Peace Corps adventure – Intro

I have been reading the entries on Thai-Blogs for over a year now, and decided that it is time to share some of my experiences in Thailand.
Back in 1975 I went to Thailand in the Peace Corps, where I worked as an engineer helping design and build small dams and related structures. Then three years ago my wife and I went to Thailand on vacation, and liked it so much that we went back a year later with our two sons. I am now planning to retire in 1-3 years or so, at which point my wife and I would like to move to Thailand for at least a few years. As part of my research into this move, I found and have greatly enjoyed the contributions of other writers here.
I do not know how often I will post here, but I will start by telling a little about the language training we received. There were eight Peace Corps Volunteers [PCVs] in my group, and we were taken to Pak Chong [up toward Korat] for our language training. They immediately started us learning to read Thai script, but their real focus was on teaching us to communicate, rather than the niceties of grammar or syntax. In the picture you can see what one of our classrooms looked like. The posters have the Thai alphabet color-coded to help us recognize which letters made which sounds. We were housed in a cluster of bungalows at the edge of town, but ate all of our meals at restaurants in town, and after only four days of training, our instructors took us into town for lunch and then disappeared. If we wanted to eat, we had to figure out how to order it ourselves! And we did. We didn’t always get what we expected, but it was usually good, and we quickly learned to trust the good nature and friendliness of the Thai people.
Learning Thai
Our training also took us out of Bangkok and into a small city on the border between Isaan and the rest of the country. Five of us had just received degrees in engineering, one was a fisheries major, and I don’t remember what the other two had studied, but in addition to our language studies, our instructors took us on numerous field trips to help us become familiar with the vocabulary and situations that we would be working with after our training. And occasionally, we would just “bai tio” and go have some fun!

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