Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dan Chang 5

Another day, another Thai baht in the ol' bank account. We will wrap up our work week in a few short hours and then jump on a bus to the jungle town of Kanchanaburi. It was a very hot and humid week here, temperatures in the 90's most of the day with 80% humidity were the norm. I sweated so much in one class the children offered me their water, in America the children would be rooting for heat stroke to overcome the teacher and get a free pass for that class. I think we have won some of the children over with our antics, mainly mine. I have started to only give high-fives to the kids when they run up to us looking to touch the exotic “teacha Daab and teacha Doe”. I have witnessed a number of awkward high-five attempts from one student to another, lets just say some eyes have been poked and the phrase “high-five” comes out more like “ha-freev”! I appreciate the attempts though. Deb is much better working the crowds than I am, her blonde hair is the envy of most of the little girl's and I suspect a few teachers as well.

The highlight of the week for both of us came on Tuesday when we were perusing the aisles of the local pirated DVD store. The owner of the store asked us to sit and look at the 100 or so English DVD's she had available. She then asked us about why we were in Dan Chang and upon learning that we were English teachers she began negotiating with us to tutor her daughter, Lyn and her friend JJ. It caught us a bit off guard and we settled on a wage that is below market value, but the experience thus far has been great. On Wednesday we held our first tutoring session with Lyn & JJ and afterward JJ's famil
y invited us to dinner with them at a local restaurant. They took very good care of us, their older daughter speaks very good English and helped translate the conversation for the evening. Much of their perception about America is based off of movies and other media which do not give an accurate portrayal as they were shocked to learn Deb and I worked at a placed that cared for homeless and abused children. We further smashed their notion of the “great and good, USA” when we told them that there is not health insurance for many American's. Maybe by the time we get home, that statement will no longer be accurate. Politics aside, the night was great as we learned much about Thai culture and truly felt welcomed by a local Thai family. They have offered to show us around town more,
even take me fishing with their grandma, although they warned me that she drinks a lot when she fishes. I will heed their warning, bring a six pack for her and one for me, no worries granny!

Other highlights of the week included watching a performance of Thai dance and storytelling at our school. It was a big event and much of the town turned out fo
r it. We are glad to have attended even if we could not understand much of the show, plus I got BBQ chicken on a stick for $1, in fact I got 2. Deb had boiled peanuts and an orange soda, the new dinner of champions I believe......I am playing a daily game of ping-pong with a 1st grader named Mun and he kills me every time and yes I am trying to beat him...
Deb found another dish at the campsite she can eat, that makes 3 now...I have a six pack of beer in the fridge...We found a jar of JIF Creamy peanut butter, life is a-ok!

Have a wonderful weekend and look for an update early next week about our travel in Kanchanaburi.

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