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Peace Corps in Thailand


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Third Goal Spotlight


PCV Sara Kline: Blog It Home Winners in Washington D.C.

Last week, PCV Sara Kline had the honor of attending Peace Corps' Third Goal Mobilization Summit in Washington, D.C. As part of the Summit, the Blog It Home winners from Ethiopia, Mexico, Jamaica and Thailand presented their experiences at site and showcased how they use technology to broaden cultural awareness and global insight from their countries of service. She was very happy to hear that readers are learning new skills through her blog posts, with the RPCV D.C. Knitting Group practicing plastic bag yarn-making through one of her crafting posts!  Read More »

Sara Kline: Blog It Home

Jennifer Basting, TCCO Group 124, in the Peace Corps News :


Washington, D.C. July 11, 2013 - Peace Corps volunteer Jennifer Basting of Latham, N.Y., is helping young people in her community in Thailand improve their English and leadership skills by training them to be tour guides at ten local tourist attractions.


Basting has been working together with her husband, Jeff, and several local counterparts to develop the junior tour guides program. Over the past year, nearly 40 students ranging from 13-18 years old have participated.

Jennifer Basting

“Since beginning our work with the junior tour guides, I have seen a lot of changes in the group: increased confidence in public speaking, improved ability to process and incorporate feedback, development in leadership skills, increased desire to learn English, and increased maturity,” said Basting, a graduate of Boston College who has been living and working in Thailand since 2012.


The program started as an after-school club at the local secondary school with weekly lessons to practice English, develop time management skills, and learn how to give directions. The club has since grown to incorporate hands-on experience, with junior tour guides now leading tours at the Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum, Phu Wiang National Park, Jankamera Temple, the Sriwiang Dinosaur Park and other sites


In addition to support from the local secondary school, Basting has worked with the town hall and local government for funding and guidance. Youth work closely with the educational directors and management of the tourist sites to become more familiar with the attractions so they can educate visitors.

Jennifer Basting's activities

“The partnership between the school and town hall is incredible and has been critical to our success,” Basting said. “The mayor and town hall are working hard to promote tourism in the area, and we are the first ones to be notified when important visitors come.”


Fifteen students recently led tours for the Deputy Prime Minister of Laos and the Laotian Ambassador to Thailand at the Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum.


Basting plans to continue the junior tour guides program and hopes to expand lessons to teach the group how to promote the attractions to a wider audience and manage travel website information.


About Peace Corps/Thailand: More than 5,095 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Thailand since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 103 volunteers serve in Thailand. Volunteers work in the areas of education and community development. Beginning in 2013, Volunteers will also work in the area of youth development. Volunteers are trained and work in the Thai language.


About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

A Life Long Adventure :

LSU posted other story of RPCV J.P. Abon, TCCO 123 on its website (www.lsu.edu). He sent a note to Paula along with the story “I just arrived back in the US a few days ago and I'm still readjusting to a life deprived of rice fields, noodle stands, and reputable 7-11s”.


J.P. Abon

How I Learned to Survive Silicon Valley While Living in a Rice Paddy :

Venture Beat, San Francisco, California

Venture BeatTwo years ago, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a rice farming village in Thailand. I showered with a bucket, spoke Thai, and had minimal access to the Internet. Now as a writer at VentureBeat, I am at the center of the tech world. I can grill startups on their monetization plans, rattle off a list of the top venture capital firms, and knowledgeably discuss the nuances of crowd funding.


Somehow, in the space of a year, I transitioned from the center of a rice paddy to the center of Silicon Valley. It was never a place I thought I’d end up, but now that I am here, I realize how my experience in Thailand helped me get to the position I am in today.

Culture Shock

In Thailand, I lived in the village of Wat Bot. It’s in just north of the Thailand’s middle, located about halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai in the rice paddy netherworld that few tourists ever see, even those who deviate from the beaten path. The nearest city was one hour away, and the nearest American was three. When I applied to the Peace Corps, I was a senior in college craving adventure and faced with the realities of a tepid job market and the decline of print journalism.


I was assigned to work in rural schools as an education volunteer. My job was to train teachers on progressive teaching methods and student-centered learning techniques and carry out community outreach projects of my choosing. The Peace Corps provided volunteers with three months of intensive training to acquire basic skills and knowledge for our projects as well as cultural and language instruction. While helpful, nothing could fully prepare me to step off the rickety, old bus in the middle of nowhere with an entire community looking to me to improve their struggling schools.

Click here for full story

Volunteers’ experience :

The Country Director Kevin F. F. Quigley reflected his Peace Corps Volunteers’ experience.

Kevin Quigley


Life of Thai by Marie Shanks :

Please follow this link http://www.hometownfocus.us/pageview/pages/2013-05-17 to read a full story of Khun Marie in the “Hometown Focus” newspaper, issue May 17, 2013. Her monthly column for her local hometown newspaper is a great effort on promoting Third Goal.

Marie Shanks

Rocket Festival :

Keith Wingeard, TCCS 125, attended the Rocket Festival that is also commonly called as the Bun Bang Fai festival at Erawan District, Loei Province. Please checks out his traditional costume and enjoy a funny dialogue in the clip (Started from the minute 1.45 onwards). He was acting as the King Phadaeng of the classic love story of Phadaeng and Nang Ai. The community invited him to represent the King Phadaeng in order to promote traditional culture and legend to the international tourists. Video Link »

Keith WingeardKeith wingeard

One Year Since Completing Peace Corps :

Kathlyn Kocher Paananen and William Paananen, RPCV Group 122 reflected on their adjustment back to the U.S. and lives of service! Read More »

RPCV Third Goal

The Peace Corps Pursues Volunteers 50+ :

A story of Jerilyn Ray-Shelley in the Beacon Newspapers in March 2013.  Read More »

Jerilyn Thaird Goal


The air here is like a broth -You need a spoon to consume it. Still, on this new morning. Pushing gently through window sieves. It almost tastes like home. Steve Bydal TCCO Volunteer Group 114