Sunday, January 12, 2014

Communication Barriers

        On Friday January 10th our group visited Rajabhat University and each of us was paired up with a "buddy."  My buddy's name was Oil (pronounced Oye) she spoke very little English, and I speak very little Thai so our day was definitely an experience. We started out the day by riding on our buddies mopeds to the black temple.  Most of our communication involved smiles, giggles, thumbs up, and pointing to words in my Thai-English dictionary.  At the black temple Oil began teaching me Thai words such as snake "nguu" and lets go "pai."  I learned that Oil was 21 years old and a cooking major that wanted to own a bakery someday.  
Later in the day when we went to the white temple, my teacher talked to my buddy and told her to teach me more words.  She began pointing and saying words and asking me to repeat, many times she would giggle after I pronounced the word as the sounds were difficult to reproduce.  As the day proceeded the events we partook in seem to be a blur, but i found myself wanting to learn more and more.  Oil was so patient with me and such a good teacher, she taught me colors, car, flower, fish, parts of the body, and apparel. I began thinking about the difference between visiting a country and experiencing the culture.  After this experience I have a great urge to learn a language and become fluent and then visit a culture to really experience and become submerged in the culture.  With everything I have been learning in Thailand the future does not worry me and the present excites me more than I have ever felt.  Being in Thailand for 3 weeks has allowed me to feel more alive than ever.

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