Ahh, I think I'm a bit overdue for a new blog post. Sorry about that - it's been really crazy here the last few days! We've been trying to catch up to where everyone else is at - they had two weeks to do orientation and get their classrooms, lesson plans, and year plans prepared...we tried to do it in two days. :)
Lets see - Sunday we went to church at the Nonthaburi Baptist Church, which is located right on campus (about a 30 second walk from our apartment). This church was started by a Philippino couple, and reaches out mainly to the Philippino community in this area. It was a good service - the power kept going out for some reason, but that didn't stop us from worshipping and listening to the message.
After church, we met up with a man by the name of Henry. After talking for a few minutes, we learned that he is Burundian, and his story is similar to many others I have heard from the Burundian community back in MI. It was absolutely amazing - I think we met up with the only Burundian in all of Thailand! We look forward to building a relationship with him, and maybe teaching him some more English on Sunday afternoons when he's around (he's so eager to learn!).
Monday consisted of a bunch of orientation stuff - setting up bank accounts, getting schedules (well, mine at least!), etc. That night we went to Sonbot's, which is a restaurant down the road. We kept hearing about it from other teachers, but it's not open on weekends, so we went the first night we could. You can find at least a couple of GES teachers there on any given weeknight - it seems to be everyone's favorite place to go. Actually, the teachers here joke that we are the only reason his restaurant is still open! :) It really is good food. We went again tonight and I had curry that was WAY better than Michael's....and that's saying something! (Don't worry - he had a bite and admitted it was better, too!) We also stopped at a stall on the way through and bought some Roti. What is that, you might ask? Well, it's only one of the most delicious things I have found in Thailand yet (and the most unhealthy). It's basically some fried bread (which the guy fries right in front of you) with butter, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar on top. He rolls them up and then you eat it. Nom nom nom. :) It might sound a little gross...but it really tastes a lot like an elephant ear. And it's much smaller and easier to eat!
Tuesday I spent all day planning lessons and putting together stuff for my classes. I had to come up with a discipline policy, class rules, etc. It was helpful that all the other teachers did theirs first...I got lots of ideas that way! I didn't have enough time to do much long-term planning, though, which makes it difficult to keep planning lessons for each day. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to catch up on that and get a little ahead.
Michael, up to this point, didn't have much to do (they were still putting his schedule together...still are, actually!). He helped A TON with planning lessons - he basically put together all the stuff I needed to teach history today and tomorrow. YAY. I owe him big time for that. Today, though, he found out a little more about what he is going to be doing. He was told on Monday that he'd probably be teaching English at Nonthaburi Christian School, which is right across the street and is owned and run by the same family that owns and runs GES. Today, though, they said he'll be helping out both here and there - helping tutor the kids with lower levels of English. But, once again, we don't have the official schedule or anything yet, so we're still waiting! In the meantime, Michael is reading through a bunch of ESL materials and mentally coming up with ideas and plans on what he can do...depending on what age group he works with.
First day of teaching for me was today, and it went quite well! I did a lot of introductory stuff and had each of my English classes write a short in-class essay to introduce themselves to me. I read through them over the course of the rest of the day - it was tons of fun! Now, if only I could picture each student's face in order to connect their essays to them.... I'll get the names eventually, I guess!
Anyway, it's 9:17 and I'm exhausted! The jet lag hasn't worn off yet - I woke up at 3:30 this morning as if I'd gotten a full night of sleep. haha...all a part of the experience, I guess.
Thanks again for all the prayers and support. Every time I get an email or comment or anything it just warms my heart. It is encouraging beyond words to know that you are thinking of and praying for us while we are here! It reinforces what we already know: that this is the right place for us to be right now.
Love you all.