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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 04 Mar 2009

Location: Durham, NC, USA

MapAnders Wallace (feel free to contact me at aew2114@gmail.com)

Fantastic experience, immensely nice people, and teaching is a blast. You should definintely have an 'anything goes' attitude (helps to love Thai food, karaoke, and billiards!) I was teaching in a small school (250 kids) in a rural province. The kids are adorable, though the younger ones have little English and are shy so we came up with games of all stripes to get them involved. On the weekends I visited the local Buddhist temples, met the mayor for drinks, sang karaoke at the police station, and met loads of host family relatives. As a life experience, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's so much more rewarding to experience the culture as a teacher rather than a tourist! In fact, fascinating. There are challenges; you'll have to wake up at 7 or so, and speaking to most people is tough since there is little English outside of Bangkok. I suggest learning some Thai in advance if you can. Below is a bit from my diary.

12/01/08: In anticipation of the King’s 81st birthday this Friday, we hosted a ceremony at school where the local police station donated a bunch of mango trees for our kids to grow at the school farm (under the watchful eye of Tick, the agriculture teacher). The King has been a tireless advocate for sustainable development in Thailand. Today, the people love him so completely that, to delight him on his birthday, police stations throughout Thailand will bequeath fruit trees to local schools and temples. They are to provide a means of economic development, as well as curbing greenhouse gases and erosion.