Monday, January 25, 2010

VIM for the VIP

Oh the outrage! How can we have neglected the blog for nearly two weeks? Mai Pen Rai. No worries in Thai. No excuse, no reason, just never got around to it, I guess. Anyway, that's our story and we are sticking to it, unless a better reason comes forth.

The previous two weekends have been pretty quiet. We went back to our favorite little oasis, Kanchanaburi, and spent a couple of days by the pool. Last weekend we stayed in Dan Chang or the DC as Deb refers to it. On Sunday we headed over to Sam Chuk and the 100 year old Chinese market where we shopped for a few souvenirs to distribute amongst family and friends on our return. On Tuesday the school asked us to stick around for a very important meeting and dinner with visiting teachers from all over Thailand, it would take place Friday night. Lucky they added the dinner part or we would have been outta the DC in no time.

“VIM's” or very important meetings are pretty common place in Thailand and usually have littlereason to be. So when our principal asked us to spend Friday evening at the VIM and dinner, we were not too excited. It was Wednesday when we began to notice some significant changes were being made around the school, landscaping and cobweb removal topping the list over curriculum development and actual learning. Image is everything here. The students spent most of their day's cleaning rooms, planting trees and even laying sod on the barren patch of dirt around our office. We wondered if the King was coming, he did not. Flowers, plants and rock gardens sprung up around campus in no time. Why? Because a group of 25 teachers from around the country were coming for a VIM and dinner, of course! On the big day, Friday, the school was a frenzy of last second shaping up and then believe it or not, the announcement came over the loud speaker that dismissal time would be moved up to avoid the campus being dirtied. How to impress teachers in Thailand? Remove the students early and leave no trace of their presence or capabilities as students for anyone to see. It all made sense when the group arrived at our school at 7pm in the pitch black of night. I am sure it was the language barrier that kept me from hearing all the comments about the beautiful plants, flowers, rock gardens and lack of cobwebs coming from the VIP's for the VIM...Sorry for the brute force sarcasm, but really?

Needless to say, the evening was pleasant. There was not VIM or even a trace of actual school business being discussed. Our children did a wonderful job putting on 3 Thai cultural dances for the guests and in serving dinner to everyone. Deb and I sat on the floor, everyone was, and tried to avoid the odor of my feet seeping up from under the table. We were not really noticed and would have escaped, but the maniac with the microphone asked us to say a few words. A few words is all we got buddy...So in our broken Thai we said hello, thanked them for coming to our school and asked if anyone saw the new sod. No one did.

We have a pretty standard week ahead of us. Teaching and paper-rock-scissors games will occupy the majority of our time. The weekend plans call for a trip to Bangkok for some touring and possibly an adventure to a floating market.

Re-reading this I realize the bitter pill I swallowed while watching the Vikings throw away a trip to the Superbowl has now affected the blog. I apologize for this and assure you that future blog posts will be more in tune with our readers desires. Like me suffering, oh wait, did I mention there is another VIM this afternoon?

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Deb, who didn't have such a stake in the Viking game, should have drafted this week's blog. Some of us who live in the Viking epicetner give not a rip. Or, do we say gratefully, RIP viking football 2009-10?

    Consider the children whom you will miss when you're stateside. Love their pictures. Wronka eltern