So like, you know life happened and I have been absolutely terrible at keeping up with this. I’m sorry (to all my haters and lovers) for taking so long to post, I know y’all missed me. This is fixing to be a really long post so I’m sorry for that too. But yeah, the time here has been pretty dope (except for the part when I was sick for three weeks, and then when I fell off my motorbike (twice), but I’m still thriving…)
OH AND this time I definitely took hella pics and I’m pretty excited to include them. There were so many school events and I travelled a bit, I even hiked more (yay me…)
I decide that it’d be best if I just rushed it towards the end cause that’s when I was sick and I really didn’t do anything but lie in bed and cry in pain. (jk I just watched hella Netflix)
I also realized that I didn’t actually mentioned what grades I was teaching, so yeah I am teaching Mathayom 3, 5, and 6 (which are 9th, 11th, and 12th graders). And I have a Prathom 1 (1st grade) class for 3 HOURS once a week. Yes, you heard me correctly. 3 CONSECUTIVE HOURS OF 1ST GRADERS ONCE A WEEK. ‘Tis fun…
Week No. 4
This was my second week teaching, and honestly I was a little scared at first. The first week had gone so smoothly because I had mostly focused on learning their names (which hasn’t gone so great tbh), but now I actually had to teach them something… In the end, I think it went pretty great. The students still seemed excited as they left class, I still got some “I love you Teacher” as they ran out of class. So overall it was a great week with my high school students. I think I’m actually becoming friends with some of my students [insert another crying emoji].
This was also my first week teaching P1 (Prathom 1) at the Anuban school, which are equivalent to 1st graders. I have about 24 tiny humans for 3 continuous hours. Let’s just say it was definitely the worst part of my week. It’s just so different, going from high schoolers to 1st graders. They went through my 3 hour lesson plan in like an hour. Don’t get me wrong, they are adorable, but they’re also monsters. They’re adorable little monsters (Anna taught me this term). I’m glad it’s only once a week, I’d probably go insane otherwise…
Now that the teaching stuff is out of the way we can talk about the fun parts!!
Aight, so this week on Thursday there was a celebration called “Wai Khru.” Which is their version of Teacher Appreciation. But like I mentioned last time, teachers are hella respected over here, so the event was absolutely beautiful. I felt honored to be a part of it.
Aight, so I’m like pretty sure that the other teachers didn’t want to go back to teaching, so after the ceremony they told me that classes were cancelled for the rest of the day and that the older students had an activity. I mean, I didn’t complain, but I had nothing to do so I was a little bummed. But then Teacher Té walks into my office and asked me why I’m not looking at the activity. So I walk outside and the students are having an absolute blast. It was some sort of induction ceremony, where the M5 and M6 (11th and 12th graders) were inducting the M4 (10th graders). At first I just walked around and I noticed I was legit the only teacher, so I was about to leave when the students started yelling at me so I just decided to join them. Why not…
Aight, so I spent this weekend visiting my friends in Phrae. It was like a 2 or 3 hour bus ride (I can’t really remember tbh and I’m too lazy to look it up), which was basically spent with me playing games on my phone the whole time and failing to sleep.
So like I mentioned, we went out that night. I met some pretty great Irish women at one of the bars, and we had a pretty dope convo about guns, immigration, and cannabis legalization. ‘Twas interesting to get a non-American perspective. Then I went on to have some more juice at another bar, and make a fool of myself on dance floor (well not really, Thai people don’t really dance at bars, so it was just us). I had a blast, and that’s all that matters. BUT THEN THE NEXT MORNING PEOPLE. OMG. I swear these people want to kill me. They decided that we were going to a waterfall and then to a temple at the top of a mountain. A MOUNTAIN.
At this point we decided that we no longer wanted to hike or walk more so we decided to go check out a nearby waterfall.
After this we just went to get dinner then I was on a bus home. This was definitely a dope weekend! I’m glad I decided to get out of bed and do something other than watch Netflix.
Week No. 5
So after having a dope weekend in Phrae, it was time to go back to school. But as it turned out, Monday was a Temple Day. In Thailand the Church and State are not separate, the country is Buddhist. Every morning during assembly they say a prayer and it’s quite nice. The first day I was just mimicking the students around me and then my co-teacher walks up to me and asked if I’m Christian and I say yeah. So he asked me to put my hands down and just bow respectfully. I was a little embarrassed but whatevs. Anyways, so once a month on a Monday we go to a Buddhist temple and the students worship and make gifts for the monks. It very common for there to be temples all over a town. So there plenty of temples to support all of the students.
I took some videos of the students meditating and offering rice or other food to the monks, but the videos refuse to load so I’ll just put snapshots.
Teaching was chill this week, I thought them about family. So like family members, family trees, asking about family, etc… I kinda felt like it was going to be too easy at first, but a shocking amount of my students did not know basic family members. I made a presentation included pics of my own family members and they definitely had a hoot. Ima say hoot, cause I’m an Owl.
Oh and this week was when I got a cold. And I decided it would just go away so I didn’t take anything and that choice has basically made me miserable for about a month. (I thought it was just a simple cold, I’m still so mad at myself for not doing anything [I’m writing this about 7 weeks later])
At the end of the week, I had planned to go to Chiang Mai with my friends, but my school was having an event on Saturday so I had to bail on Chiang Mai. The event was celebrating the school being opened for 49 years (I think, communication is pretty hard). It was a really nice event, with tons of food, dancing, and money trees. After the event they told me they raised over 1 million baht. The event was split into two parts. The first one in the morning was for current students and the one in the afternoon was for alumni, both made their own money trees.
This was a pretty good week. By the end of it, I thought my cold had gone away and I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing since my friends had gone to Chiang Mai.
Week No. 6
This was by far the worst week I’ve had in Thailand. Monday morning I woke up shaking and with a terrible headache. So when I got to school, I was clearly dead, but I still had to teach. So I decided to do feelings and emotions, and I quickly went over some really basic vocab that I knew they all knew, and then I just put on Inside Out. Same thing on Tuesday, but the headache was worse. Wednesday we had an anti-drug rally, which was dope cause I was basically able to just sit around and do nothing.
The next part is just boring medical stuff so you can ignore it if you don’t really care about my health.
Thursday, I woke up feeling worse than ever, so I called my co-teacher and told him that I was too sick and needed to go to the hospital, so I called Tangmo (she works for my program, TTC) and asked her to take me to the hospital. I went to the hospital and they ran some tests and wanted to keep me overnight but it was way too expensive so I just said I’d go back for a check-up in two days. They were not totally sure what was wrong, but I had a fever of 103F and a terrible headache. They gave me some antibiotics and pain medication to see what happened.
Friday night, I felt just as bad so I called in to work again, but then I started to feel better in the afternoon, and I assumed the antibiotics were working. Then Tangmo asked if I was interested in going to buy a motorbike! And I definitely was even though I could barely move. But I went out and got myself a pretty nice bike for cheap, I was quite excited. Then I spent the rest of the day in bed suffering
On Saturday, Anna took me for my check-up at the hospital. I still had a fever so they ran more tests. They took some more of my blood and then they took some X-Rays of my sinuses. Then I met with an ENT, and he told me that I had sinusitis which was brought on by my uncured cold. He gave me even more antibiotics and then some drugs for cough and told me to go back in a week.
Week No. 7
This week was really uneventful, except that class went really well. My topic this week was hobbies and we played a game (Do you love your neighbor?). It went really well and the students seemed to genuinely like it.
The fun didn’t actually happen till the weekend when I had my check-up. I decide to drive my motorbike to the hospital. I make it all the way to the front of the hospital, but as I was turning into the parking lot, my turn is too wide so I end up hitting the curb. I’m going pretty fast (well as fast as someone can be going when they’re turning, but it was faster than I should), so I fly off my bike and I wasn’t wearing a helmet (I know, I’m sorry) so I put up my arms to protect my head. I land directly on my left arm, so that hurt like hell. But hey I survived.
Since I was in the hospital parking lot, there were several doctor and nurses that ran out to make sure I was okay. Once they saw I was standing and laughing they yelled at me in Thai and I heard the word for “helmet.” ‘Twas a little embarrassing. Then they tell me I need to clean my wounds, that’s when I finally look down to examine my body. My left leg and arm are covered with blood and my ankle is super scraped, so they bring a wheel chair and wheel me to the emergency room. Thats when I look at my watch. It was completely destroyed, saddest moment of my life tbh.
Then in the emergency room they clean me up and try to speak Thai, but that doesn’t go well so they call a doctor over who speaks English. I tell them that my shoulder hurts so they give me an X-ray, and they tell me it’s fine and I should just rest (Turns out they were bloody damn wrong and 7 weeks later and my should still hurts…). They give me MORE antibiotics and send me on my merry way.
Week No. 8
Aight so this week I was basically just writhing in pain and decided that I would just do a chill lesson. The lesson was pretty simple this week and since I didn’t want to move around too much, I just called the students over one by one and had a short convo with them. Most of my assignments are just oral conversations, which takes some time but it seems to work cause I’m able to see where they’re lacking.
Here are a couple of pics from my P1 students.
Week No. 9
This week I only had to go to school on Thursday, because there was a Buddhist holiday Monday-Wednesday and a school meeting on Friday, and since I can’t speak Thai they told me not to worry about going to the meeting. ‘Twas a pretty chill week! Looking back I probs should’ve taken advantage of the 5 day weekend, but I was too lazy to do anything so I just stayed home and explored the city a little bit.
But on Tuesday and Wednesday, I made plans with my friends to go to Chiang Rai. Since it was a Buddhist holiday all my friends were off too. Chiang Rai was a pretty amazing experience, there were definitely a lot more tourists than I expected. I finally felt like was average height again!
Here are some of the pics I took, we visited the White Temple, Blue Temple, and then we spent the 2nd day just walking around.
Week No. 10
Teaching this week was pretty chill. I decided to teach them about entertainment, so there was a lot of talk about movies and music. The students really seemed to enjoy it. We listened to some bops and watched a couple trailers, ’twas fun. We made dialogs about going to the movies or asking someone to play a specific song. This was a little too useful cause the students have started requested music so I can’t bombard them with Country Music anymore 😦
Since classes were cancelled on Monday for the King’s B-day, my friends and I decided that it would be a perfect time to visit Pai. Pai was absolutely beautiful! We visited this dope canyon, cozy cafe, and bamboo bridge! We decided to rent motorbikes, since it would be easier to get around. By this point I had gotten used to my fear, so it was alright.
Oh and before I forget! I fell off my motorbike again in Pai. It happened on the way home from the bamboo bridge. We were going downhill and it was raining, so when I press the break to turn onto the highway my front tire just gives out and I slide along the street. Luckily I only had a minor scrap on my ankle, but my sandal had slide up along on leg and I had to ripe it off (I was able to superglue it when I got home though!!). The bike though… The seat had completely come off and the side of the bike was all scratched up (I had decided not to pay the extra $4 for insurance…). So when it was time to return the bikes, Fran helped me clean the scraped up side and then we just put the seat on top and hoped the wouldn’t notice (I know, I’m a trash human being, but I was not about to pay whatever crazy fee they were gonna force on me). Luckily, they didn’t notice and we went on our merry way.
Week No. 10
So this was a relatively chill week. Nothing exciting happened at school. This week was midterms, so we did that for the two days and we didn’t have class on Monday. So I only had class on Thursday and Friday. I decided to play a review game with the students that I did see. They had just taken their exam so it was still fresh on their minds. The only pic I took this week was of the morning assembly, after I did the usual awkward walking off.
Week No. 11
So this was an intense week. It was the Queen Mother’s birthday the following Monday, which is celebrated as Mother’s day. Anna gave me idea of making my lesson be mother themed. I had already done family, so I figured I could expand on that. We went over how to show appreciation and common things that people said when they were grateful. Then if they wanted to, I gave them the extra time after class to make a card for their moms. The lesson wasn’t my best lesson, honestly it was pretty rough. A lot of the students did not understand why we were doing it so they would get frustrated. But I learned from it and changed some things to make them easier for the students to understand.
Since there was no school the next Monday and it was Caroline’s and Julia’s birthdays this weekend, we decided it would be the perfect time to go to the beach and enjoy ourselves. So the entire week I kept looking forward to Phuket in the weekend with all my friends. Twas kinda difficult to actually get work done…
The ceremony ended just before lunch, there was some commotion because apparently all the teachers thought there was going to be a nice lunch after the ceremony, but then they were suddenly told no. So some of the teachers just stormed off, and I was just very confused. I just awkwardly walked towards the canteen and had my usual lunch.
Aight, and then in the afternoon we had “Thai Day” which is apparently an event put on by the school’s Thai department with some plays, singing, and dancing. We were supposed to leave school at like 2, but Teacher Oay saw how much fun I was having and we ended up staying until basically the end. Here are some of my favorite parts of the afternoon
There were so many other amazing things that happened, but I didn’t record most of them cause I didn’t want to watching through my phone. They had a fashion show were people worth very traditional Thai clothing and they also had some of the teacher dancing. It seemed like everyone was having a great time. I am so glad I was able to experience this.
Aight so this next part is basically going to be a photo dump of my trip to Phuket. The weather wasn’t the best, but it was still so pretty!
The photos had some order, but they completely lost it when I uploaded them so I think a slideshow is chill. As you can probs tell, Julia is in most of my pics. She was the one who absolutely didn’t mind me taking pictures. I had a great time in Phuket; I would’ve definitely preferred if the weather was better, but I got to spend time with some amazing humans!