Yai  Gong, my 104 year old grandmother in the host family I lived with in  Northeast Thailand, is pleased. She speaks only “Issan’” and I barely  speak Thai. Her days consisted of sorting chili, making sweep sticks and  chewing beetle nuts. No spoken communication happened by we shared  watermelon and everyday she would ask about my wonderful teeth. One day I  polished my nails and decided to pamper her too. Soaking her hands,  putting lotion on them and finally a pale pink color. All the time she  was very interested what was happening as I jabbered on in English, Thai  and Lao. Finally, a small, sweet smile came to her face. Cultural  exchange in a manicure.

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Linda Prinsen 

Yai Gong, my 104 year old grandmother in the host family I lived with in Northeast Thailand, is pleased. She speaks only “Issan’” and I barely speak Thai. Her days consisted of sorting chili, making sweep sticks and chewing beetle nuts. No spoken communication happened by we shared watermelon and everyday she would ask about my wonderful teeth. One day I polished my nails and decided to pamper her too. Soaking her hands, putting lotion on them and finally a pale pink color. All the time she was very interested what was happening as I jabbered on in English, Thai and Lao. Finally, a small, sweet smile came to her face. Cultural exchange in a manicure.

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Linda PrinsenĀ 

Thailand cultural exchange elders manicure nail polish host country nationals peace corps volunteer Peace Corps Asia Current Countries