Courtesy Erin Cooper, a Thailand TCCO 123 volunteer soon to be on her way out (great job and thank you for your amazing work!), I have decided to also do (read: completely copy) a Friday Five list. These lists, as one may imply, should be compiled by me every Friday and be a list of five things that I think I think. They may be a list of things I miss from America, lessons learned from from Thai people, books I want to read, things I want to do, five recent pictures, etc. ad infinitum. Our initial Friday Five involves small lessons learned thus far, through seven weeks of Pre-Service Training, on the eve of my site visit to Chumphon.
- Did you do your best in helping someone else through their day today? If not, give a better effort tomorrow. You never know when you're the one that will need that same assistance.
- Success in Thailand is not defined by progress, achievements, or money, but rather the relationships that are built and are forever cherished.
- Jai yen yen. Relax. There's always time for curry and a beer. Work will always exist, your friend will not.
- You can always smile more.
- Peace Corps service is personal for all parties involved. It's not that volunteers are going to change the world or even pull a community out of poverty, but they give people the chance to interact with someone from a different background from themselves and help foster compassion and understanding. Whether it's the child who decides to devote their lives to travelling, learning, and teaching from their two years interacting with a foreigner, the teacher who begins to tell their students that they love them, the women's community savings group that creates and sustains a successful business, or the volunteer who is forever humbled, it's the change in every person in the community touched by the volunteer's work that makes our efforts sustainable.