Thursday, February 03, 2005

It has been a long time!!! I have really missed writing but I've been so busy. John and Josiah are back and they have been since last Friday and I'm soo glad! I missed them terribly. Things are going very well with school - after Friday I'll only have 1 week left. I had an interesting experience teaching 3 students...last week. I went in for my lesson for the day and only 3 students showed up. I had a huge lesson prepared and it included spliting up into groups of 4-5 and I only had 3 students! It was very interesting and very rough but it turned out ok and I gained a lot of experience with "winging it".

We (our TEFL class) took a field trip to Songkhla Technical School to teach a 20-30 minute lesson each to different classes. We had to play a game that reinforced something from their previous lessons (time, greetings, past tenses ect...). It's extremely unnerving going to Songkhla (pronounced: Song-k-lah) because there are over 5,000 students there and they are mostly teenage boys. When you go into the front gates of the school it's like entering a city...there are lots of buildings and courtyards and little vendors where the students hang out...and as you walk through the "school" all eyes are on me and the other 2 women in my class. When I walked into the first class I was monitoring I heard "Wow!" "Ooooooo" "Bootyful" They are completely amazed at our white skin and blonde highlighted hair!

That class was completely teenage boys and Mandy (brave soul that she is) volunteered to take that class and did very well! I've come to find out that the Thai people are incredibly when you say the word game and team...they're ready to go - no matter how many "farang" are in the room. So, the game began and it went wonderfully - she played "Chinese Whispers" to have the class practice their speaking and vocabulary. It was very entertaining for us and them...and I have to say that Mandy handled herself wonderfully considering the room was wildly almost out of control for part of the game.

I went on to teach a much more mixed class. I played a game similar to pictionary. I split the class up into three teams and had them come up one at a time and draw what was on the card (a vocabulary word that they've learned in their term) for their team and the first team to guess it got the most points. It was sooooo much fun! I had an incredible time! The Thai's are incredibly competitive so you see a class of quiet, smiling, shy girls and sometimes the boys turn into pushing and shoving, shouting and screaming young teenagers that fight for every point. It's all in good fun though....

It's amazing - now when I ride on the Song-tao and I look around on my 30-50 minute ride to school...I don't look around amazed at everything I see. It's not that I'm not amazed's just that I'm starting to feel more at home. I'm starting to hear things in the language and understand more...when I watch the Thai people they are now normal instead of a sea of foreign faces. I'm adapting and it feels good. I can now say that all Thai people DO NOT look a like. Whereas when I first arrived I really couldn't see much of a difference...(also partially my lack of attention to detail at times). Anyway, I feel at home with the smells and the noise...and the cheek bones are definately stronger! lol....I can smile continuously almost all day now without a whimper. LOL...

Now...I'm having a problem with the food. I've come to realize that there IS actually a limit to how much kao-pot someone can eat...I've had kao-pot mai pet (fried rice not hot) way too much and I'm soo eager to branch out and try something new crazy as it sounds I don't want to have to order something...hate it...order something else...hate it...and end up paying for it all and possibly not find anything I like. Where are the buffets!!!! :) Almost everything here is made to order...I'll figure more dishes out that I like very soon I'm's just been this week. I'm starving for anything other than kao-pot and I've branched out like 4 times and found my tastebuds disapproving each time...leaving me to order more kao-pot mai pet....

I went to one of the vendors I go to sometimes after school for dinner and I was going to try to order something else (which is really hard to do when the menu is in Thai) and by the time I had decided to attempt to order soemthing different she handed me a plastic bad with my kao-pot jsut like I like it....mai pet. LOL. So I went home and ate my kao-pot and decided to try again tomorrow. I need to take a picture of these vendors...They're nothing but a wagon that has a make-shift tent over it...and they've got their wok over an open flame and tons of spices and meats laid out everywhere.

Thailand amazes me in that there is soooo much life being lived. I don't know if that makes sense or even if that's a good way to describe it but when I'm riding home I see so much life....people you can think of. Everyone is out and about. Most people come out and eat for dinner to these street vendors and there are just whole roads that are filled with them on either side of the road. In America everyone is jsut seems like all we ever do in America is work and go and go home. At least that would be the looks of it if you road a song-tao in America. Here everyone is living life....well, that doesn't sound right - not that Americans don't "live" life...well, I hope you get what I'm saying.

At the same time that there is so much life being lived there is an absence of the life that only God can bring. As I sit across from faces on the Song-tao I see so many hurting people...and empty people. I watch as people buy their little buddah temples to go in their yards...they're so busy with life I think that they don't have time to think about the meaning of life. Wow...that is an over generalization...but I think it's partially true. There is so much going on...they don't seem to contemplate why we're all here. But the truth is that all humans do that. I know of a lot of people in America who are simply living life and not even thinking of why they are even living the lives they live...what is beyond this life....

I found it amazing that so many people aren't bothered by not asking themselves this question. I met many of these people when going to Grayson before I left (a college in Sherman). People wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep and start all over again in the morning and never ask themselves...why am I here? This thought plagued me before I knew God...Why are we here...what is my purpose...what is going to happen when the last breath comes from my body???? Where will I go??? These are important questions that have an incredible answer and they all lie in our God. The people of Thailand need a wake up call sooo desperately. I can't wait to be able to speak their language.

I am so eager to be able to speak to them as they are eager to speak to me. I feel like I am in field ripe for the harvest but I lack the tools needed to harvest the grain. So for now I will show them the love of God and study Thai hard!

EHH!! I"ve got to go this place is shutting down (internet place). Talk to you soon. I have more to write. Don't have time to check this sorry if spelling and stuff is wriong.... :)