Island Time

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Time has passed so very quickly since I’ve been here.

Since the last time I wrote, so much has happened! Sorry I haven’t written a blog post in a while – I’ve been so busy taking advantage of every opportunity thrown my way that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write about it! To sum up the past couple of weeks:

  1. I am now officially TEFL certified and can teach children! I taught 7 classes during my course and love the kids – they are adorable, respectful, and smart. When they show that they learned something from you, you can’t help but feel extremely rewarded. I can’t wait to have my own classes and see my little babies every day! 🙂
  1. I love love love Muay Thai. I ended up training 5 days a week and really couldn’t get enough of it. I really enjoyed seeing how I improved week to week and loved learning new technique. The gym felt like home to me – I was completely heartbroken when I had to leave Chiang Mai because the trainers and the other people who trained there became like family to me. We trained, ate, drank, laughed, attended fights, and hung out together – I’m in serious withdrawal right now. This sport has taught me so much already and I’m excited to continue training. There better be a gym where I will be teaching! But, no gym will ever compare to Lanna Muay Thai.
  1. I think I would really love to move to Chiang Mai at some point. I loved living there so much and really miss it. It’s the perfect city – small and manageable. It kind of reminds me of Philly in a way. I felt home there on our little street and can’t wait to get back. I loved training at Lanna and going to Doggy Monster bar for a Chang and seeing the same smiling faces every morning on my way to school. I’m definitely excited for Chaiyaphum since it will be so unlike anything I’ve experienced before but I know I’ll make my way back to Chiang Mai.

I am currently writing this post from Koh Tao! I’m here to get PADI certified so that I can open water scuba dive anywhere in the world – pretty cool and so much cheaper than doing it at home. After TEFL training ended we had orientation and now we are on a 2-week vacation! Started off in Hua Hin, which is really a strange place. Lucy’s boyfriend is doing his TEFL program there so we went to visit and we were really thankful that our program was in Chiang Mai. Hua Hin is just kind of dirty and strange. Very, very happy to have moved onto Koh Tao! We had to walk a little ways from our hotel to get to the bus and it was so hard to lug our baggage – I would be a horrible full-time backpacker. We took a 4 hour bus to the ferry and then the 2 hour ferry to Koh Tao. We had some Changs and made some friends on the ferry and then we were there! We got to our accommodation and were led up to our fan room – no air con, just a fan. SO HOT. We talked to our scuba school and figured out our schedule, then ate some dinner and got ready to go on a bar crawl! It was really fun. We met a bunch of people and bopped around a few different bars on the island. We woke up this morning, got breakfast, went to the beach and then started our scuba course. We had to watch a 3 hour video and answer some questions. Then we decided to switch rooms so now we have air con! Tomorrow we have to be at scuba school at 8 am so we are just laying low tonight. Can’t wait to get in the water tomorrow!

xo

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kop khun ka!

Since I know little Thai at this point, kop khun ka (thank you) has been my go-to. I pretty much say kop khun ka and sawadee ka (hello) for every single interaction. Hey, at least I’m polite! 🙂

This week has gone by so fast! We have had class 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday and we’ve also had homework to complete. It’s a lot to learn in such a short time period but I know I will be very prepared for when it’s time to teach my own class in Chaiyaphum.

On Tuesday, I decided to join Sarah for Muy Thai at the training center right next to our hotel. What a workout and so much fun. My trainer’s name was Pele and he was not too thrilled to have a beginner to train. I’m not the most coordinated and it takes me some time to really understand, so he would kick me (not hard) and punish me with push ups if I really wasn’t understanding. He also told me I have a “pretty face, but stupid.” He was super motivating…

Any way, although Pele wasn’t the best trainer, I’m going back tomorrow to hopefully train with someone new. Can’t wait! Best workout I’ve had in a very long time – was soaking wet with sweat and feeling a little faint towards the end.

After Muy Thai, I showered, got ready and joined some classmates at the bar downstairs called Doggy Monster Bar for a couple beers before heading out to a jazz bar called North Gate in downtown Chiang Mai. Tuesday night is improv night, so people from all over come and jam out with each other. Such a fun time and really great to hear people from all different places playing with each other. There was even a beat boxer from Chicago!

Wednesday night we had a lot of work to do – we had to prepare for our first practice lesson (Flashcard method) that we gave in front of our class today. We wrote out our lesson plan, created cheat sheets and practiced our lessons for hours.

The practice lesson today went well! We were split into smaller groups for the majority of the day and due to some extenuating circumstances, I was the only one that had to give my lesson to the entire class – SCARY, but I guess it was good to get the practice with a bigger class because tomorrow we actually go to a school and teach our 50 minute lesson to LIVE KIDS! I’ll be teaching 17 year olds.

My lesson consists of a warmer, context setting, picture preview, core dialogue, vocabulary expansion, and communicative activity – for all you teacher nerds that care about that! 🙂 My topic is countries and food, which is of interest to me since I love traveling and eating, so it’s a fun lesson!

After class today we all took a swim in the pool and finished our lesson plans. Then Lucy and I had plans to go visit the University Market and park (Chiang Mai University is right up the road from our hotel) so we started to walk and it began down pouring! We were able to find refuge under a bus stop overhang and stayed there until the rain stopped to a drizzle. We then thought it would be best to head back towards our hotel and find dinner. We stopped into this little whole in the wall – all of the best places here are holes in the wall that serve the most amazing and freshest food for $1 – 2 a meal – for a meal of grilled chicken, papaya salad and sticky rice. The chicken was amazing – you can just tell that it is the freshest chicken you’ve ever eaten and that it was probably killed a couple hours ago. If that isn’t farm to table, I don’t know what it is.

As soon as we got up to leave, it started to down pour again and this time, it was harder than we had ever seen it. The restaurant owner insisted that we take her umbrella (who does that?! so nice!!) and when we refused (we couldn’t take her only umbrella!) we agreed that we would stay in the restaurant until the rain slowed (we got to hang out with the owner’s cute dog that resembled a gremlin – total win). We waited a couple minutes and then darted to an “everything” store as they call them here and bought a couple of cheap umbrellas and waded through the rain all the way back to the hotel. Not gonna lie – very fun and very wet.

I just finished my last run through of my lesson and should get some sleep before my 6:00 am wake call.

Goodnight!

xo

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Delicious soup I had for lunch yesterday!

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The context setting portion of my lesson plan.