By Lauren Parrinello, Towson University
While in Thailand on a Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency mission, Cadets from across the country came to together to teach English to Thai enlisted soldiers and officers. It is important t for the Thai to learn English so when they are serving on NATO missions they can communicate with personnel from other countries.
While the objective in the classroom is to prepare these soldiers for their English test, the objective for the Cadets is focused on enhancing their cultural understanding.
Cadet Cheyenne Szarka said, “This mission is more important than some think. As a future leader, I have to be able to operate in any environment, at any time. On-the-ground missions like CULP increase the Cadets’ relevance and knowledge when participating in a global society. No amount of reading, or research, can replace that.”
One evening we had dinner with Thai pilot Capt. Koom. We enjoyed a traditional Thai dinner with him and he talked us into having a pepper contest. Over the course of dinner we learned about the many facets of Thai Culture; and needless to say, how hot, hot peppers can really be.