St. Olaf CollegeLilly Program for Lives of Worth and ServiceSt. Olaf College

Lilly Grant Program
Lilly Events and Deadlines
Opportunities for Students
Opportunities for Faculty and Staff

»International Service Learning

»Lilly Sustaining Fellows

»Lilly Teaching Fellows

»Lilly Vocational Scholars

Connections with Alumni and the Community
Call for Proposals and Applications

About the Lilly Grant Program

»Identity and Mission at St. Olaf College

»What is Vocation?

»Lilly Program Committee

Lilly Grant Program for Lives of Worth and Service
Bruce Dalgaard Program Director
Modular Village
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057

507-786-3626 Fax


José Martínez Romo, México, '08
Jose, biology and Spanish education major, hopes to learn about Thailand culture and communication styles.

Pre-trip thoughts...

It seems almost surreal that in approximately 48 hours we will be in Thailand trying to get a grasp of what vocation entails, to explore what life of worth and service is, and what the role of different NGO’s around the country is. Even though the group has been getting ready for this trip in different and intense ways, I still can't fully process the great potential that this trip has to change our lives.

Reading the different articles about the Thai culture, their exquisite food, their family relations and their government has prepared our group to better understand the interactions that we will have with the Thai people. The visits that our group has made to the different Buddhist Temples around the area has helped me to realize that God’s work of love is also found outside the Christian faith that I was raised on.

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most has been learning Thai. A beautiful language that thanks to the hard work and dedication of my good friend Tong (who prepared the sessions) the group has now a basic understanding of it. I have prioritized my vocabulary and Kao (which means rice, but also used as food in general) is the most important word for me. I will not go hungry for sure.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (my home town) has also been in my mind, I have tried to find some parallelisms between Thailand and my home town and I have to say that its been hard. The food is completely different, our religions are different, our cultures are different except for the strong emphasis on family relations and community focus. One similarity will be the climate, my home town is a hot tropical place specially during the summer, and Thailand is going to be a hot tropical place, a humid region of the world just like home.

The time is coming and the most intense feeling is the excitement for this experience. Our group is ready and eager to live out this opportunity and to learn to most from it.