Round 1

Disclosure: I have never been a good writer, and I have literally no idea what I’m doing so I can’t promise it’ll be any fun to read, but here I go. Also I’m teaching mostly speaking and conversation stuff so don’t judge my grammar.

I’m going to try to write one of these things at least once a week, but who knows, I might be feeling extra spicy one week and I’ll write more.

Oh and I’m gonna try to start taking hella pics (cause my momma asked me too, and I can’t let her down), so hopefully there will be a lot of those and then I won’t have to write as much…

Week No. 1 & 2

I traveled for about 33 hours from Houston to Lampang. I finally got here on May 19th. It was honestly pretty damn terrible. I found out that I can’t fall asleep on planes, so that was fun. When I arrived, I was greeted by some pretty amazing humans. The first thing I asked Dr. N was how many guys and how many girls (cause I noticed I was the only dude on the Facebook group). He said there were about 3 guys and 7 girls. I thought to myself “Okay thats chill” [3.5 weeks later, and I’m still the only guy (insert crying emoji)].

They took an off guard pic of me. And then we took a pic at the airport. I put them below so y’all can see how amazing I still look after 33 hours of traveling.

Dats me at the airport. Looking happy af
These are my bosses and friends. Left to Right: Dr. N, Ja, Seley, Julia, Kenz, MEEEE, Janthana, and Tangmo

After this, they just dropped us off and let us fend for ourselves. It was a bit overwhelming but after a while we figured it out. We ate at the same place like 4 times cause we didn’t know better. But after a while we started to get the hang of it. We went to the mall, then tried to go to a market, and we got stranded for a bit. It was funish. Then like 3 days later orientation started, and more people arrived. It was pretty dope. During orientation we learned some Thai, some teaching stuff, how to ride a Motorbike, and Thai culture. Orientation lasted for like a week and a half. We had a couple of excursions, we went to visit a coal mine, a ceramic museum, an elephant conservatory, and a temple in the mountains. This was a couple of weeks ago (from the time I’m writing this, so I’m just going to put a good amount of pictures to show some of what we did).

This is all of us, foreign teachers with some of the faculty at one of the schools. We went there to practice teaching. This school is the Thai equivalent of an elementary school. It was a pretty interesting experience, I discovered that kids can be terrible….
This is just an adorable picture of how the cleaning humans at the hotel during orientation arranged my pillows. I bought that stuffed banana at the mall cause it reminded me of McMurtry. Fran named them Nana, whose preferred pronouns are they, them, their’s, and themselves.
This is me at the temple in the mountains trying to be aesthetic af. Anna, one of my fellow foreign teachers, told us that it was just a short walk up the mountain. SHE LIED. I will never forgive her. JK I love you Anna. But like that walk was insane. I was dying. Like 25 meters from the top, I told my friends that I gave up and I just sat down and refused to move. But they convinced and it was pretty darn worth it.

This is all of us foreign teachers (and Ja) at the ceramic museum. Left to Right: MEEE, Amy, Ja, Kenz, Julia, Anna, Seley, Caroline, and Fran. We got to paint our own ceramic thingy, and I picked an elephant to hold a succulent. I don’t have a pic and it’s in my classroom but she’s beautiful.
This is the mine that we visited. It was honestly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Which I did not expect from a coal mine.
This is us posing for a picture while Dr. N gave us a tour of the university he started. I’m making a heart with my fingers, and I am a huge fan. I’m probably going to be doing that in all my pics from now on.
This is the elephant conservatory place. The elephants were adorable, but I was insanely tired so I was quite grumpy and I missed the opportunity to take a pic with them. I also felt kind of bad because the trainers had this sharp stick thingy and I assumed they hit the elephants with it.
This is a weekend market here in Lampang. It was pretty great. There was a lot of stuff for a sale. But I was still scared to eat street food so I didn’t really get anything. I went back 2 weeks later and I bought these cool string lights for my room.

There was definitely a lot of things that I didn’t takes pics of. But orientation was a great experience and I met so many great people. All of the other foreign teachers are amazing. I’m so glad I’m with such a great group of humans. To end orientation we went to dinner at a karaoke place. Dinner was great. They had a slideshow full of pretty funny pictures of everyone. It was a great laugh. Once all the TTC (Teach Thailand Corps) staff left we started singing. And y’all know me, I will always be down to sing especially if there’s “juice” involved. That night was truly amazing.

Oh and I finally wasn’t the only guy. A former TTC teacher joined us (pretty dope human, he definitely made me feel more comfortable), it was also pretty great cause these women were driving me insane (this is a joke, please don’t hurt me, I’m a feminist, I promise).

Week No. 3

This was my first week teaching. I am teaching at Sop Prap Phitthayakhom School, but I am living in Lampang. I have a 50 min. commute every day, but it’s pretty chill. Teacher Oi gives me a ride everyday and we spend most of the trip trying to teach each other English and Thai. I’m the only the foreign teacher in my school which means that there really isn’t anyone that completely understands me, but it’s getting better especially since I’m trying to learn Thai. All the teachers are super friendly, the language barrier is just too much….. for now. I promise y’all that I’ll be fluent when I get back….

During one of my off periods on the first day, a kid walks into my room and says something about Thai Traditional dancing. I don’t really understand him, so I just smile and say “Yeah?” Then he plugs in his usb to the speakers and starts dancing. He is pretty darn amazing. He literally performs an entire Traditional Thai dancing routine for me and I was on the verge of tears. It was beautiful.

Overall my first week was pretty chill. Scheduling isn’t really much of a thing. I’ve had several instances were a class just didn’t show up or a class just randomly showed up during my free period. Mai pen rai. This roughly translates to “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it” or the Spanish phrase “Lo que sera, sera.” It’s a very relaxed approach at life, which I am a huge fan of. One thing that I got very comfortable saying in college was “It’ll be fine. I’ll get it done.” And hey. I graduated!! So something went right.

The students are AMAZING. Of course there are those who pay more attention than others, but every single one of the students is incredibly respectful. Every class starts with the students standing up and saying “Good Morning/Afternoon Teacher” and ends with them standing up and saying “Thank you Teacher.” It’s pretty damn adorable. When I walk around school, I feel like a celebrity. Every student wants to say hi, and gets so excited to see me. I had an amazing first week teaching. Here are a few pictures from my first week.

This was during an event to honor BANPU for donating money to the school so they could hire me. The man on the right is my co-teacher, Teacher Rachane, who has been incredibly helpful throughout my first few weeks.
Some of my students drew this during classes, then handed it to me at end, and then quickly ran away. I think it’s adorable and it looks exactly like me. I go by Teacher Chelo over here. Marcelo was way too hard to say, they would pronounce it like Marchero, so I decided that Chelo was close enough. Even though they still say Teacher Chero.

Towards the end of the week, I was asked by the director of the nearby Anuban (elementary) school if I could teach at her school for 3 hours a week. I was kind of skeptical at first, so they gave me time to think. I decided to give it a shot and see how it went the next week. Keep in mind, little kids frighten me.

Oh I didn’t really go out much this week because I would be exhausted when I got home. Anna is living in the same apartment complex as me which is amazing cause she’s super interesting and really easy to talk to. We also have pretty similar taste in TV shows which is a big plus. We found this place where we basically get dinner everyday, and I absolutely love it. I already have a favorite meal, Pad Grapow Moo Kai Dow. Pictures will be included later, cause I’m trying to limit myself to only getting Pad Grapow twice a week…. (it’s pretty hard)

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