Udon Thani, Knong Kai, Mekong River/Border of Laos....
Feb 16, 2007
|The next weekly update awaits!
The week ended off well :)
Thursday, there were no regular classes. It was a day where students came in and ran lines, danced, read out loud and just rehearsed for the school competition on Friday. I spent most of my day working on Pro-noun-ci-a-tion! Phew. The younger ones were particularily hard. For example. The word was "Information". But, they kept saying "Introduction". It is difficult at times, many have memorized the sound of the word but do not understand the meaning or the spelling. Then again, some are WONDERFUL! I have this one boy in particular. His nickname is "O". He is a lady boy and quite possibly the sweetest boy (sorry, girl) I have ever met! He gets so excited when he gets things right and makes this high pitched noise of INTENSE excitement! But, it's hard to teach a class with him in it. He is far too advanced and knows ALL of the answers. He also loves Avril Lavigne and always askes me to sing her songs and teach "her" the words.... and I do! Sometimes I stop and think, "I am living the strangest life!" At the competition, he got 3rd place for his thailand economy debate. He was .01 off from 2nd place. I have heard this ALL day! Otherwise, Friday was GREAT! It was competition day. All the skits went well and everybody placed in "Gold Level". There was no first, second, etc for group events. I mainly watched the skits and motioned with my hands to be louder, face the audience... like an over excited parent. I also met up with my teaching friend from England Danielle. That was nicer than you can ever imagine! We spent TONS of time exchanging stories! She has had the funniest experiences too! Our homestay people are total opposites (Mine is more family oriented, while hers is more the showy single life). We will be meeting up again on the 27th. Seeing another fluent english speaker for the day was nicer than you can imagine. On a funnier note, the kids seeing 2! farang girls at once was a BIG deal. We posed for MANY... MANY... MAAAAAAANY pictures!! After a while you had to just make it fun, so I was pouting my lips, grabbing their hats and wearing them, tilting down my sunglasses. Good times!
Then came the weekend. I pretty much explored every other province I had yet to visit in Thailand! I hit about 3-4 provinces through Issan. (I felt lucky because most of the area is not easy to access by public transport - NOT the touristy of places) I spent the most time in Udon Thani and Knong Kai. On the drive up, I ate sweet coconut milk sticky rice from inside a pc.of bamboo. You peel back the bamboo. It was SO cool.... from a road side stand. Canada is missing out. I had lunch on the Mekong River as I watched sleepy Laos accross the river. I shopped the market and covertly plugged my nose as everyone stocked up and ate dried squid from the market. Umm, sorry... I'm full from the sticky rice. Then, I spent some time visiting some buddhist temples and looking at the amazing architecture, I hiked through Phu Phrabat Historical Park looking at the massive strange rock formations left behind from a melted glacier. Each formation had a story. Quite sweet really. Gosh! So much! I walked through this beautiful garden depicting the different buddhas. I like the big fat one. The statues were MASSIVE. Like house/apartment big! THEN!!!!! We finished up the night at Pee Pook's friends place in Udon Thani for dinner. Dinner in Udon Thani is almost always the same. You get 1 or 2 massive whole fishes. The whole thing is deep friend. You take a pc. of lettuce or cabbage... put a pc. of fish in it. Then, you grab some "fix'ns". For example, peanut, banana, cucumber, chilli, onion, ginger, spearmint, garlic, small noodle, and many more. You place that on top of the fish. Then, you roll it all up. Put either a sweet fish sauce or a chili sauce on top ... and eat it! The drive home was VERY long. I fell asleep right away! The next day was more relaxed. It was also SO hot. Just SOOOOOOOO hot. I laid on the cement downstairs and actually had 2 baths in the span of 2 hours by choice! And, spent time playing with baby angel. I also got a TON of reading done. Later that night we went out to dinner with Pee Pook's oldest sister. Korean BBQ. I asked what kind of meat it was? I was so confused. It was all different colors, textures... but I kept getting the same answer: Beef. I later found out it was EVERY "part" of beef... or the cow. Like intestines, liver, etc. I ate veggies that night. Oh, and what tasted like the best orange of my life. So that brings me to today. A good day. I have finished up my classes for the day. I did a "clothing" class. During one of my drawing activites, I had the boys draw boxer shorts. This alone was very funny to them. In the end, I put little heart stickers all over them. Now the girls snicker, "heart boxer" to the boys in an attempt to make fun of them in english. Heck! It's all in the name of retaining english and making it fun! :)Otherwise, I hate that I dont have internet regularily, because I know that I leave out all of the small things because I update so irregularily!
Hmmm... Let me try to brainstorm some odds right now!
- I secretly hang my underwear to dry in my room instead of "in front of the village!" when I do my laundry. hahaha.
- Danielle had to eat 4 types of flavored pigs face at her placement. One was mint pig's face. I felt good about my options after that. She acted so pleased and now they have frozen the rest to have on her Birthday (the 24th) HAHAHAHAH.
- Baby angel and I are getting closer. She will reach for me to pick her up when I get home from school now. She likes to sit on my lap while she eats. So sweet! My pants end up being COVERED in food.
- Oh! Pee Chai has still yet to speak to me. But! When he drinks, he smiles at me :) hahah. So we are getting closer. He did say "hello" the first day I met him with Danielle though. So we joke that his last word will be "goodbye" on my last day. But, I really like him still :) He is a great cook! And, he spent the whole car ride home last night (Speaking in Laos) to Pee Pook about what he will cook next Sunday for my going away party. Kind without words :)
- Lastly! My village is like one big family. Everyone knows everyone. It is quite literally one giant extended family. Literally, by blood. Almost all of Pee Pooks family... and families family lives in the village. When someone is in trouble, everyone helps. For example, When someone does not have money for food... they walk around with a bamboo container and everyone puts some sticky rice in it. I was so confused the first time. There is a similar kind of bond in the sense of communication. Everyone talks to everyone. There is even a few elder men who sit at the opening of the village to greet you and make sure that only those living within the village enter. I pay them off with a massive smile and an overly rehearsed "Sawatdi, ka!"
Love you all!