September 4, 2013

A PCV Helps Promote Urban Gardening and Green Spaces in Senegal

Hello everyone! Starting with this post, I will try and give you at least a short update on my preparations for my upcoming service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. And, just in case you want something a little more engaging, besides my journal entries, I'll also be posting a random Peace Corps video.

9/1/13 (-131 days): Since I received my official invitation on July 10th, I have been working to get all my medical/dental/vision check-ups along with blood work and vaccinations. I'm relatively healthy for my age so I don't anticipate any issues. And since I have few medical records from my past, this will at least help me start to gather medical information for my, hopefully distant, future. Although I try to see the dentist every year, I haven't had a physical or vision exam in over a decade, or two.

I actually do not have much to buy, which is a good thing. As it is pretty hot and humid where I live in the USA, most of my summer clothes should work fine for Thailand. But, if I buy anything special, I'll be sure to post an update.

But, I guess you could say I'm obsessed with learning some Thai before I leave. For a world traveler like myself, you would think languages would be a breeze, but that is far from the reality. Although I have been fascinated with languages my whole life, I haven't really been able to learn any of them, except for a little Spanish. My list of attempted languages, mostly self-study is pretty extensive: Spanish, Italian, German, French, Swahili, Russian, Mongolian and now, Thai. I guess my biggest problem is I haven't really found my "ideal" learning style, what helps me learn a foreign language the quickest but also to retain it. So, for right now, I am working with some introductory materials sent by the Peace Corps (24 page booklet with 10 MP3s). I have a few other books and a dictionary too. I also will be trying to learn the Thai alphabet because it is a phonetic language, so if I know the alphabet, theoretically, I should be able to read Thai which should accelerate my learning curve. Although all the current Thailand PCVs have assured me that their language teachers are great, I'm still concerned. I guess we'll see how I do.

Until next week. :)

Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer David Vaughan promotes urban gardening and green spaces in Senegal, including carrying on sustainable projects started by previous Volunteers.