Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Farewell to Thailand

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye. We are down to one last day of teaching and it is hard to believe our time is nearing an end in Thailand. The children have been presenting us with small gifts all week, ranging from homemade cards to flowers and the most sentimental of all, a small key chain from a second grader who literally had nothing to give. She removed it from her backpack where it had been all year and with much care placed it in a folded piece of paper that simply said “miss you goodbye” and gave it to us. That simple gesture might just be the best way to sum up our time here. It is the small things that have made our experience amazing. Our morning bike ride that is punctuated by shouts of “good morning teacha” from students on the back of scooters or pickup trucks will be missed dearly when we are sitting in gridlock back in Chicago. Quick games of paper, rock, scissors throughout the day with many students might be the best form of communication for everyone, forget e-mail and Facebook. Walking in the blazing sun to get ice cream with our students is surely going be missed by Deb. Our time in the classroom, the reason we moved across the world, will never be forgotten.

We have had dinner with a different group of friends every night this week and each relationship has been a blessing for us. Meeting other foreign teachers from China, England, New Zealand, Ghana,
the Phillipines and Burma was not in the plans, but we sure are grateful we met them. Their perspective and more importantly, their friendship has made our time here even more amazing.

We lived in Thailand. It was not a tour or a vacation, but our home for nearly 5 months. It was home because of the people. The vendors at the market, the owner of our favorite coffee shop that treated us to many dinners and friends who helped us navigate the bus system. The children and the teachers at school made it more than just work. It is the people we were surrounded by that made it home. Our travels in the coming weeks will be no less than spectacular, but they will be just that, travels. We lived in Thailand and know that Thailand will live within us forever.

It would be impossible for us to account for all the adventures we had. The big ones like New Year's Eve on Phi Phi island or visiting the ancient ruins in Ayyuthaya are most easily recalled. The first trip on a long tail boat or a tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok will remembered with great laughter. It will be the little adventures that bring a small smile to our face and should you happen to see it, ask us. Reliving the time a little guy was arm wrestling me while I typed an e-mail might not sound like an adventure to you, but it was to me. Deb singing 5 little monkeys 5 times straight with 45 students won't be turned into a major motion picture, but it will be one of the most replayed memories of her time here. It will be the key chain moments that will stay with us for years to come.

Saying goodbye is the best way to measure how much an experience or someone has meant to you and this will be one of our hardest goodbyes' ever.

1 comment:

  1. WOW This almost made me cry. You all have shared so much with the people of Thialand and have included us in your blog. Thanks Guys!!!