I am new to this whole blogging thing so you will have to bear with me, but the point of this blog is both so that anyone who is interested can follow along with my trip to Thailand and so that I will have something to remember my trip by!
I also hope to keep in contact with friends and family this way since there is a 12 hour time difference to the east coast and communication will be difficult! So please comment on my posts with any questions, comments, concerns etc.! And if you want to be emailed every time I write a new post just enter your email on the top right of the page where it says "Follow by Email" and press submit and you will be notified whenever I post, that way you won't have to keep checking back!
So just to give everyone a background on why I am going to Thailand...
My school, WPI, has a program that everyone is required to do their junior year called IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project) and many students decide to go abroad for a term (typically 7-10 weeks) to complete this requirement. So last year I applied to the Thailand project center. I chose Thailand because I wanted to go somewhere that I may never otherwise have a chance to go to and I really wanted to have a unique cultural experience. Thailand's Project Center is the only one that WPI students get the chance to work with students from the local country. So I am really looking forward to meeting and working with my Thai partners! In total, 24 WPI students (including myself) and 2 advisors will be going to Bangkok. So what does this project involve you may ask? My groups project is officially titled, "Developing A Sustainable Tire Waste Management Strategy for Thailand" and our sponsor is Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency. But instead of going into further details here I will just direct you to my teams website that has more information than you will probably want on our project. Speaking of my team, I am lucky to have 3 great group members. There names are Shakhi (from Kazakhstan), Adam (from Rhode Island), and Steve (from Massachusetts) (in order in the picture below)!
So my trip will comprise of a lot of work but a lot of fun too! Technically we will be working a 40 hour work week most of the weeks that we are in Thailand. For our group a lot of this work will take place at our partner university, Chulalongkorn, as well as our sponsor's headquarters. We get nights and weekends off to pretty much do whatever we want and I plan to go on a lot of trips! Also, as I'm sure most of you know, my mom, Michael, and Griffin will be coming to Bangkok the last two weeks that I am there which will be so awesome!
My trip officially starts 12/29 at 8:30am when my plane takes off for London (6 hours), followed by a layover (2 hours) and a flight to Bangkok (11 hours) and I get in at 4:10pm Bangkok time (4:30am eastern time). It is sure to be an exhausting trip especially with the 12 hour time difference. But I hope to blog sometime on the 31st (before the New Year's celebrations begin), so until then.....
Sawatdii (goodbye and also hello in Thai).
P.S. I really do look forward to getting everyone's comments on my blog so make sure to post! Also for this first post everyone should try commenting to make sure you are able to comment and so I can know everyone who will be following me on my journey! If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.P.S. A fun thing to do is to go on google maps and use the "street view" to look around at places basically any where in the world, so if you go to maps.google.com and search for Chulalongkorn University and then drag the little orange person icon onto the map you can look around the surrounding area at street level! It's really cool! (Try doing this to your own house!)