Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well, it been quite busy here at the Wat.  Teaching at the school is going well and keeps me quite busy.  On Friday (Dec. 23) afternoon we went to Bangkok for the weekend.  We took the bus from just outside the Wat (The buses actually stop everywhere, seem like farm yards and all the small little towns, all you have to do is walk out on the highway and flag it down), it cost about 65 Baht per person (about $2.00) which took us from the Wat to a bus station about 2 hours away.  From there we had to take a cab into Bangkok.  We stayed in China Town at the White Orchid Hotel which was a ok hotel for a cheap budget.  One thing that sucked was I was expecting to have hot shower and when I got there I let the water run for like 5 minutes , thinking it was just taking a while to warm up and it only got luke warm ( I was definitely disappointed).  That night Justin and I went for lunch with a nice woman named Ant ( The ladies did their own thing), who is from Thailand and helped with the tour.  We had some pig intestines soup (which was delicious) and some pork on a stick with curry sauce (which was delicious).  We then had some ginger tea with doe balls full of sesame seeds floating on it.  You added brown sugar to it and it was quite tasty also.  After that we went back the hotel, then Justin and I headed out to explore, and maybe find a bar to have a drink.  We ended up walking for about 3 hours, and were bugged (or I could say harassed) by a tuk-tuk drivers trying to take use places.  One tuk-tuk started at 40 Baht for a ride, we would say we wanted to walk, he'd drive around the block and come back.  In the end he was down to 10 Baht which he probably wasted more gas going around the block.  In the end, we tried to give him 10 Baht to just leave us alone, but he would't take it.  Once we made it back to the hotel, with no luck in finding a bar, we decided to head up to the room and look it up on the internet.  We found out that some weren't far from the hotel and headed down to go.  On the way, a man on the street took us to a Jazz club which looked pretty lame so we asked him about some other.  He then start trying to send us in a tuk-tuk some place so we started bargaining.  We told him we didn't want anything to do with any women and just wanted a drink.  He ended for sending us on our way for 10 Baht (which also included a map of Bangkok) to a club.  It was about 15 minutes away and ended up being more than we bargained for.  We paid a cover charge and went in, finding out that it was a strip club (and our strip clubs don't even compare) that I can't even explain on here what went on in there.  We stayed for a couple of beer (one included in the cover charge) as we had looked for a bar all night for a drink.  Let just say it was very graphic!!  After that we decided to walk back to the hotel to try a remove the images from our mind (which took about 1 hour), by the time we got back it was late so we headed to our rooms to sleep.

The next day we got up to have some breakfast included with the room.  It was ok including some sausages, pre cooked  eggs and some thai food.  I was hoping for bacon and maybe some toast but oh well.  After that we headed out to the Grand Palace.

Here are some pics I took Friday night, nothing too exciting.

Just a back Alley we walked down.  Justin wanted to be adventurous.

The biggest KFC bucket I've ever seen.

Just a picture of the city at one time in the night.  Not very good as its was with my iPhone.

We saw multiple police stations that night.
Motorcycles are used a lot to transport.

Another one.

They actually clean the sidewalk at night.

Still cleaning.

This kid was always walking around with this tray on his head.  And he weaved it and out of people like it was glued to his head.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We stopped at this church, unfortunately it was closed for some reason so we didn't get to go inside.  I'll have to go back.  I pictures f the flowers around it also.

Some Pics

I did have some here so I thought I'd put them up:

The Floating Market

A Coconut Drink at the Floating Market

Floating Market

A Wat close by, gotta get the name

Some turtles you could buy to release.

Friday, December 16, 2011


So I've been quite busy lately.  Saturday morning I actually saw bread for the first time since I left Canada.  I was the only one at breakfast and the kitchen set out 2 bread sandwiches I guess you could say,  basically a piece of bread rolled up, one with a piece of some sort of meat & one with a hotdog, with ketchup and then cheese ontop to stop in from unrolling.  It was from a local bakery, not sure if they did this just for me, but I've never seen them before here. That afternoon,  the people form NY arrived, so we all went on a bit of a tour of the Wat, then I took Justin on an extended tour as the other 4 were female and they are not allowed on some parts of the Wat.  Its been nice to have some more people to talk to, and they all are pretty easy to get along with.  We did some meditation, and then went to chanting later that night.  There are so many monks here now that they are overflowing out of the usual chanting are, so we have to sit outside.  Some monks asked Justin and I to come up closer to the front outside as many Wats don't get that many foreigners.  They also started taking our picture during chanting, not exactly sure why, they seemed to talk quite a bit among each other.  I guess I'm really going to have to break down and start to learn more Thai so I can actually know what they're saying.

On Monday, Justin and I went on the Alms walk, which is when the monks go walking around and the local people are waiting for them to give them rice and lots of other food.  The monks then say a blessing ( in Pali, just like chanting).  You would not believe the amount of food they get, people come in motorcycles and cars and just park on the side of the road to give.  Some people brought like multiple pales of goods.  It was quite interesting to see, and it also gave me a chance to see more of the local community around the Wat.  After breakfast, we were split into 2 groups, Nina, Jennifer, and Sharon (who will be teaching K & Grades 1-6) and Rosalba, Candice, Justin and I ( we be teaching 2 groups of students from K to Grade 9), and sent to different schools for tours as we beginning teaching on Tuesday.  We got a quick tour of the school and then Arnold ( The person who picked us up and works at the school) took us on a little tour around.  We went to the floating market, a couple other Wats, and then to a local restaurant for some food (which was really good).  I didn't really expect to be going around, so I didn't have my good camera so most of the pictures didn't turn out that well, but I'll definitely be going back to get some more pics.

My schedule for the next three weeks will now include teaching Grade 7-9 English from 8:30 -11:30 every morning, eating lunch at the school, and then coming back at around 1:00pm.  We started lesson planning on Monday afternoon, and I got a call from Arnold saying that there was no school on Tuesday as they were having some sort government testing.  So then I was told that I would be going with Nina, Jennifer, and Sharon to give a hand and see what thing were all about.

So Yesterday we went and taught which went quite smoothly.  We were teaching a kindergarten class (just over 30 student), a class that had grades 1-3 (just over 60 kids), and a class that had grades 4-6 (which was about 30+ kids i think, but I think some were missing as there was suppose to be around 60 also.  The kids were quite cute and lots were really shy.  We did a few songs like the hokey pokey & "head, shoulder, knees and toes", did some name and emotion exercises, and some musical chairs.  They kids really seemed to have a lot of fun and practice some English at the same time so I believe we did quite well.  We had dinner at the school which was really good and then came back to the Wat.  At the Wat, We did some more meditation and then some lesson planning for Wednesday.

Today,  I went to teach the Grade 7 - 9.  Everything went quite well, they student were still quite shy and we found out that we had the same class twice in the same day so we had to improvising. We got them to make some name tags with pictures of interests, got them talking and played a bunch of games.  They all seemed to have a lot of fun and were smiling the whole time.  Some of their name were so hard to pronounce and I think it'll take a while to learn them all.  We had some dinner there, which was delicious, and then they drove us home.  They kids were chasing the car as we were leaving and Arnold had to tell them in Thai to stop as I think they would have followed us all the way home. LOL.  When we got back we did some meditation and them worked on lesson plans for tomorrow.

Well,  I got to go.  If it seems like this is jumping from topic to topic its because I wrote this in multiple sittings..  I'll try an get some more pictures posted, hopefully some time this week, but I got to get them from some of the other teachers as I forgot to take some when we were teaching and forgot my camera a lot .

Some Food

So, since i been here its basically been either rice soup or fried rice for breakfast and then rice with fish, chicken, veggies and fruit for lunch.  Now that all the lay people are gone, I am in eating inside and not outside buffet style so the food has changed a bit.  Overall I can't say I've had a bad tasting meal yet, although half the stuff I still have no idea what it is.  Its hard to ask what it is when no one speaks English, and its probably best I don't know as I might not eat some of it if I did.  Some of the pics aren't the best quality as I felt out of place taking pictures of the food.

The Buffet line for Lay people

Again the buffet one, see the cart they bring the food out with :)

Everyone does their own dishes, there are sinks for dishes and dishes for cups.  Wash in first sink, 1st rinse in second, then final rinse in third.
Dishes then get set out to dry, there were a lot of sinks, like 8 rows of 3 
Breakfast - stir fry rice

Spice to add to the stir fry, don't add too much as it is smokin' hot.  Trust me.

Some Fruit in the market in Damnoen

Very odd looking fruit.

Rice Soup with some extra

Lunch in the VIP room.  Don't ask what it is as I have no idea.  I just sit down and eat.  Some chicken, veggies or some sort, and some sort of dark meat, Duck maybe.

Some fruit, both tasted like apples, but they call it something else

Mini Bananas, and are they ever good.

Never tried these, but they have odd seafood chips.  Haven't really seen potato chips.  I did try some seaweed type chips that were covered in some sort of sesame seeds and they were really good.

Some good old fashion coke.  12 Baht = $0.36 CAN

My New Haven

Well, on Wednesday I got to move into my place where I'll be staying for the time here and may I say its pretty nice.  It has a bedroom that has a bed with a thicker mattress but its still really hard (no pillow top, not really any difference to before, actually maybe harder), a Desk and a closet.. It also includes bathroom and shower, a little kitchen area, a living room partly enclosed and also a little covered dock with benches.  Included in all this is a fridge, a stove, and a washer machine.  I love the washer and it even plays a song when its finished (this startled me at first as I though someone was standing on the other side of the wall or something, cause what washer play music when it finished.  I spent the last couple few days meditating, cleaning it up a bit, and yesterday I headed to Damnoen again to get some supplies and explore a bit more.  It was a bit confusing as you really have to learn to read the pictures on items LOL and my iPhone came in handy to translate to the workers what I was looking for ( I didn't get much exploring done, but did find the superstore or wallmart of Damnoen).  During cleaning the first day, I found a little friend (the toad) hiding out and then today when I was finishing cleaning the outside there he was again chilling under the chair. I guess he'll be some quiet company.  There are also lots of little lizards around, including a larger one living somewhere above my bathroom.  He is pretty shy as he won't let me take his picture.  I had a meeting today with the director and teachers of 2 local school which was pretty silent on my side most of the conversation was in Thai :) and later tonight some chanting and a bit more meditation.  There are lots of monks here right now as there is an advance meditation retreat going on.  Pretty well all the lay people are gone except for two or three of us, I was actually the only one at breakfast and lunch today.  Tomorrow the 5 teachers from the US arrive and we begin some lesson planning, I guess the real work actually starts :)  Well Enjoy the pics.

He wasn't too happy to see me.




Dining Room, I guess

The Living Room

The Dock