May 25, 2017
We have now been in Thailand for a whole week! It’s crazy to think that it’s already been that long. We sure have done a lot though within this past week here in Hua Hin and have experienced so much Thai culture in that time!
Today we had our second day of teaching in the classrooms of Vittahayali school. We went into our day a little less nervous because we knew more of what to expect and were familiar with the classes. We walked into each class and were formally greeted by the students, who all stood up and said “good morning teacher how are you?”. They also remembered each of us by name…I know I sure was impressed by that! My team came into each class with 3 lessons prepared. We started with telephone and I noticed something really smart with the students. When they got into their lines and we whispered a sentence to the last student they counted on their fingers how many words we said so they could pass it along to their friends. I was very impressed! After we did another game where the teachers acted out an expression such as happy, sad, tired, mad… and the students got into teams and had to guess the expression! They seemed to really love this. After, we played another game where we wrote down body parts on the whiteboard and we described one while two people tried to guess it and whoever guessed first gained a point for their team. The first classroom really enjoyed these games and we continued them in the next 3 classes with very little changes for each class.
One thing that I found hilarious is how much they loved american candy! A few students said they didn’t know candy was supposed to have so much sugar in it and no wonder americans are fat… lol awkward!! Another interesting thing I noticed is the students with pixie sticks. The students were pretending it was cocaine!! Of course the boys were trying to be cool but when I finally said something to one of them they said, Its okay drugs are fine here… how bizarre!
It was really cool that even though there was a significant language barrier, the Gannon students and Thai students could still form connections and laugh and smile and have so much fun together in the classroom. My major is not education, so teaching classes of 50 students in a foreign country was something I was a little hesitant and nervous about before this trip. However, these kids were just full of so much joy and our time together practicing English and having fun is an experience I absolutely loved. Teaching this week has taught me so much about these kids as well as about myself, and am so thankful to have had this experience.
After all our classes were done, everyone grabbed a quick lunch on campus and headed out enjoy some free time at the beach! I think we all soaked up a little bit too much sun today. A couple hours later we were back on campus and starting our sports camps. I am helping coach the cheer team this week. The girls are doing so amazing and I love being able to teach them cheers from back home.
One thing that we learned is that Thailand doesn’t have frisbee and none of the students have ever seen one before. They picked it up very fast and were probably better than the Gannon students by the end!
We ate a light dinner on campus, which was delicious as always, then headed out for some dessert and shopping together. All week we kept passing by a new restaurant called “The Chocolate Factory”, so a few of the students went there and me and a friend went to the night market since it would be our last time being able to go in Hua Hin. We tuk-tukked back to campus after and called it a night after our long but rewarding day. Another unforgettable day complete in the Land of Smiles!