As I begin the new semester with my new classes and as I continue my job, my relationships and my life I still don’t know what to think or feel. I know that I got a lot of information, but I’m not really sure what to do with it yet.
Before I left for Thailand, other students who studied abroad said that my perspective would change when I came back; something would click and my perspective would be different. I’m not sure that it is true for me because I have been to Korea and the Virgin Islands in addition to Thailand, but I’m still unsure. I’m not hearing the clicks and I’m not really seeing the difference. I know what another part of the world looks like, smells like, and what the people are like and what they are struggling with. I know I want to do something about it. I’m not sure what to do with the information that I have gained.
I think that the only thing that I have noticed that is different is values. I have seen what the Thai people value, it is evident all throughout the country. I think that it is interesting seeing the differences between their values and ours. They do not value safety as much as us; it is very evident when driving through traffic. The tuk-tuk’s are wide open, no one wears a seatbelt, no one wears a helmet, they ride up to 4 people on one moped and they have no regard for traffic laws.
It was interesting to see how they educated their children on sex education and how it reflects the differences between our values and theirs. It was surprising that the nurses at the nursing school were so surprised that sex education was a highly debated topic in the United States. I guess people in the U.S. see sex differently. I think that parents see sex education as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy more than preventing STI’s or HIV/AIDS, but was probably vice versa for people in Thailand.
I think a lot of what I saw in Thailand that I really appreciated was their practicality. They valued rational more than personal beliefs. It is true for the examples above; they don’t need to follow traffic laws if they know the risk, they don’t need to worry about exposing their children to sex early because the research already showed that they were already sexually active. I’m not really sure if they really do value logic and rational more than personal beliefs or values, but regardless it makes me realize how easily we can get caught up or just lean on our government system rather than using logic or rational to make the best decisions.