September 11, 2013

Sargent Shriver Promotes Peace Corps on National TV

9/11/13 - The biggest accomplishment this week had to do more with medical. On Monday I had more blood tests, for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and varicella (chickenpox), and received a tetanus shot. Believe it or not, just those cost $175. Next week, I hope to get a polio shot too. I wonder how much that is going to cost.

On the learning Thai front, I started learning numbers. Well, I started learning how to say the number words, like one, two, and three. Numerals, like 1, 2, and 3, will come later as they are not the same in Thai as in English (although I'm told they use English numerals too in Thailand).

Found out that the Thai guitar (also called a pin or phin), a 3-string instrument, is very similar to a mountain dulcimer in tuning. The strings are E-B-E (a dulcimer is usually D-A-D). Got my old Vagabond guitar from another friend whom was holding it for me (for years) and thought of dusting off my old guitar skills, not that I had many to begin with. But I've also been thinking of getting a "Strumstick" instead and selling my guitar. A Strumstick is another 3-string instrument, kind of a cross between a dulcimer and a guitar. The nice thing is that it is perfect for travel - very, very compact. And, it is super easy to learn to play. Maybe I could learn a few American folk tunes or children's songs on it before I leave for Thailand. Then when I'm in-country, maybe I can get someone to teach me to play a Thailand guitar.

And on a Peace Corps related note, I've been asked to help be a co-editor of the "Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook" written by a good friend of mine from Mongolia, Travis Hellstrom. He wants to update and publish the 2nd edition before the end of the year, so part of my job is to find contributors and reviewers.

Originally uploaded on Jun 5, 2009 by the Peace Corps

A 1960s broadcast of Sargent Shriver describing the work of Peace Corps Volunteers on a David Garroway TV program.

Learn more about Sargent Shriver and the history of Peace Corps at