Friday, May 21, 2010

School Again

So I started school again this week. It wasn’t overly eventful but because it was my last full week I will tell you about it.

On Monday I spent the day with Lucas. I met up with my friends and we talked and ate lunch but the majority of the day was with him. We talked and goofed around and worked on our Thailand project. It was fun but nothing really happened. After school Meow and I walked to the hospital. My host dad’s father is ill and about to die so Mike spent last weekend there and we went there after school on Monday and Tuesday. It was interesting to see the different system. My host dad and his sister were there taking care of him. There wasn’t any medicine or machines hooked to him. The bed was old and you had to crank it to get it to sit up. The nursing staff didn’t take care of him but the sister did (I didn’t even see a nurse on the floor). The room didn’t seem like a clean and friendly place but it worked. He looked very fragile and not all there. He never talked only looked from place to place and grunted. It was kind of sad.

Tuesday was the same as Monday. The big things Tuesday was the burning of Central World. Central World was where I spent most of my time in Bangkok. I loved it. They had the international movie theatre and the international market (with Reese’s PB Cups, imagine they burned them!) The burned several other places too. It’s really not looking good even though the government says they are getting things under control.

Wednesday Gayoon yelled at us for not going to class and gave us schedules so we had to go. I don’t know what the big deal is because I’m not going next week but whatever. I spent the afternoon with my classmates.

Thursday I spent with my classmates. It was fun but nothing exciting happened. I goofed around and teased them and they teased me. I miraculously didn’t fall asleep in any class and I went to almost every class. During one of my classes the US ambassador called so I had to run out of the room. He is a really nice guy and very easy to talk to. He asked how I was doing, how I felt, how I liked Thailand, and we just chatted for a few minutes. He told me that everything will be fine for me to fly out and there should be no reason that I will get stuck in Thailand so that was reassuring. At lunch I told Mo that it doesn’t seem like I’m leaving. I just don’t feel that things are really over and that I’m going home. After school we stopped at my host mom’s mother’s house and Meow took we around the village on a motor bike. I don’t know what it was about that ride but it finally hit me that I’m going home. I realized that I’m going to miss Thailand and I even shed a few (not many yet) tears.

Friday I skipped a lot of classes to spend time with Lucas. It was nice. I talked to him about all sorts of things. At one point I was near tears and at another we were teasing each other and being silly and at others we were serious and encouraging. It was really nice. I’m really going to miss him. He keeps telling me that he’ll be on MSN and Skype every night and will always be available if I need to talk to him but I know if won’t be the same. This year I’ve made two amazing friends, best friends, but we are so far apart I don’t know how I’m going to manage! I think I’m going to miss him and Bashayer the most from this year.

After school Meow and Mike went swimming with some friends at the Christian school (a missionary found it and they study Christianity but all the students are Buddhist so it really doesn’t make sense to me). They had fun with their friends but I forgot my suit this morning so I sat on the side. They played for several hours and then we went for a Thai BBQ probably my last.  I can’t believe things are really coming to an end! I just got home now and I’m waiting to use the internet so that I can catch up with Bashayer. I haven’t talked to her in 3 weeks and I really miss her and want to talk to her. I also need to get some pics from her so that I can work on the project this weekend. I hope to have it done by the time I get home so that I can show people parts of it at the girls’ graduation.

I almost forgot the most interesting and tiring part of the week. I’ve been waking up at 5 because we now take a van to school which picks us up at 6:15. The van is old and rather small. We squeeze in 32 students from the ages of 5 to 19. Many of the younger ones have to sit on older kids laps or all squash together in the front. Sometimes I would fall asleep on the way but that is a difficult thing to do when we are so crammed in that you can’t even move a centimeter and you are going over all sorts of bumps and making crazy turns so that just goes to show you how tired I am. I never get to bed before 12 no matter how much I try. Part of the problem is that there is someone in the bathroom until 11:20 because there is a routine. By the time I shower, brush my teeth, put on moisturizer, do my devotion and prayer, stretch, and are fully ready for bed it’s usually after 12. Needless to say I instantly fall asleep every night. Anyway back to the van. There are 32 students from about 12 different schools. We are the 9th stop and there are about 8 little kids left on the bus when we get off. It’s cool to see all the different uniforms and sports uniforms. I love riding the van because it lets me see the real Thai student way. It’s fun to watch the kids from the different school interact. Some of them are really good friends even though they go to different schools. I love riding the van and wish that we would have all year!

Sunday I will spend some time with Lucas. We will go to Big C and I will buy some food for home and I will finish buying my gifts. Then during the week I will pack and prepare to leave. One day I will go to school to say goodbye to everyone. I still haven’t heard from AFS when I’m leaving or anything so I have no details!!!! I could leave Thursday or Friday. I will post once more before I leave and after that I won’t post again until I hit the states and then I will let you all know how the flight was and a few last thoughts on Thailand.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Countdown Begins

So a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. I won’t go all the way back but I will give certain days of detail.

As you know I was in Mukdahan for 2 weeks after my two week visit with Bashayer in Nakhon Phanom. Mukdahan is about 103 km away from Bashayer so it wasn’t any great distance. On Friday April 30th I went with my host sister, Nut, and her Uncle to visit her. Her uncle had to do some business there and invited us to join him on his trip. They told me this about 30 minutes before we left. When we got to the house we had to pack really fast. I packed in 8 minutes, the fastest I have ever packed! We then made the journey to Nakhon Phanom. He drove fast so it wasn’t a long drive. We checked into the hotel and went to sleep.

In the morning I met up with Bashayer. We got some ice cream and hung out at the hotel. We took a walk along the river which was nice. We never seem to run out of things to talk about no matter how often we are together so that was nice. At night we went to a farewell party for the Germany exchange teacher at Bashayer’s school. When I returned to the hotel I used the internet while Nut and the uncle went out. It was very late when they finally came back. I could hear her the whole way up the stairs and she then pounded on the door, staggers in fall, runs to the bathroom and throws up! She was soooo wasted! For the next hour I listened to them take turns puking until they both passed out, it was a lot of fun!

Next morning we drove back to Mukdahan.

On Friday May 7 I was finally to head back to Petchaburi. Before I did I spent some time with Nut and May, Nut’s best friend. They showed me some things in the town (I don’t know why they waited) and took me up the Mukdahan Tower (I made them walk up and down so they weren’t too pleased). It was fun to spend time with them. On Thursday I had gone to the Indochina market with them and picked up some presents so I had to spend some time packing (also because I had kind of made a mess and I had things everywhere).

The best part of the day was picking up my Thai costume!!!! On Monday we went and had my measurements taken and picked out a design. I picked out some jewelry to go with it and then I picked out the fabric. I debated between blue and red but went with blue because it just seemed to look better for me. So on Friday I got to pick it up!! It was too big at first so she had to take it in but it was so exciting. That store didn’t have the head piece though so we went to another place to buy it and they had a lot more jewelry selection and a lot cheaper so I bought everything (and more) there and returned the other stuff. When we got home the girls did my hair and had me put on all the accessories so that we could take pics! I can’t wait to show everyone!!!!!

Well that night sadly I had to head back to Petchhaburi. Nut complained and wanted me to stay longer but I couldn’t. I made the 15 hour journey back to Petchaburi and then spent 5 hours in the terrible heat running around town buying things for my host mom. When we go back to the house I crashed!

That night I had to do laundry and I want to say that no one can complain about laundry until they have to do EVERYTHING by hand! The washing, the rinsing (twice), then the softener, the more rinsing, ringing and then hanging! UGH! I was so sick of laundry. I’m dreading when I have to wash my uniform by hand every day and then iron it every morning.

Well on Sunday I met up with Lucas at Big C. I’m having some computer problems and I was hoping he could fix them, but he couldn’t so it looks like Geek Squad will get a visit from me when I get home. We also started work on our project. We are doing a presentation together of the year and different things in Thailand to give to people when we get home. Some parts are boring but there is one part that I thought of that we are both really excited about! It was an adventure to get there. I started to wait for the truck around 9 but one didn’t come. At 10:15 I wasn’t feeling good from the heat so I went in to tell my host mom. After another 15 minutes of waiting she called a friend to take me on a motorcycle. After a lot of waiting I finally arrived there. We sat in a café and worked on the computers. Well there was no plug or internet so we decided to go to the internet café across from school. We took a tuktuk and arrived at the air-conditioned place about 15 minutes later. Those 15 minutes were interesting though. We shared a tuktuk with an older woman and her 2 grandsons. Well 2 farangs draws attention especially when we are talking. I was glad that she didn’t show any recognition as to what we were talking about because it was not the best thing to be discussing in public (let’s just say he had me blushing for not the first time that day).

We sat at the internet café for 3 hours. We didn’t get too much accomplished but we got some things done. At around 4 we decided to head back to Big C for some ice cream. We walked down one side of the street for about 5 minutes and saw a tuk tuk going by so we flagged it down. The guy pulls over, gets out, walks around to us just to point and tell us there is another tuktuk about a minute’s walk in the other direction from the café! We got to Big C and got our ice cream. I called my host mom and told her to have her friend pick me up but I had to wait for him to get there so we went and looked through the market outside. When his bus came he left but I still had to wait. A blonde farang gets a lot of stares just standing around!

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I stayed in my room in front of the fan all day trying not to die of heat. Every time I would leave the room I would get too hot and begin to feel ill.

On Thursday my host mom had the day off so we went to the beach. We invited Lucas so after some confusion he met up with us (my host mom told me to tell him to meet us somewhere but when we got there he wasn’t there yet so she drove off and when he did get there she didn’t want to go back so she tried to get him to find us but he didn’t understand, not that he could have because we kept moving. Eventually she sent Mike to go and get him but she didn’t tell me and he decided to take a motorcycle to us after I told him what hotel we were next to. After some time Mike came back and we were all together). First we played in the water but then the others wanted to take a banana boat so we decided to join them. It wasn’t fun. After we finished (we fell off for the second time so we called it quits) we went to 7, dripping and covered in sand, to buy some food. We ate and talked and then went to shower. I didn’t want to shower there just change but Lucas did so I waited. When he was about done he says “This water smells like someone peed in it!” I smile and say “Wouldn’t surprise me, we’re in Thailand anything is possible!” He wasn’t happy with my comment because he kept thinking about it while he finishe€d. On the way back he said he could just picture someone putting their kid in the bin to get them clean and the kid releasing them self. The beach wasn’t bad but there wasn’t any sun (the day you want sun is the day there isn’t any) so I didn’t get tan.

Yesterday I went to Hua Hin with Lucas. I needed to go to immigration to hand in my 90 day papers so we decided to make a day of it. The woman helping me wasn’t very good and so took a long time. First she couldn’t figure out my visa (it’s a stamp because of the airport guy), then she couldn’t figure something else out, then she had me sign something wrong, and then she couldn’t find where she placed something! It was a little annoying. After immigration we walked to the highway and flagged a motorcycle to take us to the mall. We met up with a friend of his from Mexico there. First we went bowling. I sucked as usual. The first game I had a 60, second game a 48 (though I could have gotten higher but the boys played two times for me while I was talking to AFS and decided to have fun with it and so ended up getting me zeros), and the third game I got a 64. It was fun. We then went to lunch were €we met up with their America friend. The boys at 3 plates of food each and I ate one. Then we wen€t shopping. I stopped to look at something and they were causing a scene so I sent them on their wa€y and told them I’d call and find them when I was done. When I found them they were devouring a box of donuts. We walked around for a while then went and got DQ before heading home. When I arrived at Big C I had to sit and wait for an hour before they came to get me and they didn’t have their p€hones so I didn’t know if they were coming or not.

Today nothing happened. I talked to Marieke for over an hour and then I ate lunch, read, and just tried to avoid the heat. I had to do some more laundry but not too much because I did most of it on Wednesday night. Mike was gone today at the hospital visiting his grandfather so it was just Meow and I. Dinner was early and then Meow and I went for a bike ride around town. It was nice. Tomorrow I need to work on the project, pack, and do some paperwork for AFS. Monday school starts but I don’t plan on doing too much school because Lucas and I have to finish the project before the end of the week.

Well that’s all the fun you’ve missed in the last few weeks. Hope you’ve been enjoying yourselves!

Lots of Love,

P.S. 19 Days till I land in Wisconsin!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mukdahan part 1

So the last few days have been interesting. Some of you may not know but I had to change locations yet again. I had bought a ticket and was all prepared to go back to Petchaburi when AFS said that I had to stay in the Northeast for a little longer. Bashayer's family said they could not keep me so AFS arranged to move me about 3 hours south of her. They never called me and told me but told Bashayer's host sister P'Oui so when she said that we were going to return my ticket and started to tell us of the plan for the next day I had no clue what she was talking about. They never told my host mom in Petchaburi that plans were changed either so when I talked to her on Saturday night she still thought I was going to be back in Petchaburi on Monday. Everything has been a very confusing mess!

Anyway, Sunday was quite the adventure. I woke up at 7:30 so that I could be ready by 9 when Bashayer's family wanted to leave. After I was showered I finished packing and then cleaned Bashayer's room. I was ready to go but had a few last minute things to throw in my bags and I had to wait for Bashayer to be ready. At 8:45 her family was ready and was trying to rush us out the door. They are never on time and the one time we aren't ready early is the time they were! We quickly grabbed everything and loaded the car. We were on the road by 5 to 9.

We arrived in Mukdahan at 11:30 (we would have arrived sooner but her host dad wouldn't drive any faster than 50 km/hour the WHOLE trip! when the speed limit was around 80, well it normal is when they post it). P'Oui had called the coordinator and told her that we were there. AFS had not told her when I was coming or anything about me, they had called her on Saturday and told her that a student was going to be arriving and she was to take care of them. She was gone in a different province so she said she would try to be back by 1. So we went shopping at the Indochina market along the Mekong River. There was a lot of plastic Chinese junk and nothing overly impressive. At 2:30 we went to lunch because we were hungry and getting tired of waiting. No more than we get our food the coordinator, Ajarn Sophit, calls and tells us she is back. We quickly eat and head out. We had no clue where to go so we just drove around. We pulled into a house and I think "She's a teacher there is no way this huge house is hers!" While Bashayer just keeps saying, "Wow you're lucky!" We unload my stuff and P'Oui calls Ajarn Sophit because we did not see her. While she's on the phone she begins to laugh and signal for us to put the stuff back in the car. It turns out that was not the right place after all. Well that was embarrassing!

It took us a lot of confusion, several U-turns and many phone calls to find the house, but eventually we got there. After Bashayer's family left she showed me around and then we went to the school she teaches at. She dropped me off with some students of hers while she went and taught a girl. The girl I was with showed me around the school and then she asked me if I wanted to see a secret activity. I had no problem with this so we went. Her sister and two boys were playing cards, that's all. They said I couldn't tell Ajarn Sophit about it. They were very impressed by my shhuffling and they tried to teach me their game but I only got part.

After they dropped me off with Ajarn Sophit she showed me some scrapbooks the students made. She said she requires them to make her a book before they leave. They were cool to look at. It looked like the students get very involved here.

For dinner we went out for dinner with her husband (who is from California) and their friend Ted who is from Scotlamd. It was fun but they didn't really talk to me too much. It was interesting though to be able to understand the whole conversation!

I'll write about the last couple of days the next time I get on the computer. For now this little update will have to do.

Lots of Love,

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I am currently at Bashayer's house in the northeast. She lives on the border of Laos so when we drive along the Mekong River I get to see Laos. I like her area because it is small and quiet and she lives within bike riding distance of everything so we get to do things.

On my first day we just slept and laid around because I was tired from the long bus ride (I slept some but it wasn't a very great sleep). We talked for most of the morning which was fun. We also watched a few movies.

On my second day we rode the bikes to Tesco Lotus, their version of a Walmart, not the same but kind of close. It was a longer ride than I thought and I was very worn out by the end. I am really out of shape!

On Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays Bashayer has Tae Kwon Do. We skipped Saturday because we were too tired to go and because the other exchange student from Germany wasn't going to be there. We went on Sunday night. On the way we stopped at her school director's house but he wasn't there so his wife had to do the traditional Songkran blessing. We poured water from a special dish into her hand and then she put it over our head and back and wished us a Happy New Year. We were late for class but this is Thailand so it wasn't a huge deal. It was fun to watch her do the moves. She made me do the stretches with her and that was really depressing because I couldn't do anything! I have so much work to do when I get home.

On Monday we didn't really do much. Bashayer and I hung out and had some fun doing our own thing.

On Tuesday Bashayer's sister: P'Oui, took us to buy Songkran shirts and pants. Songkran started on Tuesday but we didn't celebrate that day because her host family didn't want to.

Maybe now would be a good time to describe what Songkran is. Songkran is the Thai New Year. It last three days, from April 12th to April 15th. You buy waterguns and you wear special shirts (you don't have to but it's fun) and you sit in the back of a pick-up and you spray everyone you go by. Some people fill big barrels with water and throw it at people. The boys also take baby powder and rub it on the girls faces. I'm telling you now that baby powder BURNS! Anyway, you can't really step outside without getting wet. They do it during the hottest part of the year and you actual stay very cool. It is fun for one day but I couldn't imagine doing it all 3 days.

On Tuesday we went with the German girl, Anna. It was fun except that we stood out and so were attacked way more than the norm. The baby powder burned and you could never get it off without someone coming and putting more on you. The water would get in your eyes and mouth and sometimes it would be colored so it would make your hair and face colored. After about an hour in the car we got out and stood on the side of the road with some people Anna knew. They had 3 barrels so we always had water. There were some children so Bashayer and I had a water war with them. We were located right next to a beer stand so there were lots of drunk guys which made me nervous because they kept coming up to me and wouldn't leave me alone. The women who were there were really nice and protected us pretty well. After we finished playing water we walked to Anna's house. we took some pictures there because we couldn't take any on the street. After we got home we crashed. We were cold and wet (it was one of the only times I've been cold since coming here and it was 43 Celsius out) but something about the day just wore us out!

On Thursday I woke up sick so we didn't do a lot. That morning we had to wake up early and go to a Laos market about an hour or so away. It was gross. They had dead rodents they were selling and some other weird things. At first I thought it was cool until I realized what everything was. We didn't take any pictures of the weird stuff, we actually tried not to look at it at all. We laid around and slept for the majority of the day. At one point we asked her sister to take us out to get pictures. We drove around for an hour or so and took pictures of everything. I didn't feel well all night so we just stayed home after that and watched movies.

Friday her sister took us to a temple. It was very pretty. After the temple we went to a mountain. In order to go up the mountain we had to stop to pick her one of P'Oui's friends to drive because she was scared to drive up herself. The mountain had a beautiful view and some cool statues of the different Buddha's for each day of the week. We had dinner with her friend and then drove home. It was a long day but it was nice to get out.

Yesterday Bashayer had Tae Kwon Do and she had her yellow belt test. She passed so I was so happy for her. She will get the yellow belt in about two weeks, right before Anna leaves because she passed too.

Today we were supposed to go to the grandma's house about 5 hours away for some celebration but when we woke up this morning to get ready they told us that we weren't going. It was about 7 at that time so we went back to sleep. When we woke up no one was home so we don't know where they went. Bashayer has Tae Kwon Do tonight but other than that no plans. I don't know what we are doing this week or when I'm leaving or anything so I'll let you know when I know.

I'll put on some pics next time I'm on.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Been Busy

Sorry about not posting in a long time, I've been busy! I don't even remember the last thing I wrote about so I guess I'll just do a brief overview of the last month or so. I finished school in February and headed to the Northeast. I stayed there for 5 weeks. My family was great! I had a 10 year old host sister and a 9 year old host brother. They could be a lot of fun though sometimes they gave me a headache. :-) I spent some time with Bashayer because she was only 3 hours away. We had fun jst hanging out. We stayed up till 2 or 3 in the morning and slept until noon. It was great until I had to get into a regular schedule again!

On March 27th my parents arrived! Everyone but Thomas came so it ws nice. I spent some time getting to know the two exchange girls living at my house. I showed them arond Petchaburi and introduced them to my friends and host family. A week ago we came to Bangkok and spent some time seeing things here. Everything touristy was closed because of the Red Shirts! Things are bad here in the aspect! It wouldn't suprise me if there was a reolvolution.

Well they left this morning and I miss them a lot! I am heading off to Bashayer's house for 2 weeks tonight though so that should keep my mind off of home. I have to check out now so I'll have to write more later!

Lots of Love,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Day

So yesterday wasn’t anything overly eventful. I woke up and got ready and ended up running a few minutes behind because someone was in the bathroom when I first got up so I couldn’t get in right away. It was okay though because Alpha was running behind too. Everyone knows that when mom is gone kids get away with a lot of crap, well Papa let Alpha stay up past 1 AM watching a movie and then she couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and was late for school. Also she forgot to take care of the rabbit and hamster/gerbil things and the rabbit got hungry or something and started to chew on one of the hamster/gerbil things and killed it so now she is sad and I’m grossed out!

Anyway back to my day. I got to school and they gave me to this university student who is teaching some classes so that she can get practice. I spent the morning giving presentations on America to her English classes. It was fun. I smiled so much that my mouth was dry so for everyone who says I don’t smile enough they need to shut their mouths!

She took me out for lunch. It was kind of fun. It was my first time eating sticky rice in the northeast which I’ve found strange because in the northeast supposedly they don’t eat steamed rice but only sticky rice. I ate some chicken and so other things.

After lunch I was supposed to learn to make a Thai center piece but the teacher wasn’t there so they told me to take a nap. At around 3 (so after 2 ½ hours) she got back and she put me in a room with a student and then left. I watched the girl make one and tried to understand what she was doing but she didn’t explain so I was left to my own way of doing things and let me say it didn’t turn out that great. Oh well, hers looked cool.

At around 5:30 I went to a party for some teachers at my advisor and coordinators school. It was a farewell to the teachers who are changing schools and a hello to their replacements. It wasn’t fun but I met a girl from Spain who was really nice. I spent the day with her and her host sister today.

Today I woke up late, but so did they so it didn’t matter. I talked to Sarah on MSN for a little while then they picked me up and we went to the hospital for Thai massages. They were filled for the morning so we scheduled for the afternoon and went for brunch. After brunch they came to my house and we watched a movie. I had some computer problems but eventually I got it to turn on and I burned some songs for Catuxa, the girl from Spain. We then went for our massages. She got a foot massage and I got a full body. Though the full body was nice I like the foot massages better I decided.

After our massages I went to the house she was staying at and helped her pack, she was on week exchange here so she had to go back to Bangkok where she is staying. It was really nice to meet her and I hope to see her again before I leave.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

End of February and Beginning of March

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy. As you all know I moved a week ago so that has been a big change in things. I finished school on February 19th, which was kind of sad but I know that I will go to school for at least two days before I go back to America. Before I left I had them all sign my friendship book. I took a picture of each person and put it on a page and they left me messages. I also had them all sign one of my uniform shirts. It was a nice day with my friends. You can see the pictures at:

On that Saturday I packed my things! It was crazy to see how much stuff I’ve collected this year. As I was packing I was sorting. I went through and took out the things that I don’t need any more this year and the things that I can just throw out. I don’t know what I’d do if mom and dad wouldn’t be bringing an extra suitcase to take things home!

On Sunday I went and met my advisor and P’Dai at a hotel in Cha-Am. My advisor’s name is P’Am and she is really nice. We went to Bangkok and stayed at her best friend’s house. We went for dinner at the Sizzler and then we went back and read and watched TV. In the morning we went in the city and did some site seeing. We took a boat into the city to avoid traffic. On our way to the National Museum we accidentally ran into one of her other students and his mother. We ended up spending the day with them. The museum was closed to we went to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was nice to go a second time since I don’t remember much from the first time being that it was the day after we arrived and I was so jetlagged! We then went to another palace but we couldn’t take photos inside, but it was really nice. After that we went back to her friend’s house, buying some pizza on the way, and packed up and went to the bus.

The bus left Bangkok at 9, stopped for 20 minutes around 12, and we arrived shortly after 7! It was very long and I didn’t sleep so well. P’Am took me to my host family. I met my host mother and my host sister along with some of the shop assistants (they have a pharmacy on the first floor too). I slept and unpacked most of the day but I did spend some time with Alpha, my 11 year old host sister, playing piano, watching a movie, and learning some Thai. It was fun.

On Wednesday I went to P’Am’s school and met my coordinator and the German teaching assistant. I didn’t do much but sit around and help to grade a few papers but it was nice. On Thursday I had a Thai lesson. The problem that I have with the move is that because I don’t speak fluent they assume I don’t speak at all. They are always explaining what everything means even if I understand and they are acting like I just arrived.

On Friday I went to the welfare school to help out. The welfare school is a school for the children who can’t afford the normal school, have problems, or learning disabilities. They house over 500 of the 800 students on the grounds as well as many of the teachers. It seems to me to be a nice school. In the morning I helped out in an English class, but in the afternoon they taught me how to make a traditional Thai flower piece.

Over the weekend I spent some time with the family. Saturday was Alpha’s 11th birthday so we went to Ubon for a Japanese dinner (they took the kids to Japan last year and they fell in love with Japanese food). I bought an external hard drive and stayed up late to mess with it. Sunday I tried to sleep in but people kept coming in my room so I probably got about 5 hours of sleep. Sunday was nothing special. Monday was a holiday so they were going to take me to do some sightseeing but Papa made plans to bike ride with some friends that got moved to the afternoon so we didn’t do anything.

Tuesday I learned to do a Thai foot massage. First I got one to see how it was done! Then I had to give one, the teacher who I did it for had the boniest legs ever! In the afternoon they taught me how to carve a pumpkin and watermelon Thai style. I wasn’t very good but I tried. I laughed when I made a mistake, which was very often, and just kept saying Mi pen ri and Sabi Sabi (no big deal, take it easy)! It was a fun experience.

Today I didn’t do anything in the morning but in the afternoon I made a Thai dessert. The teacher wants me to teach her to make a few American desserts now so I have to get recipes and ingredients. I also watched some Eason dancing (Eason is Laos in Thai, because we are on the boarder there is a lot of Eason culture and everyone speaks as much Eason as they do Thai, which confuses me but I’m managing). The teacher then taught me a Northeastern Thai dance. I wasn’t very good but it was fun to try. I draw quite the crowd wherever I go in the school, when I made dessert the kitchen got really full and when I was dancing the windows where full of peepers! Even though I’m not very good at the cultural stuff, I smile and laugh my way through it and I am loving the new experiences!

Well that’s all for now. Any questions just let me know and I’ll try to answer. I’ll try to write again sooner!