Hi, we are Mary and George and a little different from the average Volunthai volunteer, we think. George is 67 and Mary is 62. We are "retired;" our two "children" are grown and on their own and we have our first grandchild. We decided it was time to do something completely different -- learn a new culture and a new language and do some good work while we're doing that. Volunthai seemed like the perfect option for us -- letting us decide when we'd go, for how long, and where, and at a price that was very reasonable.
We decided we wanted to stay for a year and we started our visit to Thailand by taking a course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Chiang Mai. Michael and Ae and Ae's family identified a few school options for us and we had the opportunity in early October to visit each school. We settled on the Baan Nong Phue School near Khemmarat and we decided to rent an apartment in Khemmarat (about 16 miles from Nong Phue) since it has more things to do and places to shop and live. We started at the school at the beginning of November.
We have made so many wonderful friends in Nong Phue and Khemmarat. Mary is teaching primary classes and George middle school classes. We are still learning what the students know and don't know with regard to English and how we can best help them. The students are a joy!
We have been lucky to be here for the Loi Krathong festival and for the King's Birthday holiday. I'll post a few pictures to give you the flavor of our experience and, if you're interested, there's much more on our blog: http://maryandgeorgesmidlifeadventue.blogspot.com/