first month of teaching winds down, Leslie & I are still
reeling from culture shock, the unexpected workload &
the heat. We made a pact before we left Pittsburgh that we
would never complain about the heat and have stuck to it.
It's just a fact of life here.
under estimate what it takes to be a school teacher. Even
under ideal conditions, we can see it is a demanding occupation.
And with the language barrier it is especially challenging.
We both envision growing to love the job, especially after
we have a curriculum to work from and some more lesson plans
drawn up. For now we are inundated with work and need to get
caught up. It would help if we quit flitting off to parts
unknown on the weekends and learned to say no to all the invitations
extended to us.
spent Songkran, the Thai New Year, in Northeast Thailand (approx.
7 hours outside of Bangkok.) My cousin is married to a Thai
women, and we accompanied them on a trip north to visit the
village where she grew up.
their holidays seriously here with virtually the whole country
shutting down. Songkran lasts for 4 days and marks the beginning
of the New Year, 2547. It also ushers in the rainy season
which helps to explain why we were doused with buckets of
water for 4 days straight. Even along the whole route as we
drove up country and back the car we were driving in was pelted
with water.( Don't even ask us what the talcum powder is all
of about 150 treated Leslie & I royally. Word traveled
fast that two farangs (Westerners) were in own, which must
have been a novelty for them judging by the looks we received.
As friendly as we've found the people in Bangkok, the people
'up country' are even more so.
they have they insist on sharing with you and though the people
are very poor nobody goes hungry. Anywhere you look are trees
with food (usually fruit) growing from them. Mangos, bananas,
coconuts, along with many fruits we don't recognize grow everywhere.
To say that nothing goes to waste here could be an understatement,
what with the people eating just about anything. One morning
after climbing down from our accommodations (best described
as a tree house) we found the entire family and all the neighbors
sitting around a breakfast of crickets.
is not unique to the country folk though as there is a women
just outside our apartment in Bangkok who serves up locusts
& cockroaches all day long. And try getting a salad here
without red ants on it. Fuh-ged about it.
the tree house we all slept in, were cows, water buffalo,
chickens, roosters, ducks and pigs. Meanwhile, there were
barrels catching rain water off the roof with catfish in them.
These people may not have any money but their needs are met.
things at The Thai Christian School, each day gets a little
easier. Leslie has 1st grade English and Art while I have
4th grade English & P.E. This is summertime in Thailand
so what we are doing is considered summer school. It is for
those students who wish to work on their English skills. The
school year officially begins in mid May. Leslie will be starting
a Christian Montessori Kindergarten program while I will be
teaching 6th, 7th & 8th grade English.
December I was informed I would be teaching 2nd, 3rd and 4th
grade Math; and had been boning up on dividing fractions.
But now I'll have to cram and re-learn my dangling participles
& irregular past tenses.
amass with some tales of misadventure we will check in again.
Until then we will try to keep Deena busy posting new pictures
on the site.
free to drop us a line at:
we will be sure to reply.