That's what my packet of instant coffee says, that it contains 'Nature Identical Flavor'...but it doesn't really specify which flavor in nature it is identical to...  Smile.  Obviously, I'm loving it over here, as I've found a way to feed my coffee habit (when I can order a soy latte with two extra espresso shots, that's when you'll know I'm not coming back!).  We're at the HUB site right now, well away from all the excitement in Bangkok, in the middle of some rice fields, actually.  I can't help thinking about Val and Jim as I bike here in the mornings, as it's a birder's paradise!  Every morning I see herons and egrets by the dozen, as we bike here off the main roads, on a (bumpy, rocky, narrow) dirt trail that winds through the fields.  Sometimes we see netted-in areas on the canal where people have caught fish, as well as any number of fishers, farmers and parents taking their kids to school.  Tomorrow we're going to be doing training at various other places in the area near this site so we can do more small group work, and I'm just hoping that I don't get lost on the way there!  I say that with a bit of a grin because I'm biking with 6 other trainees who live in the same Tambon (village) as I do, and if I stay with the pack, I'll be fine.
I just went out to lunch on a new bike, as my assigned bike had been acting up.  There was a problem with the front de-railer that they thought they had fixed after I'd had an earlier mishap, but yesterday biking here the chain came completely off the gears, and on the way home I took a bit of a tumble.  Nothing beyond a few scrapes, but communicating to my host family (and everyone that we ran into, as my host family knows everyone and may be related to something like half the Tambon) that I was fine was difficult with the language barrier.  Unharmed, just covered in dirt.  I was also supremely grateful that I had a waterproof laptop bag (thank you, Monkey!), because that meant that it was dirt and dustproof as well, and super-duper grateful that the laptop is a lenovo (thank you Meggles!) and could withstand an unintentional spill with me!
Oh, one of the things I wanted to mention about lunch (delicious noodles with veg that I made very spicy) was that it was less than a dollar.  Not only is the dollar really powerful over here (30 bhat to 1 dollar), but things are cheaper as well.  Just another interesting thing; it's clear to me that I kind of won the lottery in getting assigned to Thailand!
1/21/2014 03:38:25

Ooh, take pictures of your daily commute! Can you post pictures on your blog? I want to see the birds and banana flowers and your homestays... Glad you've been given a new bike, and I'm glad you're unhurt/your property is unhurt. Love you!


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    These are the personal opinions of Spook, and do not reflect those of the Peace Corps.


    January 2014