Well here I am, semi-settled in my Peace Corps Site in Thailand. And I think I am coming to a place where most Volunteers end up, but one that training doesn’t exactly equip us for, Biterm, or summer break. Now, if I was a Thai teacher the last thing that I would want to do during my break is work. Truthfully. They work so much already year round that taking those precious vacation days to work with a foreigner sounds ludicrous to me. So here I sit in my village with nothing to do. I am looking at a very uneventful two years ahead of me at this rate. My host family will not allow me to go anywhere alone or do anything alone for that rate. It has to stop. I wanted to go for a run during my first week here they wouldn’t even allow me to do that. Now, what about a nice little bike ride to the internet café to save my sanity. Nope, I am not allowed to do that either. The last thing I would want to do is brake face or disrespect my elders but if they don’t allow me to ride my bike I literally cannot do my job as a Peace Corps Volunteer. At first, I try to appease them by following their rules but eventually I must have a very serious discussion that if they do not allow me to do things by myself then I won’t make any change.
I did not come to Thailand with friends or family. I came alone. Not to say that I have not made some wonderful friends and new family along the way, but what I signed up to do was to make the little change in the world that I can by myself within the goals of the Peace Corps. I want to get out there, meet people, use the bit of Thai knowledge that I have, and for the love of God stop sitting alone at home doing nothing. Trust me, there will be plenty of that in store for me in the next two years ahead. The very first arrival at site should, in my opinion, be one filled with excitement, meeting new people and experiencing new things. Looks like I will have to bust out some of those American persuasion skills, and as my significant other put it, start making compromises with the parentals.