entry and have kind of put it off. I wanted to come up with something thoughtful and reflectful...I don't know how good it is going to be, but here goes. So do I regret the decision to do Peace Corps...absolutely not! Many times I thought I had, but this has been such a fantastic ride and I have met so many wonderful people I couldn't possibly wish I had never done it. A lot of volunteers walk away from their service wondering if they made a difference. I'm not sure how much of a difference I made, but I know its there. From this experience I will take away a new out look on life and the world. I have come away with some wonderful friendships and knowing some fabulous people that I wouldn't have met other wise. The old Peace Corps slogan..."its the hardest job you will ever love"...is one hundred percent true. I love this experience and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I feel like I come away from my service as a more confident person and a person ready to face the world fiercely and independently. The picture above is of my language class and our two Thai language teachers Chaterone and Peesuit. The volunteers are Ryan, Natalie, Emily and I. We are at the swearing in of group 119, and the 45th anniversary of Peace Corps in Thailand with one of the princesses, as my group closes its service. So before I end this blog I have to give a shout out to all of the other volunteers in my group...Thank you...and thanks to everyone that kept up with my blog and supported me while I was here. I cant wait to see you all very soon. Sawasdee krup prahtate Thai! Pohm rok kuhn!

Saturday, March 17, 2007


So this blog is about one of the most important things in the whole world to me and something that has been with me for most of my expereince....my blue point siamese cat Eleanor. I have to first recap my story of Eleanor. I got Eleanor from a siamese breader when she was 6 months old. She had been kept in a dark cage with several other cats. For the first 7 months of her life she was very timid and wouldnt let anyone touch her. She didnt even like to be in the same room with other people. Then last April, I think it was, she gave birth to two beautiful kittens. I had decided that after she finished nursing I was going to find a new home for her. So I gave the kittens away and litterally the next day she became incredibly loving. I dont know if it was the knowledge that she was going to be leaving or if it was just a chemical change, but she became the sweetest cat. This all happened at about the same time Mr. Ruth stopped coming inside and adopted my land lords family, so she became my real baby. She follows me everwhere, every time I sit down she jumps up on my lap or sits down beside me, and the one that sleeps with me every night. She is always there to calm me down and just be with me after a hard day, or any day. Tomorrow, she is going to go and live with Becky. I had played with the idea of taking her home with me, but decided it would just be too hard on her. She is the love of my life and I am going to miss her soooo much! I love you baby!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The real Goodbye party

So this past week my Co-teacher Ajjan Kanong organized a goodbye dinner for me with both co-teachers, his family (who I knew pretty well), my supervisor who retired in October, and my landlord Dr. Samboon and his wife who I call Bah or Aunt. It took place down at the Ping river and was just wonderful. It was a lot of good conversation and we all said good things to each other. In the end they gave me...of course, more flowers. Thus, I can now open my house up as Wesley's flower shop because of the hundreds of roses that are sitting in my house. The evening was really wonderful and a perfect ending to my relationship with them. I will go over to their houses and say goodbye one more time, but it was really nice to have them all together with me before I leave. These are a lot of the main people that really made a difference in my experience here. We had a lot of great conversations and they made me frustrated on many occasions, but in the end I really am sad to leave them. I may have only worked with them or been their neighbor, but its hard not to form a relationship with people after two years of being with them. Saying goodbye is really hard.

Good-Bye Anuban Prankratai

Thursday was my last day at school, and my last day at Anuban Prankratai School. I arrived to find that all of my students were waiting in the auditorium. Each student gave me a rose, cards, and sometimes gift. It was really so very nice. I then made a speach telling them how much I love them and how I will really miss them. I will really miss this school. This is because I have gotten to know these students and these teachers the most. Its the only school I stayed at for the two years of my service, and the one I was at the most. It will always hold a place in my heart. So around noon all of the teachers took me to a place for a goodbye lunch. On the wall read...Goodbye Mr. Wesley Have a time good so long. I looked at it for a moment, thought thats nice, and sat down when my co teachers jumps up and changes it to say have a good time haha. You know Ive been here too long when I dont think anything of signs in Tinglish. Notice, the carved Native American head above the sign..a little out of place huh? At the end of the dinner the school gave me a king dress shirt that generally only principals or important male teachers would wear. This shirt is made of thick polyester, has giant shoulder pads in it, and is bright yellow. They asked me if I liked it, "oh I love it, its just wonderful" I said. Then they asked me if I could wear it in America...I said "of course I can". What I didnt tell them was that I can probably only wear this shirt as a halloween costume. Well, its the thought that counts. So ends my teaching in Thailand. Its been a long journey, but one I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Im unofficially a Buckey!

Ok everyone....as many of you know I have waited for months and months and months to hear from OSU about graduate school. I started working on my application letter back in August and had everything sent in by the end of September. The due date for my application was not until December 1st. Well, December came and went...and so did January, February, and half of March. I was starting to get really nervous as my friend Emily had found out she got into Yale at the beginning of February....which by the way congratulations girl!( There is a link to her website under peace corp blogs...she is going to become a midwife!) So Ive been griping about not finding out for months now and my anxiety level has slowly gone up. I had already changed my address from Thailand to my home address, with worries that I would get the letter and I wouldn't be here anymore, and had told my Mom to keep a look out for any letters from OSU. Today was my last day at my last school and I was preparing to leave when I got a phone call. It was my Mom. Now this is very unusual because she usually calls me on Tuesday evenings...never on Thursdays and never in the morning. She called to tell me she had called OSU and they still hadn't sent out the acceptance letters, but that I had been accepted! Hallelujah! This has been one of the biggest stresses in my life. One, because I had only applied to one school....and if I didn't get in, what would I do? Two, I didn't want to come home to everyone asking me " So Wesley what will you be doing now" and my answer being " Well Ive applied for a masters program at OSU". So as you can believe I was jumping for joy! My major will be foreign and second language education with an emphasis on English as a second language. What that basically means is I will be learning how to teach people English who come to the US and are non-native English speakers. So watch out OSU...cause here I come...GO BUCKS!

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Last Day at Yang Reung School

Today was my last day at Yang Reung School. The children here are so sweet! Each one gave me a rose and wished me luck. I really enjoyed teaching at this school. The teachers and students were both very kind. I will truly miss them!
Picture 1: My 5th, 6th grade students, and I
Picture 2: My preschoolers saying goodbye. Every day each one runs up to me about 5 times saying hello and then stretching out their little hands for me to shake it. If they cant shake my hand then they will just shout out Krue Wesley and give me a big smile.
Picture 3: Some of my students giving me roses.
Picture 4: The last lesson I taught. We reviewed numbers;)
Picture 5: The many roses I received
This saying good-bye thing is starting to become a full time job...I don't really like it;(
Oh, for those of you who don't know...I come home on the 28th of March


This is my best Thai friend Bom and one of my best friends in the whole world! Through out my Peace Corps service he has been there for me to vent to, give me guidance, and just let me be myself. Last week Bom moved to Chiang Mai for a new job. I was a little sad that he moved two weeks before I leave Kampangphet, but Im really happy he got this awesome new opportunity. This past weekend I went up to Chiang Mai so that I could spend one last night with him. It was really fun and full of laughs and tears! I will miss him more than anything else about my life in Thailand. I know God puts people in your life for a reason, and he definitely gave me Bom because without him I don't know if I would have made it through the tough times here.

Pagoda Inn

These are pictures of my favorite guest house in Thailand. Its in Chiang Mai and is a lovely gem! Its rooms are cheap, clean, and are really well decorated. I love it because its like a maze with lots of different levels, hall ways, nooks, and crannies. This weekend Becky and I stayed in a room that had the bathroom and shower in an outdoor courtyard looking area! So if anyone goes to Chiang Mai...look up this place because not only is it nice, but centrally located.

crowded bus

In Thailand, there is not such a thing as too many people on one bus. If there isnt room, then you get to stand in the isle. Ive been on buses so crowded I had to stand for two hours, until someone got off and I was able to sit down. Here are some pictures of the Bus I took to Chiang Mai this weekend. Remember this is a 5 hour bus ride. The people in the second picture, in the middle of the isle, are sitting on little plastic stools. But what can I say...sometimes you just gotta get some place..and if its the last bus of the evening you often just dont care how comfortable you are.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines day is the day of HIV/AIDS education

OK, so if you have visited my blog since January you will know that I just did my HIV/AIDS education camp. Well, this is the follow up blog to that camp. Today is valentines day...which as my co-teacher says..."is the day of love"....thats why it was the perfect day to teach about AIDS. A few of the schools have already had their camps, but 4 of the schools had theirs today. I visited two of them. Some of the schools did booths, like at a fair, but the ones I visited did a day camp. These are just a few pictures of the students teaching their fellow students. The pictures at the first school taught their peers in their own grade and the students at the second school taught 7th grade. Both schools did a great job. Becky and I were really excited about the second school. This school didnt have money to put on the day camp, but the community liked the project so well that they funded it. We also found out that this paticular school liked the project so well that they are going to do it every valentines day. Im really really happy that not only did this project have a positive effect, but it is also sustaining for the community;)
.... so the one funny thing that happened...I guess when Thai kids think about AIDS they think sex...and there must be no better way to portray how people get AIDS than home made drawings of people having sex..The students at the second camp had made posters about AIDS education and posted them on the trees. Most of the pictures basically looked like Japanese anime porn. Well, at least along with being educated about AIDS they get to develop their art skills as well;)

Good Bye from the Rajhiphat gang!

Last night I went to have a dinner with the gang I always see at the Rajhiphat university in my town. I have gone to Rajhiphat since I moved here to do projects for them like English camps and teacher trainings. I also go there to use the internet and upload my pictures onto cds to send home. Bom and three other teachers from the English education department are leaving at the end of this term, as well as me next month, so we went to a buffet place to have a big good-bye dinner. It was really fun and also a little sad to start my good-byes already.

Resume Building/Philosophy of Education

A few weeks ago I did a project with my friend Bom at the Rajiphat, which is like a community college. Bom and I designed a workshop for English education majors where we showed them how to make a western resume in English and how to make a Thai resume in English. The difference between a Thai resume and a western resume is a Thai resumes put a picture on it and tells personal information like religion, sex, and hobbies. Its basically not as specific either...which made it very easy to teach. The students were shocked to learn that on a western resume you wouldnt put personal information. Ive learned that a lot of people in their older years here often have trouble finding a new job as they have to put their age and picture on a resume, and employers will often want younger people for many jobs.
I also taught about philosophy of education. This is something they didnt know about and is something the schools here are really pushing. If you walk into any school here you will see a philosophy of education posted on the wall. I basically wanted to teach this to them to make them more marketable as a teacher. This is because if they have a personal philosophy of education they will have something that will set them apart from other applicants. We also helped them to translate this into English.
I couldnt have done this project without my friend Bom. He was really amazing and is a really great teacher!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Photography by Jamison Litten

These pictures were taken by Jamison "Jamie" Litten. He is a Peace Corps volunteer in my group and is planning to go to photography school when finished with his service. These are two pictures he had taken with me in them....arnt they really awesome?! Both pictures were taken right before Christmas in Lampang. The first picture also has Katie in the background and the second picture is of me in the back of a truck...I was hiding from the wind;)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Poop Conference

So you will all be glad that there are no pictures involved in this post. Right now, my Peace Corps group is having what we have dubbed the poop conference. The poop conference is where all of group 117 has been sent to Bangkok for three days so that we can poop in a cup everyday. This is so that they can check and see if we have any parasites before we go home. I have gained a few pounds in the past couple of months so unless there is a fat parasite...I dont believe I have one. They have given us all a bag full of three cups, three popsicle sticks(to collect the poop with...you only need to put a bit in the cup), three plastic bags(to put the cup in), and three paper bags( to put the see through plastic cup in...even though we all know whats in the paper bag). This is the first day of the poop conference. We are all sitting around the head quarters volunteer lounge talking about....none other.... but poop. Some volunteers are talking about how it was easy and they had their regular morning poo, while others are talking about how they are having poop gitters and cant seem to squeeze one out on cue....we have to have had a poo by noon everyday, so that they can send them to the lab to be checked....yet others are talking about their techniques of how they got one out, or even their catching of the poo techniques. I have to admit that I had a little bit of the poop gitters...but, I went to McDonalds and had a cheese sandwhich, a super sized fry, a large coke, and a hot coffee. Like clockwork, an hour later I had to go to the restroom. This had to be one of the happiest poos of my life. I rushed out of the bathroom, paper bag in hand, and shouted success! I think this is the first time in my life I have ever announced that I had a poo. I then rushed it downstairs to the nurse who tole me.."just in time, we are sending them to the labratory now". There are some volunteers who just havnt been able to get one out yet...cross your fingers everyone!...My friend Jamie just came upstairs to announce "if you want to turn in a poo, 5 minutes left"...then my other friend Christina got up and headed to the bathroom with a depressing "Are you kidding me, I dont need this kind of pressure". All I have to say is....one day down, two days to go;)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kids and Motorcycles

In one of my past blogs I talked about motorcyclesand how in Thailand it is not uncommon to see children driving them. I had mentioned how, even though it is against the law for children to drive motorcycles, it almost always goes unnoticed and unenforced. The other day I was walking home from one of my many trips and saw one of my neighbor kids driving a motorcycle with his baby brother...and no that is not a white child, this little boy is albino and really loved by the community. I took this picture partly because I wanted to show how children drive motorcycles and partly because every time I see the older child he yells at me to ask me where I am going and where I have come from. The little boy driving is still in elementary school and is only 9 or 10 years old. I often times complain of living in a country where there are no rules...its because many of the ones that they actually have are really never enforced, so people ignore them. I dont mean to say that all rules go disreguarded, but a lot of them often do.