October 9, 2013

Youth & Community Development Overview - Peace Corps

10/5/13 - Less than 100 days! I wonder if the current situation in Washington will have any affect on that. No matter - for now we're into double digits. This is getting REAL!

Seems I've been getting a little obsessed with the idea of making a dulcimer to take with me to Thailand. Besides something to fill my free time (where I probably will not have internet or even TV), I think it could be good to try a little American folk music on the children to improve their English - and to have a little fun. Let's hope I can learn a few tunes before I leave in January. Probably will leave it packed up during my 3-month training and get it out once I get to my permanent site.

Lucky for me, there is so much I can find on the internet about making and playing dulcimers. One great site is called Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer where I've already been able to glean a lot of information and yesterday asked their online forum how my plan looks. I've got my cigar boxes for the body and my brother Tom has supplied some hardwood I can use for the fretboard. All I have to do now is wait for the musical hardware I ordered to arrive and we should have a working dulcimer by the end of the month (fingers crossed).

Other than that, trying to get back into a daily routine of meditation, exercise and Thai language study. Some days good, some days with too many distractions.

My good friend and returned Peace Corps volunteer, Travis, says that I sound weary. Maybe that is true. "Waiting" is so exhausting. It feels as if I should be doing something but in reality, I'm doing all I need to do which is to wait until I leave in January. Oh, there's still a little more shopping to do before then. And a lot of goodbyes to say. But mostly life goes on just like it did before I received my invitation.

Maybe that is why I've jumped so deep into this dulcimer project, because it is something to "sink my teeth into" while I wait. No matter, but I think it will be a cool project whatever the reason. :)

Originally uploaded on Dec 9, 2010 by the Peace Corps

Volunteers work with youth to develop skills for transitioning from school to work, preparing for family life, and becoming engaged and active citizens in their communities. Volunteers also serve a valuable role in reaching special populations, such as orphans, street children, youth with disabilities, and other vulnerable young people. Volunteers build the capacity of the local people and organizations who work with youth..

Learn more about becoming a Youth & Community Development Volunteer at