I have begun the Peace Program at Chula and Bangkok! It has been a very exciting time. I've been here for about 10 days now and have met some very interesting people and have already learned a lot. I am sure that whatever happens, I'll be able to use the information and benefit from the network that I'm gaining and developing here.
 
I have attached some pictures of this sessions peace fellows, their host counselors (local Rotary members) and, on the big group picture, you will see, front row in the middle, the man who initiated the Rotary Chula Peace Program - Mr. Bhichai - former Deputy Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister of Thailand. We are, as you will notice a very international group. Many of them have experience with peace and conflict resolution programs in place like South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Kenya.  I have to host country counselors - Santi Chaterjee and Prof. Abdus Samad - both of them former presidents of a local Rotary club. You will see them in the big group picture standing in the second row, near the middle to the left (from your perspective) of the lady in the red top. They picked me up from the airport and have been making sure that I settle in well. I have been invited to visit their club next week Thursday.
 
I have also attached a couple of pictures of a Thai group of artists who were having an outdoor performance just in front of the place where we often go to eat in the evenings.
 
I am staying on the 20th floor of a new dorm for international students. It is very near the student center where we have our sessions, close to several big shopping malls and a number of markets. From my window I have a view of the city that reminds me of New York. The facilities are fantastic. The student sport facilities are particularly good with anything you could want (tennis, soccer, basketball, yoga, etc) free of charge. I have regular morning workout sessions at the local stadium with several of the other peace fellows most mornings.
 
On July 5, we will be taking a field trip to look at conflict and peace related projects in Thailand to a city in the South. We will have a field trip toward the end of the program in Cambodia. So there is a lot more to look forward to.
 
I will close now but will send another email as time goes on with more info on my stay here.
 
Many greetings to the Valle Verde club! And again, many thanks.
 
All the best,
 
Dimitria