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 .