Peace Corps
Thai 27
1969
 
 
 
Paul Hobelman

I taught EFL at Singhburi High my first two years of service.  I worked with another English teacher named Nuanpan, and we got married in 1971 in Bangkok.  Nuanpan taught English in Thonburi, her home town, while I taught at a teacher’s college near the airport.  In 1973 we moved to Honolulu, where Nuanpan got her CC degree (Leeward CC) and I an MA in ESL.  There I got reacquainted with Chuck Berry, David Johnson, Maureen O’Brien., Cathy Fukao, and Don Blakemore.  Nuanpan was friends with Chuck’s and David’s wives. 
In 1975 we went to Wichita, my home town, where Nuanpan got her BS in math and science while I worked in a machine shop.  About 1979 Nuanpan got her MA in Curriculum and Instruction at KU.
In 1977 I moved to Taif, Saudi Arabia, where, at 6000 feet, the King had his summer palace.  Spent a year teaching English to Saudi Signal Corps soldiers so they could learn to maintain communication equipment sold to their military by a US company.  Good students—studied 5 hours a day and became fluent in a year.  From 1978 to 1980 I taught English at Kuwait University.  The speed limit in the city was posted as 120km/hr, and Kuwait City was said to have the highest traffic fatality rate in the world.
From 1980 to 1986, Nuanpan and I taught at Chiang Mai University, built in a teak forest at the base of a mountain dedicated to the King.  Good birding: 350 recorded species.
1987-88 found me at a technical college in Kanazawa, Japan, where I was a 30-minute bicycle ride from both the sea and the mountains.  Saved enough money to pay off our house in Chiang Mai.
The next five years found us teaching at CMU, until my chronic fatigue got to the point where I could no longer work a five-day week.  I returned to Wichita in ‘93, where I got a part-time teaching job at the Wichita Indochinese Center and spent the next 14 years, the last nine as the ESL program coordinator.  Nuanpan continued to teach at CMU until she had to retire due to disability about 2000.

I substitute taught part-time for the Wichita school district from 2007 until 2010, when heart surgery and chronic fatigue forced me into retirement.  My bicycle is still my main means of transportation.  I am trying to get back into shape by running.