Ok, I was going to save this up for a bigger post, but procrastination dictates that I share the love now.
This morning I went down to the office to pay my rent and there was a huge box sitting on the desk. It literally had my name on it. I was running late for class so I had to leave it perched agonizingly on my bed where it perched all day while I sat through a grammar review and practicum. When I got home I began unpacking only to find that everything was wrapped for Christmas and I had been instructed not to open the presents before then. The only unwrapped items are two Meyers cleaning wipes (for the dust, maybe? Mom isn't what I would call a neat freak) and a mini Christmas tree. There is a cute little stocking with chocolate in it and a bunch of mysterious wrapped packages. After feeling them all up sufficiently I am convinced that one is a bag of smarties, but the rest are a mystery. Included were also two letters, one a birthday 'card' from Joe (which, if you've seen a Joe Gasiorek card you know how entertaining they can be) and a thank you letter from Katie C for doing Fort Fright. It's funny to think that I am even looking forward to reading the bits of Free Press that Mom used as padding for the box!
Pre-opening. Notice that you can see the headline containing the word 'Ford' without moving anything.
The contents strewn about! Notice the tiny Christmas tree. The presents are all underneath it now in a corner of my room with the stocking hanging above.
So I opened the package, was feeling pretty good about myself, talked to Mom to say thank you, and went about my revising for tomorrow's lesson.
Then! For the first time since I've lived here my room phone rang. There's a package for you downstairs. Oh, ok... I assumed they were talking about the one from this morning and just hadn't realized I'd gotten it. As I walked out my door to go figure it out the desk guy arrived with another package! Immediately I recognized Fiona's distinct handwriting and was amazed that she had thought to send me not only a Christmas card but a full blown package. Having well established understanding of what Fiona's packages usually contain (delicious Aussie goodies) I immediately tore open the box to find Freddos, Shapes, Tim Tams, Snakes Alive, and more mini candy canes than I know what to do with! I realize these brand names mean little to most of you, but they're pieces of heaven and a long left behind home in my mind. Also in this package (and conspicuously but of course missing from my mother's) was a letter and a Christmas card with a picture of the Ayres boys who have gotten so big in just a year.
Pre-Destruction picture with letter prominently displayed.
Post-Destruction picture complete with the bag of Shapes I ate while reading the happenings of the Ayres family over the last year.
Now I know this isn't an entry on my experiences as a TEFL teacher or anything really to do with Thailand, but these bits of love really made my day. I was feeling a bit down and unprepared for tomorrow but now I feel like there are 2 women in the world who took the time (and significant fundage) to send me care packages. I can't have them here to celebrate Christmas but I was reminded of how alike they are in thinking that I would appreciate bits of home sent with love. It is a nice bit of symmetry that though they haven't seen each other in over a year their care packages arrived on the same day. Despite the heartfelt and tempting offer of Fiona's to join them for Christmas I fear if I went to Australia right now I'd never leave. So for now it's Thailand, but ask me again next Christmas!
Enough of this for now, back to working on tomorrow's lesson with tasty treats to snack on and a box of presents to tempt me from beside my bed.