Friday, December 18, 2009

Everyday Life

We are planning to stay in Dan Chang for the weekend, it will be only the second time we have done so since arriving back in October. Our travels of recent and a long week of work have worn us out. Kicking it with the local's for the weekend will be nice, we hope.

If you are living vicariously thru our travels this may not give youmuch of a fix. Give it a try though. The idea here is give you a look at our home and the town we live in. Hopefully the pictures answer outstanding questions as words can only capture so much.

Our campground/home is located about fifteen minutes (by bicycle) outside of the town of Dan Chang. Its like living in a highway motel without the highway nearby, we are in the jungle. Its one bedroom. The campground has a dining hall that we can eat at if we choose. Since we are the only permanent residents along with a young woman from China, the menu is short and not very big. In fact, Deb has a choice of two items and Joe can get three
different dishes. It should be quiet we thought, being out of town and in the jungle. Not true, the dogs bark all night long and as the sun comes up the local temple begins prayers over the loudspeakers that are found on every light pole in the area. Its a bit strange, but we are slowly getting used to it.
The bike ride to work is always a blast, especially when the giant trucks that are overloaded with sugarcane come barreling past at 60mph. There is a fairly good chance we are going to take a stalk of cane off the head at some point.

Teaching continues to be an adventure and one that we are usually prepared for. It has been difficult to make significant language strides with the kids as the classrooms are overflowing with them. Most of our classes have about 40 students and the desks are so packed together that we cannot walk the aisles. It makes it difficult to help two children who glued their arms together, seriously, it happened.

Classes are rarely quiet as the children use their time with the foreign teachers to catch up on the latetest school gossip or play a game of Pokemon cards. We have given up on complete silence in the class and tend to operate on a “louder than those of you talking voice”, to get our lesson across. The children are not to blame though as we have attended a number of professional meetings where it is not uncommon for adults to hold conversations or pick up the phone when someone of authority is speaking. The Thai culture loves noise, that is the only conclusion we can draw.

All in all, the days go by fairly fast and its hard to believe we have been here for two months now. We will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day working and then taking a 4 day vacation to the island of Phi Phi. Watch the movie “The Beach” and that is where we are hanging out.

Hopefully this post has answered some of the questions you may have about our day to day here in Thailand. If not, email us and we will get you an hour by hour log of our activities sent to you ASAP.


  1. Phi Phi - sounds like a sorority house or something. Thanks for the look into your everyday life...Merry Christmas (and don't work too hard over the holidays!) Love ya!

  2. What about bugs in that jungle...are there mosquitoes the size of those in MN?

  3. Debbie and Joe, I just got all caught up on the blog, and then asked Ryan if we could come visit for our spring break! It looks positively amazing and actually brings back a lot of memories. I know Guatemala and Thailand are words apart but the experience of living internationally, in a totally different and unique culture (and all the craziness that comes with that) is something you never forget. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You will be in our thoughts (and prayers as we attend midnight mass...probably gonna miss that huh>) and can't wait to see you in 2010!