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,