Wednesday, September 30, 2015

And Just Like That, My First Semester Is In The Books!

Seems like only a short time ago I was struggling to learn names and figure out how to teach 40+ students at the same time. I've since moved into my own classroom and feel very comfortable teaching them possessive pronouns and demonstratives.

Here's my empty classroom after first moving in

Ready for class

My four classes

We held a teacher training where I ran into Jung again. She was the counterpart of another PCV before I arrived. 

Recognizing two retiring faculty for their service at our school's 77th anniversary celebration.

Angkor Wat Marathon 2015

Traveled into Cambodia with other PCVs to Siem Reap to run the Angkor Wat Marathon. The overland journey getting there was rough. I don't recommend it. Easier to fly. Spent all day Saturday exploring the many temples through the Angkor Wat area with Pete. He gets credit for the photos below with me in them.

The marathon was on Sunday. Only part of it took place inside the park area, which would have been more scenic had I not seen everything the day before. Marathons are painful, so it's hard (for me at least) to appreciate what's around me. Also, I had to go #2 for half the race, and there weren't any port-a-johns on the course.

But, I made it to the end. Here I am with Alyssa completely exhausted. 

All of us in front of the Angkor Wat temple with our medals.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Life in Chanthaburi: Welcome to my house!

I've had many requests to take pictures of my home to share, so this post is devoted to my happy place here in Thailand. Whether it's crazy students, pouring rain, angry dogs, or chaotic traffic--I always have the peace and quiet of my little house to escape to. I feel very fortunate to have found it.

I live at the end of a cul-de-sac which means there is very little noise from cars and mopeds. It's a split level house, meaning I share a wall with my neighbors. They have since moved out, but when they lived there, I never heard them. Not even once. Must be a thick wall.

I'm on the left in the picture. You'll notice that my house is well above street level. This is a huge plus living in the rainiest region of Thailand. I also like the built in bench on my front porch. Directly across the street is a garden area cared for by an elderly lady who lives a few doors down. It allows me to see storms rolling in, which I like.

My front room is pretty much empty except for my shoes and useless bike, which I mainly use as an indoor drying rack for my laundry. I walk everywhere, or catch a songtow if headed downtown. I added the curtains for privacy.

A long hallway extends to the back of the house. There are two bedrooms on off to the left. Like most of Asia, flooring is either tile or wood. Carpet is disgusting. America is slow to realize this.

First door on the left is my bedroom. This is where I spend most of my time. I set up a cardboard box for a desk and I use my bed as a chair. Another box is used as a fan stand. My dresser is made from plastic and my closet is a clothing rack. Furniture is expensive and difficult to get back home. I had the A/C unit installed after moving in. The Peace Corps doesn't have to mean suffering :)

It was important to me to have a real bed, not just a mattress on the floor. I don't like critters crawling atop of me while I sleep.

I turned the second bedroom into a pantry/storage room. Since I don't have a real kitchen, I put my fridge and other kitchen items in here. The top of my fridge makes a great shelf.

My kitchen nook is really just a sink with a small counter top. I recently extended it out with the folding table to keep my butane stove and pans on. If you hear music blasting from my house, it's likely because I'm in this area, cooking or doing laundry.

Around the corner, looking out from the bathroom.

My bathroom. Much roomier than my tiny Japanese bathroom. Complete with TWO towel racks, shelf, sink, and mounted mirror.

No hot water heater on the shower. The cold showers haven't been that bad--not enough to make me buy a water heater anyway. Water pressure is great, which goes a long way. I'm just thankful for not having to take bucket showers using standing water from a trough like many other volunteers.

So that's my house. I'm pretty happy with it. Stop by anytime.