Sunday, June 14, 2015

School Begins!

My life has gotten a lot crazier lately now that school is back in session. We are currently 3 weeks in and I can honestly say I'm enjoying it. My students are great, I'm getting along with my co-teacher Jeab, the school has been very supportive, and I'm finally getting the opportunity to test out all the new ideas I wanted to try out.

I teach two Matayom 1 classes and two Marayom 2 classes. It's like our Jr. High level. I see each class four times a week, which I really like. Other PCVs don't get to see their classes as often, which makes it much tougher for the students to actually retain anything.

Being introduced to the student body by our school director

I currently teach in what's called the ASEAN room. It's where all the important school meetings take place, so it's nicer than most of the classrooms. The classroom we will be teaching in is under construction and will be done soon. 

This is my co-teacher Jeab. 

I also teach the school faculty on Monday afternoons. I make sure to keep it light and fun, just like my student classes. I'm basically teaching them the same things as my kids. 

Meanwhile, rainy season is doing its thing. I love this shot from fellow PCV Danica of her school after a big rain storm. The school continues with lunch as if a foot of muddy water was no big deal.

Brandon, a PCV friend of mine who went home early, visited Mary and I with his girlfriend. We had a fun dinner out. 

The next day we traveled north to Brian's site where we hiked to a waterfall. 

Last week was Wai Khru, a special school day where the students pay respect to their teachers. Here's a shot of our 700+ students.

I was up on stage with the other teachers

Some of my students presenting gifts. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Break 2

Songkran is the three day water fight festival throughout Thailand. This was the scene in front of my host family's house.

It was also during this holiday that I moved out on my own earlier than anticipated. It's a complicated story that those in my journal email ring are privy to. Sorry general public :)

First things first: set up the wifi

Brian, a nearby PCV, came into town and we hit the awesome weekend market downtown. Too many food options to choose from.

Rainy season came early. Thank goodness, because it's been a million degrees lately, and the rain cools things down a bit, despite the humidity. 

Weekend trip to Rayong for a Peace Corps Consolidation test. It's what we do if there's a natural disaster or anarchy breaks out. We consolidate to a meeting point. In my case, it's at this sweet hotel with a pool. We made good use of it.

Shortly after that about 20 PCVs took a little vacation to Koh Mak, and island off the coast near where I live. It was a relaxing four days with this view.

School is starting this week and life will dramatically change. I'll try to get some pictures up of my rental house too.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Summer Break

We are currently on summer break until the new school year begins on May 18th. As such, I've had a lot of free time to explore the city of Chanthaburi with my host family, eat delicious food, and take a three day teacher retreat.

Chanthaburi is famous for having the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand. It's an impressive looking building on the waterfront. 

At the King Taksin Great Shrine and City Pillar Shrine with my host family. 

Day trip to the National Maritime Museum 

Dessert on Chanthaburi River

Vietnamese dinner at home. I could post dozens of amazing food pics here, but I'll let you visit my Facebook Timeline for those. 

I was invited to join the end of school year teacher's retreat to Kanchanaburi, the other side of Thailand from where I live now. They chartered a party bus, and as you can see below, there was plenty of karaoke, drinking, and gambling the entire drive.

One of our first stops was to the famous River Kwai Bridge.

Srinagarind Dam

We visited several wats (temples), including this one at วัดบ้านถ้ำ

and this one at วัดถำ้มังกรทอง

But honestly, the highlight of the trip was this wonderful foot massage.