I’ve been here 5 months now and all is going well. Teaching is still enjoyable, and I’ve only got one month left of this term. A few other TEFL teachers contracts end this month, including the South Africans, so they are having parties and getting ready to say bye for a while! My contract doesn’t finish until the end of March so I have 4 weeks more (which is a good thing as its another months paycheck!)
Teaching has mostly involved trying to keep the students occupied while I take one out at a time to do their speaking exams. It has taken 3 weeks to get every class tested. My school got quite excited over Valentines day, with all the students giving out heart stickers the days leading up to it. Needless to say my shirt was completely covered in heart stickers. On the actual Valentines day I was off sick with Tonsillitis which was a shame. I still got some roses when I returned to school though which was sweet of the students!
This week at school is exam time for most of the students, so classes have been cancelled and I’ve been covering other classes. Yesterday i was told to go cover a class 20 minutes after it had started, when the students realised no-one had even told me to be there, so they showed me a piece of paper in thai. I told them I didn’t understand and it took a further 5 minutes to locate a teacher who spoke english to translate and then another 10 minutes to get the photocopier working so they could print worksheets. I think I actually took the class for 20 minutes in the end. I’ve come to realise that this is the norm in Thailand, everything is always last minute, and no forward planning. Often I turn up to school to be told my class isn’t there or they are doing something else, or I’m covering another class. Being flexible is important here!
I’ve been making the most of weekends and have been to Ao Nang, Krabi, twice this month, both times with Lee and Nonku. The first time we travelled Friday, spent Friday night out with their friends, and Saturday at the beach then doing the 7 island sunset tour (which was quite different to the other one I did with Paul and James, but still really good, and I recommend it!) Then on Sunday we went for a walk by the sea and got a bus back to Khaochaison.
Above and below; Me, Nonku and Lee on Tub Island, posing for our sunset barbecue!
This weekend it was a long weekend, Monday was bank holiday thanks to Buddha, so we travelled up again on Friday but had 2 full days to enjoy ourselves. On Saturday Lee and I took a 2 hour ferry to Phi Phi island, whilst Nonku went trekking. It was good to see a different island and Phi Phi is beautiful! It was a shame we couldn’t have spent longer there, but I hope to visit again!
On Sunday Lee and I went to Railay beach, back to my favourite spot under the trees.
It was still hot, but it rained most of the day so I had a massage and we went for walks. Nonku went climbing for the day, where you swim in the sea and have to climb up the rock/mountain then dive back into the sea and we caught up with her over dinner at McDonalds! Monday was spent travellingback to Khaochaison, but didn’t feel too bad as it was raining so much by then!
Each time we went on a Songteow (Krabis’ version of public transport) we met female solo travellers. One was an older lady (60ish) who had been travelling by herself for the last 3 months, in Australia and South East Asia. She told us how Ao Nang was her favourite place so far, as this was her 4th visit. The only place she said compares to it was Hawaii (Dad, take note!) Railay beach in Krabi is my favourite place, and Hawaii is my Dads, so it made me laugh that she thinks the same. Maybe Dad will change his mind when they come to visit in October! Since the lady knew Thailand well i picked her brain about what to do in the North, and she told me the best places. Another woman we met was from Canada and she had been in Bali recently and was now exploring Thailand, and her friend with her was someone shed met in Bali and they had been travelling for the last 2 weeks together.
Also as you have probably guessed this term is coming to an end. I got too sad thinking about saying goodbye to my students and realised I am not ready for that yet, so I am staying another term :D. Contracts have been signed, I have my new work permit and soon I will get an extension on my visa, hopefully in the next few weeks.
Only 4 weeks left of teaching this term. Then I will have 6 weeks unpaid holiday. During the 6 weeks I’ve decided to spend 3 weeks in the UK (flights are booked, i get back on the 18th April) and before that I am going travelling by myself for 3 weeks to explore the North of Thailand. Talking to the women above about how easy it was made me feel so much better about being on my own in April, at least I can be selfish and do all the things I really want to do (Elephants, Tigers, cookery lessons, markets and the white temple!) and I’ll get to meet new people on the way….
7 weeks until I’m home! Excited much…
P.S. This is Bao the Monkey, he was too cute this time, I couldn’t resist a cuddle!