Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One week in Chiang Mai

Hello, again. I've decided to try this one photo a day thing, and here are the results. The new camera is getting plenty of use, but in order to encourage myself to whip it out when I wouldn't usually I've resolved to take at least one viable picture a day. It turns out that my camera can be set up to sound like a dog when I take a picture. Now it reminds me of the whole family and Trace. "Did your camera just bark?"

Tuesday: Dasol (one of my afternoon Korean students I see twice a week) and I were playing with the camera and making silly faces. We'd say things like "Make your sleepy face!" or "Pretend you just ate a lemon!" and see what results we got. I think this one was somewhere along the lines of "Pretend your little sister just stole your eraser" which is a constant contention in their household. She's such a pleasure to teach, we have a great deal of fun being silly.

Wednesday: this is from another of the three Korean students' houses. Lee, the lead teacher at my school and I teach the same kids on alternating days. He had been to this house on Tuesday and I went on Wednesday. He left me a little note (auf Deutsch) in his frustration at teaching one of the thickest students we deal with. Sometimes she's alright, but I myself have considered stabbing myself in the eye with a fork while teaching her. She asked me what it meant and I told her that it wasn't English and that I didn't understand it. For you non German speakers it says something along the lines of "Kris, can you please translate this? I will rip off your head from your body! You are a "tool"! you little pig girl"
And it's little things like that we teachers do for each other to make painful students that much easier to bear. :)

Thursday: I leave home every day pretty early and don't get home until pretty late. I spend a lot of time every day driving, which I don't mind, except when it rains. Most nights on my way home the sun has just set and I head west towards the mountain. The scenery and the fact that I'm on my way home always give me a little burst of energy. The day's finished and I get to watch the last of the daylight illuminate the clouds over Doi Suthep. Today I decided to try and capture it to show y'all part of my day.

Friday: I drive this road every day to get to the Koreans. It used to be filled with these fields and water buffalo, but this is the last one. They're building a new estate and all of the fields have been torn up. There are a few buffalo left but they're in a much smaller paddock. The development is going very fast, but mostly because it's all done by Burmese refugees who live on the construction site and work all day every day. I think this is a rice field, but I have no basis for that other than the fact that there are a lot of rice fields in Thailand.

Saturday: Sometimes it happens that we work on a Saturday. This was one of those days, only every teacher at Nava had to work because there were so many English camps scheduled for the same day. (English camp: a day that's full of games and supposedly fun English learning time) We all met up for a night out afterwards to let off steam and play drink the beer. Our boss wanted to say thanks and bought a round... but some of us started a bit earlier than that. This was supposed to be a cute shot of Nik and I (she was feeling sick) but Warrie decided to jump in on the fun and make one of his token scary faces.

Sunday: Didn't take too many pictures today. Naomi made a beautiful roast dinner with all the fixings for everyone. Nik, Warrie, and Sean came over and we had a good laugh. It was quite nice to hang out, eat, and talk without going to the bar or even having to leave home. This one's of Sean laughing his pants off at Borat, which he'd never seen. Not sure what he's doing with his hand though.

Monday: One of my Monday classes is swimming. I'm supposed to teach it, but I'm so not qualified it's not even funny. There's a swimming instructor who's pretty awful. He talks to the kids for the first 15 minutes, then the take 10 minutes to change, then he has them jump in the pool one at a time and swim the width of it, and then he leaves the swimming pool and tells me to get them out 10 minutes before the end of the lesson. So there's me, who is not a lifeguard and isn't even certified in any sort of first aid, hanging out at the side of the pool with 22 7 year olds who are not very strong swimmers. That should give you a bit of an idea what life is like at a Thai government school. Haphazard is a fitting word, I think. What do the kids do to warm up? Well the first day the swimming teacher said "Don't run around the pool" and today, what were they told to do before getting in? Run 2 laps around the slippery pool deck. Yep.

And that's a week. Perhaps this will be a one off thing, but I like to think it'll continue. Harry Potter comes out Saturday and the plan is to go pick up my pre-ordered book early in the morning, head out for a big fry up and the first few chapters, then park myself on a couch at one of the many cafes around town and read until the evening when I'm supposed to go to a work party with Sean. I've considered the possibility that I may need to bring my book...


Anonymous said...

Love the idea of a picture a day/ a life in the week of Kristen. Gives us great insight.

Love MOM

Anonymous said...

Love the Silly face picture. I am glad it is going so well!