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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010

Location: Kaset Sombun, Thailand

MapElaine & Charlie Fettig, USA
efdaylily@comcast.net

My husband and I taught at NongKha Kurupracha Witaya School in Kaset Sombun for the month of Feb. 2010. There are 226 students in the school and we taught English to grades 1 to 6. My husband and I taught together, 2 classes a day, with about 12-14 kids in a class. But we also taught informally any time the kids gathered around us in our 'teacher lounge', and that was many times! At first we were unsure what to do because the teachers didn't know much English and the kids didn't speak much English, so we forged ahead using whatever we could find or make ourselves! We made our own bingo games and 'go fish' too, and used the flash cards, colored pencils, crayons and 2 Richard Scary books ("Best First Book Ever" and "Best Word Book Ever") we brought from home. It was interesting, fun, difficult, satisfying, frustrating, enjoyable and I WOULDN'T HAVE MISSED IT FOR THE WORLD! It was one of the best experiences of my life! Our personal experiences at school were great. The teachers were very friendly and the kids were adorable. On the last day, we received a lot of cards the kids made saying "I Love Teacher", as well as little gifts, mostly key chains, and they tied on the 'good luck' strings too.
The home stay was perfect for us. The house was old and very 'rustic' but we loved it because we had the whole second floor to ourselves and there was a 2nd story back porch that overlooked the pond and mountain..beautiful! (suai). We ate breakfast and dinner outside looking at that lovely view. Our hostess couldn't have been nicer! We enjoyed the Thai food she prepared
or bought (delicious: arroy or better to say sep in Issan). We enjoyed activities with her; we went to 2 weddings, a funeral and also went swimming at the pool at the 'farang' motel about 10 minutes away (especially fun when there were kids in the car with us singing 'Jingle Bells'!)
We think the kids learned some English, and also they became less shy. We were really happy when they would say things to us in English, like "teacher go home" when they saw us leaving at the end of the day. The only thing I don't miss about our stay are the sugar cane trucks going past the house in the night! But even that was part of the whole 'rich' experience.