My apologies in advance for how much of my life is going to be in this post…..
I would first like to start off by announcing that I have officially been placed! I will be a kindergarten teacher at Kasintorn Saint Peter School located in Nonthaburi. It’s approximately 45 minutes northwest of Bangkok. I’m very excited to work with little kids, I just hope cleaning up “accidents” is not part of my job description. You can check out my new school here.
This past week was another funfilled week of lesson planning, practice teaching, and class breaks on the beach. I definitely love the arts and crafts side of teaching, so I think being placed as a kindergarten teacher will be awesome.
Last post, I know I talked about going to Phi Phi Island, but I neglected to mention another cool fact. There is a nearby Rasta Bar here that plays live music. They also have many drums just sitting about. I was playing the Congas and Djembe, having a good time, and the band that was playing pulled up a chair and told me to play with them! It was quite fun. The next day, my hands were a little bruised and sore, but I loved jamming with them.
I’m going to stop talking about last week, though, because I’ve done some really cool stuff this weekend.
On Friday night, a bunch of us went to Patong. Patong is ladyboy central. If you’ve not seen a ladyboy, you’re sure to see enough of them to last you fifteen lifetimes in the first five minutes of arrival. For those of you who don’t know what a ladyboy is, it’s pretty much a male-to-female transvestite… they might be pre-op or post-op, but if you’re “lucky” you’re sure to find out… They’re pretty free spirited and proud of their after-surgery self. To an American who is really conservative about that kind of stuff, it’s a bit shocking. None-the-less, going to Patong was such a fun time! I am glad our training is in Nai-harn, though, because I don’t think I could handle Patong for three weeks!!
Then, yesterday, I went elephant trekking with my friends Carinne and Sejal. My elephant’s name was Tong-Tui and she was 30years old! I got to sit on her head and steer her for a little while, which was a lot of fun… I felt a little bad, though, because I don’t want any animal to be held in captivity. But, I did give Tong-Tui a head massage while I was up there, so hopefully that makes up for it. I’m sure my massage was the equivalent to a gnat on her head, though! Regardless, it was a lot of fun. Shout out to my girl, Tong-Tui!
Last night, we went to the Phuket Town Night Market. I had gone with friends last weekend, too, but I actually got out of the food portion for a little while this time. You bet half of my time was spent getting really awesome food, though! I had a really good banana and Nutella pancake (which is a crepe by another name). But I was on a mission last night… I had to get something to wear to teach in this week. I got two skirts, a dress (not to teach in) and some white pants (for the Veg Fest!) for about $15 USD. It’s bizarre to think that things will be so much cheaper once I am out of Phuket. But the Phuket Town Night Market is really cool, so I would definitely recommend it if you’re ever in the area!
This morning we got up semi-early to go to the Vegetarian Festival. This festival is to bring good fortune, and the people eat only vegetarian food and wear all white to the festival to symbolize purity. There are many people who are put into a trance and have swords thrust through their cheeks, or are showered in hot oil…. things we would see as horrible, but are considered an honor to be asked to do here. Turns out we weren’t there early enough…. we missed all this. But we are hoping to go back later this week and maybe see a big more. It is going on until the 5th, so hopefully school this week isn’t too crazy and I get another chance to go.
Finally, we went to see Big Buddha! This is exactly what it sounds like…. a big Buddha statue. It’s still under construction–and I imagine it will be for some time, since it’s funded by donations only–but it is absolutely breathtaking. From Big Buddha’s mountain, you can see the most beautiful view of Phuket and the Andaman Sea. I feel like I am doing it an injustice by trying to describe it to you, because I can’t find the words. I only wish I could have each one of you in my pocket and show it to you in person. I was also blessed by a monk here, too. He was very friendly. He asked where I was from, and kept saying “Obama! Obama!” and gave me a bracelet as a symbol of my blessing.
This week I will be student teaching. Monday through Wednesday I’ll be at Baan Bang Rong School which is government run, Thursday and Friday I will be at a juvenile detention center and an all boys school. The detention center might make for some interesting stories, but as an American, I know my mind is exaggerating the possibilities! I’m super excited, though, and have a lot of preparations to make for tomorrow’s lesson plan…. I’ll hopefully post tomorrow after my first day of teaching, unless I’m too busy preparing for Tuesday. You bet you’ll hear from me soon, though!
Thanks for reading! I have a number that you can text to my phone from USA. It’s through an app that I got, but it’s free for you to text it. It’s: (951) 638-6157. I can’t make or receive calls through that number, so just text me!
And here is a video of me being blessed. Thanks Alycia for the commentary!