I had no clue what "training" for the Peace Corps" would look like. Some say it's the hardest three months of the 27 month long program. Since I'm only entering month four I cant give my opinion yet, but I can definitely agree that it was not easy. Coming into this program I set my mind on being placed in a random, small village away from people, especially native English speakers. I didn't expect to see other volunteers as much as I did. As things got more stressful I found myself reaching out to them over friends and family from home, simply because it was easier to explain things. With my host family, I thought two months would fly by and that I'd be too busy to make a genuine connection. I was SO wrong. As demanding as PST was, the worst part about it was the end. When it was time to say goodbye to my generous host family, the wonderful staff, and my encouraging best friends I was heart broken. I didn't plan on building such strong relationships in such a short time frame; the goodbye hit me hard. Saying goodbye mixed with finishing PST, being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, taking a road trip to my new site (at least 6 hours and at most 22 hours from my best friends), being thrown into learning a new dialect, going from seeing my support system daily to being surrounded by strangers was quite the transition, and that isn't even the most of it. During my road trip to my new site someone in our group was joking about how I committed to a two year long program. The phrase "song Bii su su" was thrown out and now is my daily mantra. Song means 2, bii means year, and su su is a Thai phrase for cheering up and cheering on so essentially the phrase means good luck with the next two years. It has been said by my co-teachers and principle daily when introducing me to others and randomly throughout the day. It has kept me positive and made me laugh. Let the two year's begin :) I am now living in Kangtang, Trang a predominantly Muslim village in the southern region of Thailand. I will being teaching English at Ban Ko Khiam school as of May first, after summer break. I will spend this month planning lessons for the upcoming year, getting to know the community, and hanging out with the many local goats and cats that are everywhere I turn. Today my principle introduced me at the staff meeting and per usual in Thailand the things that needed to be brought up by him were the following: I am single, I don't eat meat, and that the staff must keep me busy so I don't get lonely and want to go home (they are very concerned) and we ended the introduction with us all saying my mantra together "Song Bii Su Su"!
*If you want to send letters I have a new address to reach out to me and I will give it to you