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Battye Family's Tips

Location: Rasi Salai, Thailand

Although we're a very well-traveled family, our time in Thailand teaching and living with a local family through Volunthai was the greatest trip of our lives. Here are a few tips on making it YOUR greatest adventure yet!

Embrace the differences... here's a typical Thai classroom-the floors are teak, the windows open to the air and the birds, and the ever-present photo of the king is proudly displayed on the wall.

You (and your kids if you are a family) can do alot more outside your comfort zone than you think. Go for it...Timmy (age 11) teaches with Pi Piggy, one of the English teachers, and a great friend to our family.

Try to accumulate points on Michael's list...Here's one way to do it-chew betel nut with a student's family...Poot chai Thai (Thai man!)

Do as the locals do...ride a motorcyle or a donkey or a water buffalo (good luck-we tried!) There are tons of better ways to get to the market than a car!

Become part of your town...we were the only non-Thai entrants in the Rasi Salai 10K and loved every mile of it! Get ready for coffee at the halfway point and warm soy milk and pork soup at the finish line!

Connect...because in this warm, friendly culture you can in ways that don't even seem possible at home. These were the moments that showed us how little time it takes in Thailand to really feel a part of life here and part of the family.

Eat with your hands! Eat off the floor!...eating pizza will keep you from discovering new favorites like "lahp"-made with spicy minced liver and pork.

Do stuff you'd never do at home...noone knows you here-let out the fun self that may be hiding inside and the Thai kids will love it! Scratch your armpits and say, "Ling, ling" and instantly you're a Thai monkey!

Make the teaching fun...play games, sing songs, and be goofy. Thai kids bring the rock, paper, scissors game to a whole new level of excitement.

Share your culture...One of our missions was to teach the Sompoi kids the art of the High Five!

Eat things that crawl and slither...because 1. you can and 2. they're good and 3. those are the kinds of things you remember so much more than your visit to a tourist site

Expect the unexpected...At the end of our time at the school they wish us farewell with a beautiful Sai Sin ceremony. After the ritual, the students and teachers all come over, ties strings on our wrists and wish us safety, good health, and happiness. An incredibly moving experience.



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Eat things that crawl and slither...because 1. you can and 2. they're good and 3. those are the kinds of things you remember so much more than your visit to a tourist site