Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Posh Corp?

In some respects all Peace Corps countries are more Posh Corps than they were 45 years ago when Peace Corps started. There's 45 more years of development in place. However, when Diplomatt learned that there are Starbucks in Bangkok, he was pretty jealous of Peace Corps Thailand volunteers. Having a city like Bangkok in country, where literally every first-world convenience you can think of (including a 7-11 on every corner, I am not exaggerating) is available, might make Peace Corps Thailand see considerably more posh than Peace Corps Samoa. However, considering we were on a bus all day on Saturday to reach Nancymarie's site, these conveniences are not necessarily within easy reach.

I had contacted Hayden, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, through her blog (which I recommend you read, she's an good and entertaining writer). She offered to let us tag along as she joined another volunteer, Nancymarie, at her site where she would be competing in the Miss Songkran contest in her district. We met up with them Friday night for delicious Mediterranean food (something else you won't find in Samoa). We spent the night in a local hostel, Buri House. There was air-conditioning. That was luxurious.

Saturday morning we were up early and hit the Starbucks for breakfast. Then we caught a taxi to the bus station to get the bus that would take us to Nancymarie's site. The bus was like a long-distance Greyhound bus in the states. It even had air-con. Though coolness level was directly linked to the number of people on the bus, more people, less cool. Thais don't sit on each other's laps. However, when the seats were filled, small stools were set down in the aisle and when those were exhausted people stood.

Typically the ride to her site is about seven hours. However, there are two bus routes to her site. We discovered about seven hours in that we were on the bus that goes past Nancymarie's site and circles back to it in the end. So tack a couple more hours on to our trip. We were dropped off in her village in the dark and her co-teacher (that's right volunteers in Samoa with no counterparts, she has a co-teacher!) picked us up. We spent the night at her place.

More on our adventures to come; I am about four days behind.

— Sara

1 comment:

Meghan said...

Is it logical that I'm jealous of the Starbucks and the 7eleven when I've been back in America for a year and a half?