This past weekend was one of the best that I’ve had in a long time; each day brought something new and exciting. It started on Thursday when we taught at the English camp. My group was working with the older students that day, which was intimidating to say the least. We were told that we were going to be treated as substitute teachers and that the classes would be difficult to control. Well, they got that right. Some of these kids were angels while the others were little shits, but I loved them with my entire heart. My partner Ryanne and I ended up having to teach four hours of lessons, and each class got easier even though we were growing more tired. Talking to my peers at the end of the day, I was disappointed to find that I wasn’t experiencing the same “this is what I’m meant to do” moment that they were speaking of.
That all changed on Friday, when we were teaching Prahtton 4 and 5 (8-10 year olds). I’m pleased to say that I experienced my a-ha moment that day. I loved, loved, LOVED teaching these kids! I was able to tackle a class all on my own, and they seemed to be grasping the concepts that I was teaching and I’m proud to say that I was able to control the classroom well. The kids were all willing to learn; even if they were a little apprehensive at first, when you smiled at them and they smiled back, you knew you were golden.
We all went out on Friday night, which meant for a rough morning on Saturday. We took our song-tao on an hour and a half ride to Phraya Nakhon Cave. We were told there would be a hike, but our instructor failed to mention that it would be incredibly steep, rocky and long hike! I, luckily, wasn’t feeling too awful and had worn running shoes, but there were some people in flip flops trying to traipse up and around these rocks. After about an hour and a half of hiking in the blistering heat, we got to the cave. I can’t even try to describe this cave. It was absolutely breathtaking, and pictures don’t do it justice. Apparently the temple was built in the cave thousands of years ago, but was only re-discovered a couple hundred years ago when a man was seeking shelter from a storm. This place was incredibly vast and serene. I really felt infinitesimal standing in it – what a humbling feeling. Despite being a little worse for wear, the day ended up far exceeding my expectations. That’s pretty much all I can say about it – my suggestion is to visit it for yourself. You will not be disappointed!
After the day of sweating and physical activity, Janie and I decided to pamper ourselves. We lay on the beach for a few hours, got manicures, oil massages, and had some expensive American food to treat ourselves. I had a Caesar salad which cost almost four times what I would pay for any Thai meal. While sitting in the little cafe a monkey passed by the restaurant, as if to remind us that yup, we’re still in Thailand.
This week is when we find out about our placements. I have learned that I will be living in the South teaching P1 (6 year olds) which will be heaven for me!! I can’t wait to learn more about my placement: who else will be living there, how many students I will have, the name of the school, the pay, etc. It’s a strange feeling to let someone else figure out your future job – I’m so used to applying for dozens of jobs at a time. Here it’s unlikely that I’ll even have an interview before I get this job. Oh well, mai pen rai. I’m sure it’ll all work out.