Say Nepal and what comes to mind for most people are the High Himalayas. Those iconic peaks of Everest and Lhotse, the Annapurna massif and Kangchenjunga, are just a couple of the more popular mountains found in the borders of this small country, which boasts seven of the 10 tallest mountains in the world.
But, when you arrive in Nepal and get your hands on some Nepali rupees, you notice that they are emblazoned with a variety of animals that are not found in the mountains: deer, crocodiles, rhinos, elephants. These animals aren’t on the money just because they are cool animals, but because they are actually found in Nepal, in the jungle-y southern border with India.
There are a couple of national parks along the southern border, but the most easily accessible and most visited is Chitwan National Park, near Sauraha, about six hours by bus from Kathmandu.
more “Beyond Nepal’s Mountains: Chitwan National Park”
I love how the Internet has not only connected volunteers with life back home more, but also with volunteers in other countries. Hannah is a volunteer in Zambia and is trying to do interviews with volunteers in every Peace Corps country. Of course I volunteered to talk about Thailand.
On What Thai People are Like
I live in the poorest region of Thailand, the northeast, but in all of my travels I think that the people here are the best. Not many tourists or travelers come to this part of Thailand, and so when they do see me, they are genuinely interested in meeting me, talking to me, and helping me. They are so proud of Thailand and their region and want to show it off to me, and when I bust out the minimal dialect I know (usually I just say “I can’t speak Isaan!” in the Isaan dialect, which always gets a laugh), I have instantly made a new friend.
Read the whole thing on Hannah Goes Fishing.
One of the main tourist attractions in Kathmandu is Durbar Square. There are several temples, both Buddhist and Hindu, concentrated in a small area. There are lots of people milling around, selling things and generally living life. However, there is one building that is particularly sacred. It’s the home of Kathmandu’s kumari, a living goddess.
more “Kumari: the Living Goddesses of Nepal”
Because my time here is Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer has officially drawn to a close, I’m feeling a bit sentimental. I previously posted a video that used this song, but I wanted to post the official music video as my farewell.
Today is officially my last day as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. Even if I could sum up that last two years in words, it would likely be a novel, or at least a novella. Can you put the last two years of your life in a blog post? Didn’t think so. So, harkening back to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a gallery of picture highlights from the last 27 months. (Click on any picture to enlarge.)
(Apologies to my readers who are in locations with limited data and Internet connectivity. I suggest skipping this post and coming back to it when you have decent Internet.)
more “See What I Saw: A Photographic Chronicle of 27 Months”
As my time here in Thailand draws to a close, the topics of my posts are going to shift away from Thailand. I will keep blogging, and you should expect some travel writing over the next couple months!
However, if you are in need of a Thailand fix, never fear! I bring to you some fellow Peace Corps volunteers who will be staying in Thailand after I leave and whose blogs I think are pretty exceptional. Check ’em out and click “Follow.”
more “6 Peace Corps Thailand Bloggers to Follow”
Just after the New Year’s, fellow Blog It Home winner Keith came to visit me. We mostly spent time in my village and at my school, and he made a great video summing up a pretty typical day for me. A big thank you to Keith and check it out!
After living in Thailand for just over two years, I have picked up some very valuable life lessons. As an American, Thai culture can often times feel like everything is upside down. However, living in a different culture allows you to reflect on yourself and your own culture in a very unique way. These are some Thai ways of life that I want to continue to incorporate in my life.
Two years is a long time. It’s also not enough time. When you are staring down the barrel of a two-year commitment, it’s daunting and difficult to imagine. On the back end, you start wishing for more time and thinking of all the things you didn’t get to do. So I present to you, a list of six things that I didn’t get a chance to do in Thailand, that I hope I will have the chance to return to do.