Work Hard, Play Harder… Not By Choice!

Last week was a bit slow at work. I have 10 different classes 8 which meet twice a week (Listening & Speaking), and 2 that meet once a week (Reading for Science). My 8 that meet twice a week were all absent since they are M6, which translates to seniors in high school. They are tutoring for exit exams and entrance exams all at once so I only had 3 classes all week long. I did a lot of planning and organized a flexible schedule of when I would see the students, when they have holidays and when I won’t be in the class. It wasn’t hard work just tedious.

Here are some pics of what I see in school throughout my week:

20151111_094118Kruai (Oven Roasted Bananas!!! AROY!)  20151113_080016Ah yes, we have a squatting toilet. No tissue in the toilet, and after you’re done you dump water in there until the bowl is clean… I mean at least it’s healthier……

The office:20151112_141149_HDR20151112_141152  20151112_141145_HDR20151111_140547                                                                  *AAAND I received my bday gift from mom! (After a month -_-)

After school Tuesday I went to one of the four pools in my town. 20151110_170946        20151110_171004Thursday I have one of my best hours in the week: Spanish club. It’s so free, impromptu and fun since I teach them songs in Spanish. First they learn the meaning of each line and translate after they practice singing along. I think realistically we’ll do 1 song every two weeks so they can really sing and have fun. Point is they ENJOY it and even my host teacher is learning Spanish as she helps me. (I hope to make my actual classes this enjoyable, but I have to remind myself that it is doable *with time) 1447337095772

I also had a few lunch/ dinner dates which was nice to move the week along. 20151111_104126                                                                    *When you get coffee @ Thailand it comes with tea in most places

Thursday night I was taken 30-ish minutes out to the next big city to eat KFC and enjoy Swensens after by P’Am. Note: spicy chicken wings are way more BOMB here and it wasn’t my idea to have American food so soon! Note 2: I loved it!   20151112_18042520151112_18590520151112_18554911907131_909978552382841_8195194217574132326_o

By the end of the week I was taken to lunch and coffee with P’Buddy! This man is amazing, he teaches English and I can tell he genuinely cares when he asks how I’m doing. He smiles so big when he talks about his grand babies and is retiring after this term. Point is we relate in ways more than words we can speak to each other (for now): we love coffee20151113_130412    20151113_125526

It’s nice, I’m realizing more and more how much support I have in Sawankhalok.      (MOM, DAD: Yes, your baby girl is being well taken care of 🙂 )

For example, I expressed the transition is still hard to a couple of teachers in the office and how sometimes it does get lonely; homesickness is a forgetful part and very prominent part of my week altogether. So, they invited me out for a Friday night drink.20151113_202545 Scott (Australian) & Paul (from London)             There is a lot of normality in being able to just get a drink after work it was refreshing and fun for the small town of Sawankhalok that has now 2 bars! (we found the 2nd one that night).

The Weekend: My first two weekends have been adventure adventure adventure and barely home. I thought I was in for a quiet one, ‘I thought.’ I was woken up by a wedding at 6am! The monks pray for 20 minutes and they have thai songs and it’s BUMPIN, Oy Vey. I reminded myself: “Amazing Thailand,” and took advantage of waking up early at a normal time for California so I talked to a couple of friends & fam, and hand washed my clothes. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but if I have, I don’t care. Each time I’m scrubbing ALL of my clothes I myself am amazed.

20151114_085957 20151114_090006

After I tutored at a coffee shop with two students and had a good time with them. They WANT to learn and I love it. They are capable of so much, I know it. 20151114_110442_HDR    20151114_130915

As if I hadn’t done enough, I got picked up at 5:30p to go to Tak! We spent the night and went to a wedding the next morning (I mean 8am morning). It was a very interesting process to see to compare only 1 American wedding I’ve been to, to 1 Thai wedding. In Thai weddings they are prayed for by monks for 20 mins and then guests have a pre-meal appetizer. Then people help the groom carry the gifts for the bride and brides family? (from what I understood), it’s like a caravan that follow him. I had the honor of presenting some sugar cane and being a part of the wedding. It was really fun. Another different thing is that the groom has to prove himself to whomever is stoping him with a flower rope by answering questions and giving envelopes of money. Some were challenging and I can tell it’s a fun challenge. Then there is a lot of gift giving and wai-ing to different people that have helped their relationship and marriage especially to both parties’ parents. Note: there is a 9 course meal as the wedding is going, I probably back tracked all the work I did with insanity the week before.                                                                   20151114_184249 1hr and a half away    20151114_195013 Our lovely hotel   20151114_212817_HDR  20151114_212328 20151114_210806Tak is pretty in the evening

20151115_074213    20151115_07440120 mins 20151115_090824      20151115_091745 20151115_091738   1447555334352     20151115_09325420151115_090420I also found Edie (Fellow ETA at the wedding!)  20151115_084939My adventure squad & another teacher from Sawankhalok 20151115_085447If only you could read what the sign says lol >=] (but jk if you can)

After we headed out to Mae Sot! The border of Myanmar and Thailand in the Province of Tak with Master Samron, Beverly, Noe, and Van. Beverly, Noe and Van are foreign English teachers from the Philippines. Master Samron I call Po (father), at first I actually thought he wanted me to call him Paul, so I would transition from Master Samron and Paul, then he introduces me as his daughter along with my 3 other siblings haha. I even asked (again since I forgot) “What do you prefer being called, Master Samron, or Paul?” He seemed a little embarrassed and replied “You can call me Po, others call me Master Samron.” Took me two weeks but now I understand he is my Thai father who has taken such great care of me so far and I know I can truly trust. Even my host teacher P’Am said he is a wonderful man anyone can go to. 20151115_132725_HDR20151115_145950_HDR AMAZING

A SIDE NOTE:******When we visited this temple, there were fireworks to scare the evil spirits. They weren’t the pretty ones, just the ones that made noise. I was scared. I jumped when I first heard the fireworks and looked around to see if there was anyone on the floor since it sounded like gun shots. I was paranoid. After reading about Paris, Lebanon, Kenya, lost planes, crashed buses and even school shootings in America, it’s sad to think I can’t feel safe anywhere. I stayed up till 3am thinking of these things, these people, the innocent and horrendous people. I know I’m safe in Thailand and all I can do is pray but recently its more in my face that this world is going through a lot. I don’t know what to say or do but it was a significant moment that made me think, “Why would I feel SO frightened?”****END NOTE

20151115_144303 On the way to Mae Sot 20151115_135342    12246838_1233036920055619_397467572218131030_n A nice candid 20151115_171408 Kids playing

20151115_165718What a rifle

20151115_165607_HDRI was in Thailand seeing Myanmar

20151115_165441_HDR Friendship Bridge that goes from Thailand to Myanmar & a market:  20151115_163612

Well that was my week. Let’s see what challenges actually teaching bring me this week!    Talk soon,                                                                                                                              Elaine ❤


2 thoughts on “Work Hard, Play Harder… Not By Choice!

  1. Boy, you sure did alot. The pools look so clear. They look very tempting tov ump in. You have been a busy bee. That’ s good you have a family you can trust and the fact that they have taken you under their wings. It make feel more at ease tgat someone is watching over you. Love you.Que Diosito te Bendiga.


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