|We took a bus fro Samet to Surin. Left at 4pm and arriving at 3.30am in the morning (was supposed to be 1am but hey ho!). We got transferred to our volunteer house where we'll spend the next two weeks.
We had a weekend free before we joined our volunteer project, teaching English in a primary school. Before that, we explored some of Surin including the market there. Fabulous fruits and vegetables and exotic foods....including fried insects...grasshopper anyone?!I think the red ants and rice served in a green leasf were the most appetising!?
All sorts of food here to eat, chicken and rice typically 25 baht (53 pence). We had curly potatoe chips served on a stick...vey hot powder sprinkled on them that made us cough.
One night one of the co-ordinators took us to a Thai BBQ.This was a very busy restaurant that had tables with recesses in them to hold charcoal fired pots....they were lit and a steel grids put over the top. You went and chose the food you wanted and then cooked it yourself at the table over these brazier type fires. First you put lumps of fat and bacon on the grills to cover them before placing vegetables, meat strips, etc over them The pots were surrounded by water that became a soup from the juices of the cooked food...very nice...but a lot of our food got burnt we were not too expert at this, not like the locals.
On the morning of the first day of volunteering we got taken to the Buddhist temple to be "blessed" by the monk. He gave us a string bracelet that was to give us good luck. You wear it until it falls off.
We travelled to our rural primary school each day in a songthaew...The schol was rural and we taught 4 different classes aged from 5 to 12 years of age. I was a bit nervous about teaching, but Debbie is a trained teacher and with her help we planned some good fun lessons teaching colours, body parts, numbers and the alphabet.I surprised muself with the ideas for teaching, which included getting the kids to put yellow sticky labels with body part names on them onto a fellow student.
On the weekend we took a trip to see a Silk village which has been selected as providing the fuinest silks, so the King of Thailand gets his robes made from silk from here. Great to see the weaving sheds where the looms had a two storey drop for fine lengths if silk production. The threads were really fine and colourful and the weaving done on traditional wooden looms. The patterns are intricate and the subsequent weavings really fine quality. We also saw the silk worm process, from worms eating the mulberry leaves to becoming cocoons to actual threads!The inevitable shopping followed the visit, so much stuff, so little space in luggage!!!
Week two of teaching:
Had younger kids in the second week and we did lots of games and singing i.e 5 little ducks went swimming one day, 5 sugar donuts in the bakers shop...etc. These are wonderful children, eager to learn and reluctant to take a break when we stopped teaching. Such a joy to be with.
Friends and leaving Surin:
I had an amazing time in Surin. Thanks to all the friends we had such a great laugh! Enjoyed being with them all and will miss them now.