I am now in Korat.... But I will start with last weekend and the days prior :)
Much went on during the days prior to the weekend! MUCH!
I learnt a lot about Thai "Issan" culture and had my difficulties with the cultural differences. As I got more comfortable, I think others did too. So, I got a better look into the less painted image. Issues relating to abuse, appropriate drinking times, what "we" consider rude, etc etc. I feel like I got a very deep undertanding of some of our many differences. It was very tough at times, but valuable. Sorry for being so vauge! As well, my bonds grew stronger and stronger with everyone. Otherwise, I feel completely comfortable at the school... with the students :) I find myself realizing that where I am and what I am doing allows me to use all of my favorite characteristics as well as face new things daily. Ahhh, growth. I am so happy running around the classroom, singing, skipping, giving hugs, teaching, acting, making goofy faces, giving stickers when they do great, saying "I love you" constantly and chasing students down the hall!
Mid week, I got to tour 9 local primary schools! I absolutely LOVED it! The kids literally peed themselves in excitement! They were honestly screaming at the top of their lungs.... then quickly running to the side of the grass to bow and wai. At other times, as I sat in the office with the varying directors... the kids would pile outside the door and peek in at me. More times then not I would sneak them a little funny face to get them even more excited! At one of the schools, I agreed to singing "Oh Canada". What was I thinking. I was on a dry grass soccer field and the students were in their boy scout outfits for a school sleep over in tents. There was no microphone. I just pretty much yelled it. I thank my lucky star I had nobody watching that performance back home. Wow. Good times ;) Hmmm, at another school... Students would follow me with an english - thai dictonary and say one word. For example. "Family". I would answer them some how by saying how many family memebers I had and they were so proud of themselves thinking they asked me a question. I also taught them how to say excellent and give a wink (I am a bad winker) and a thumbs up. So CUTE!! (Among other things) Otherwise, I always felt aggresively recruited by teachers and overly overly overly complimented.
So my last FULL day of teaching came soon enough on Friday. I remember it being SO HOT. Such an intense heat. AHHH!!! I did a class for fun called "In the life of Laura". I showed pictures and told them of my family, friends, boyfriend, activities, school, cabin, my cat! etc. It went SO great! It was a BIG hit! The students were very keen on "certain topics". During my last class, I got the sweetest heart folded papers reading I love you Laura, Laura love Laura and all sorts of funny combinations using love. MMmm, such a good word. Friday night, we rushed home and the family packed up and went to Mukdahan province!
We stayed at her brother's place and that went pretty well. Minus me stepping in a nest of some sort of black bug that swormed and bit my legs and feet all over! AHHH!!! We did a duck BBQ and sat outside eating the usual sticky rice and other interesting foods. When it came to sleeping time, I was in the living room with Pee Pook, Pee Chai and Angel. We had these mat things on the floor. When I woke up, I felt little angels feet in my tummy. She had squirmed over to my mat. It was so sweet! I also distinctly remember a flash when I was waking up. I think Pee Pook took a picture of me sleeping. It reminded me of my Mom. (Hi Mom, xoxo). We hit a different market and looked out at the friendship bridge connecting Laos and Thailand.....And we went to Pha Nam Yoy Temple. It was breathtaking. You have to hike to it. Ahhh, HOT! and taking turns carrying angel! But it was worth it! It was sky high and you could climb all the way to the top. The architecture was breathtaking. I cant wait to post pictures. Otherwise, we munched new thai treats and drank our iced coffees in a bag and had a LONG trip home!
That brought me to Sunday. I had my first going away party that night! I got all sorts of thoughtful sweet gifts and spent time laughing and eating with many of Pee Pook's friends and teachers from the school. Many joked about me finding them a "farang man". Not sure if it was a joke though? OH!!!! Before the party! I noticed a visitor in the bath well! A GIANT fish! I cant imagine how scared he must have been the day I stood in it to clean up! hahaha. Now I always peek in on him. He's pretty BIG! Nobody even told me he was there! Or she I guess? hahah.I got him on Camera! Lets make him a he. Sorry, back to the party. A Japanese teacher also came by with her mom... they both spoke broken english so that was great! Otherwise, I spent a LOT of time feeding and watching angel and taking a TON of pictures! Good times all around and lots of hugs :)