Megan McGowan

June 22, 2006

Hailing from New Jersey, Megan is accustomed to defending her home from undeserved mockery.  She is therefore thrilled that PiA brought her to Thailand’s economically depressed region of Isaan, a land of ambivalent superlatives – the spiciest food, the least fertile farmland, the fewest tourists, and possibly the warmest, friendliest people on the planet.  Megan has spent the year teaching English at Khon Kaen University, where her students are inexplicably intrigued to see a white person with short hair wearing a skirt, earning her the dubious distinction of “the handsomest teacher in our faculty.”  Outside of the classroom, Megan is a coach for the KKU Debate Society, which recently attained the rank of third in the nation, affording her the chance to proudly watch a group of students from Isaan defeat one of the great Bangkok universities.  A religion major from Princeton (‘06), Megan has also used her time in Thailand to explore Theravada Buddhism, and in September participated in a temple retreat outside of Chiang Mai - ten days of silence, fasting, and continuous meditation from which she needed four weeks of vacation to recover.  Megan is extremely grateful to PiA for this incredible opportunity, and to her fellow PiA-ers for letting her mooch off them in her various exploits across southeast Asia.  She looks forward to returning home when her fellowship is finished, but knows she will sorely miss the Thai heartland and worries she won’t find another job where people bow to her everyday…

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