Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Back to School

School is finally back in session! The break completely flew by, once again. It's so nice be be back at site, and Zack and I are hunkering down in our community for awhile. We were so busy over the school break that it feels good to know we're going to be in one place for awhile. Even though I'm off to a much better start this school year compared to last year, the start of school comes with many little frustrations that I hadn't considered in quite a while.

Technically school started last week, but I was in Bangkok having my wisdom teeth extracted. It was a relief since they had been giving me a lot of trouble for awhile, but it was still a far from enjoyable experience. The first week of school usually consists of the students coming to school and just cleaning, so fortunately I didn't miss anything too important. Between all of the meetings and git-ja-gam pii-set (special activities) going on this week, we only had one actual day of school. Today is Thursday and I am "working from home" because everyone is at a meeting in the city for the next two days. I'm grateful that I don't have to go to the meeting because I can actually be much more productive from home. I'm planning on dedicating the next four days to getting our teaching materials organized and creating more materials for upcoming lessons. I'm grateful that I have the time to do this now since there was no opportunity for me to do it over the break. Funny how things work out sometimes...Anyway, my whole point is that after expecting to be back in full-swing, my co-teachers and I only had one day of actual teaching this week. At least this year (compared to last year) I am a little more prepared for the inconsistencies and interruptions.

Also on my agenda today is a visit from Eye, one of my favorite little buddies. Eye is a seven-year-old who lives a few houses away. She's also one of my students. She came by last night at around 8:30 when she was biking past our house on "errands" for her family. I asked her if she was afraid to bike alone at night and she told me "no," as she explained that everyone around here looks out for one another. After that comment, it was funny when she responded that she thought my plans for staying home today and working alone sounded "scary." It was then that she asked if she could come and visit. At some point I need to post a picture or video of Eye so that everyone can understand how special this little girl is. She has more patience and understanding when she talks with me than any other Thai person I have ever met. She'll come over to me just to hold my hand or wrap her arms around me. She's thoughtful and loving and has a spark in her eyes that just melts my heart.

It's interactions and relationships like this that make me so grateful to be done traveling around for awhile, grateful to be home. People here are so kind and caring. Yesterday evening Zack and I took a walk together on the dirt roads behind our house that wrap through the rice fields, along the irrigation canals. We admired how clear the mountains in the distance are this time of year as the rains start to come. As we passed one of the tiny shack houses on the opposite side of the canal we were walking along, an older woman called out, telling us she had mangoes for us. She was on the other side of the canal though, so we were pretty confused regarding how we were supposed to go about meeting her. As we continued our walk and started to head back towards our house, she pulled up from behind us on her motorcycle, and sure enough, was carrying a huge bucket of ripe mangoes in her motorcycle basket. She made sure we'd be able to carry them home alright before turning around and heading back to her house. Thailand and the Thai people have been so good to us, and it's becoming very real that our time here will eventually come to an end.

Another school year is underway, and we are determined to make the most of it!

This is Poy, one of my many
adorable new first grade students.

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