Saturday, 28 May 2011

Make it stop!!!

It is 15:32 I am trying to prepare lessons, my kids are everywhere, running around making dinosaur noises and just generally screaming on top of their voices acting like complete barbarians. 
There is one cute little munchkin of a child who is hiding behind my chair frightened. My 2 thai co teachers are sitting next to me, totally unphased by it all. I have stood up 3 times to try calm them down with no success at all. The thai teachers have the ability to shut them up but refuse to do anything. Why? I have no idea. 
But this is my life. 
Thankfully, I have managed to get to a point where my lessons are no longer like this and I can get them to sit at their desks and work...well most of them anyway.
So life has become way more manageable. 
I also now have 2 extra free lessons a week as we now no longer have a grade 3 class. We had 2 students but the one is severely autistic and screams whenever anyone enters the room so she just sits on the computer all day. The other one is completely useless (and I say that in the nicest way possible) and has joined the grade 4 class. And when I mean joined I mean she just sits in the class, she doesnt actually do any of the grade 4's work. We rate/hope her parents will pull her out the school by the end of the month.

So anyway, im no longer sick and I have figured out how to tame the monsters (well atleast for 1 hour a day).

In my grade 2 class we have a new little boy. Cutest kid you have ever seen, doesn't speak a word of english tho. His name is Fifa. Yip, like the soccer thing.

In other news, it has been unbearably hot this week. I have packed away my blanket and have to sleep with my fan and aircon on. I have a slight panic attack whenever I think about what my electric bill will look like for this month.

Other than that, nothing too eventful has happened in my life that I need to share with you.

I miss you all LOADS! And well done on the voting seems I dont need to feel bad about not being there after all.


I've been writing posts but haven't been able to upload them so they slightly old now but whatever. Here they are...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kill the sun

I'll try tell you about my week without writing an essay.
Infact lets start with the picture I promised of my uniform.

This is me and Teacher Poupe'e (dont ask about the spelling) outside our classroom. I look like a giant next to her!!

When you manage to stop laughing and carry on reading then you will be happy to know that since that photo our uniforms have been tailored and our scarves arrived in time for picture day.

So now this is what they look like...
We have these in purple, white and baby pink (my favourite).

Anyway, i've gotten over it and quite enjoy the special privileges I get walking around town in my uniform...i mean who stands in queue's anyway!!:)

So on thursday I moved into my apartment. It decided to rain that day which made it fun. Luckily, Mint brought 3 of her 'brothers' (lol) to help so between the 5 of us we got all 5 million of my bags up to the fourth floor where my apartment is in no time (with only minor breakages to the building, lol).

After taking the entire long weekend to unpack and make it pretty this is my new home...
The curtained room vibe is my balcony.
My kitchen
Bathroom...i no longer have to stand on top of the toilet to shower
Monday was orientation day and the day I met all my kids. I had had about 5 hours sleep so I guess its a good thing only 7 of my kids came and spent most of the day hanging onto their parents or sleeping. One word can be used to sum up the day...MULLET! I promise you, in every single class there are atleast 2 kids with mullets. And we not talking baby mullets, we're talking full on curly pony tail mullets, I have 2 in my class and its rather traumatising!

Luckily yesterday was a public holiday so I had the day to recover. The plan was to use the day to plan lessons. I started off watching Glee and then went to lunch with a friend for about 5 hours (literally) and then came home and watched more glee and the last episode of vampire diaries * sob * I planned to go to bed at 10pm. At 10:30 I switched my light off and at 3am I eventually fell asleep!
So with 3 hours sleep and no lessons planned I went to school to start the year.

It was a disaster!

I now have 19 kids in my class. And well lets just say not much listening to Teacher Chole was done.

The scary thing is tho, is that my class went the best out of all the other classes, which just shows you how chaotic the day was. All the babies screamed and kept running out the classrooms the entire day, which made all the office staff and teachers freak out which means that no admin things were done so no one has stationery or text books or timetables.

But I made it through the day (and that in itself is proof that God can do the impossible) and I am now at home hoping to get atleast 12 hours sleep tonight!

Please pray extra hard that I survive the week.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Your grace is enough...

Before I tell you about my new apartment and uniform I have to tell you about the sermon at church tonight. 
It was by far the most amazing and life changing and encouraging sermon ive ever heard that I need to tell you about it coz I think its something that probably all christains struggle with.
It was about how almost all christains lives are like rollercoasters, we go up and have amazing highs and times where we feel so 'close' to God and we read our Bibles and pray and everythings on track, and then almost instantly we have these lows and we realise we havent read our Bibles for the past month, we havent prayed, apart for the occasional grace at dinner time and we start to feel really guilty. 
Thats kind of become how most christains lives are and we've just accepted that and like the norm, but thats wrong, because grace doesnt fit in anywhere there. Because when we're having our highs often the reason we're having those highs is coz we're reading our Bibles, praying, going to church every sunday and we feel like we can tick all the boxes of being a christain and we sometimes even start to look down on other christains, and we think things like, 'ooo so and so hasnt been coming to bible study every week' and' ooo look I put more money in the collection bag than that person', and we measure our christainness by what we're doing. We also sometimes think that God will only answer our prayers when we've been doing our 'christain things' and that we can then feel like we deserve his blessings. 
Then we have a low and we feel really guilty and we throw our selves into doing all these things, like helping at church more, reading our Bibles and helping 3 grannies across the street a day to kind of make the guilt go away. 
As I said, where is grace?!
We will so easily preach about grace and we throw the word around so much and we happily boast about the fact that christainity is different from other religions because we dont need to do all these things to get into heaven God has already done everything. So why do we feel so guilty when we've sinned or not read our Bibles! 
Surely that means we havent fully understood grace. 
When we hit those lows we should instead be thinking, how great God is that he still loves me when I dont talk to him and that should motivate us to talk to him and listen to his word more because we're excited about growing and learning more about him. Not because we need to do it, as if we need to buy our salvation back.
In Galations 5:4 it says: 'You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.'

The same as when we're having our highs and we're feeling all self-righteous, because we're relying on ourselves for salvation. We think if we do all these things we've deserved our salvation, and we kind of forget about the fact that it was all Jesus. And when we stop letting God control our lives we let the devil in and thats when the trouble starts. 
There's a cool parable in Luke 18 about a tax collector and a pharisee. 'To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself:'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Its a simple message and we all know about grace but sometimes I think we forget or we dont know how to practically apply it to our lives, we only know it in theory. I definitely feel like that, especially now. After equip I felt all on track with my relationship with God and I was all amped to go home and read my Bible and carry on with what i'd been doing on equip, but almost a month has passed and ive realised I havent read my Bible since camp and that 'camp high' is gone. With it being my last week back home and settling in here I just kinda got distracted. And now that ive started getting settled here, the guilt has set in. 
So just as I was starting to prepare the same old speech to God about how sorry I am about how useless I am and I promise i'll read my Bible everyday, etc etc etc, I heard this sermon and was just reminded that when God died for me he knew that I would forget about him over the past month and he nailed that to the cross. So I dont need to feel guilty and read my Bible to buy back anything, I can go back to a God who was always there standing with open arms and read my Bible because that is awesome and I want to grow in my love for Jesus. 
It kind of takes a huge weight off a persons shoulders.

I hope this has made sense, and well done if you actually read the whole thing:)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

And then there were two...

So today I found out that wearing shorts to work in thailand is a crime!!
Yip, nevermind the fact that some of the teachers wear denim mini skirts or (and this is my favourite)...shiny silver skinny jeans!!! But you cant wear shorts. Now they weren't like short shorts, they were below my knees, thats why I thought they'd be ok. They were like smart black cross between shorts and 3 quarter pants type vibes. Anyway, I managed to successfully hide from the principal the whole day, so no real harm was done.

Our uniforms arrived today...THEY HAVE SHOULDER PADS!!!! 
It makes me want to cry. 
I look like a frumpy air hostess. 
We just got our purple uniform today for picture day tomorrow the other 4 uniforms are still being made. 
They also told us today that we have to pay for these ridiculous 'clothes'!! And they're not cheap either, considering the fact that you need 5 shirts and 3 pants or skirts. I will put a picture of it on sometime so that next time you feel like you dont have anything to wear you can think to yourself, 'well atleast I dont have to wear that!!!'. 
Im such a nice person!

On the plus side, we were supposed to have a 3 hour workshop on how to make flashcards today (coz its real rocket science type stuff) and that luckily didnt happen...i might have bored to death! 
Instead we ate cake:D

[It looked exactly like this actually]

But there's also more bad news. 
After 3 goodbye parties (one of which involved overeating at a vienamese buffet which was AMAZING) tonight we say goodbye to Eveline:(:(:( She is moving to the south of thailand, so we will atleast still get to see her in holidays and stuff but it still sucks. 
The 3 musketeers will be missing a member:(

Eveline we will miss you!

All hope is not lost tho, I have more good news:) 
Tomorrow I move into my new apartment!! 
I can finally live out of a cupboard and not a bag. And just in time for the long weekend:) (more good news). I will miss staying with P.Pell and Mint tho, I have learnt so much more thai, like 'ork pbay', it means 'get out', and has come in handy with Mint. 
Love you Mint!!:)

Well I think thats all the important stuff. I'll be back soon with pictures of my new apartment:)
Miss you all loads!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Hi ho, Hi ho, its back to work I go...

So with being jetlagged for a few days and being on holiday, my sleeping patterns have been a bit messed up, but I had started getting into the habit of going to bed between 2 and 3 and then waking up round 12, or whatever time the sun kicks me out of bed. So when I had to go to bed at 10pm last night to wake up at 6:30am, by body was slightly confused. I think I managed to fall asleep sometime before 3am. Somehow tho I made it through the day.

A lot of things happened today.

Firstly, I was late! Im reading a good book at the moment so I couldnt quite leave this morning.
Secondly, there were two new foreign teachers. One is south african who I had met a couple of times before who is taking my old position of teaching the babies. The other one is an old british guy from Liverpool who I had actually met a couple of days before coz im moving into his aparment block. (Why does it always happen that I move into the creepy old guys flat?!!!)

Thirdly, there were about 10 new thai teachers!! Apparently during the holidays a whole bunch of them decided they werent coming back. Unfortunately the computer teacher wasnt one of them but anyway. My co-teacher also left so in comes Pooh Bear to save the day. Yip, you read right, my new co-teachers name is Teacher Pooh Bear. Although there is some debate about that coz apparently she told another teacher that her name is french for doll but thats Poopi. So we're not a hundred percent sure of her name, but either way, its a massive lol. On the plus side tho, she is lovely and speaks english pretty well.

The other big thing that happened today was all the foreign female teachers were put in the school bus and taken to have our measurements taken for...get this...UNIFORMS!!! I was kinda keen for it in the beginning coz im the one that always went on about us wearing uniforms coz our schools colour is purple but you know what they say, becareful what you wish for. We are having not one, not two but FOUR DIFFERENT uniforms made for us!!! They will be made from fake material that makes this heat even hotter, they will button up to the top and we will have to wear a scarf!!! How exciting, I just cant wait to slowly boil to death!!

Other than that, the kids arent all back yet, just the babies, school only officially starts next week. The ledgendary Putt made it through the holidays and even remembered my name. It was definately the highlight of the day. His hair has grown so he no longer looks like a leukemia patient:) 
Overall I think it was a pretty good day back:)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Meet Mia

I arrived in Khon Kaen at 4:30pm yesterday afternoon.

Driving through Khon Kaen was super strange. It felt like I had been here like a hundred years ago. I still kinda feel like that. Everything is familiar but yet very foreign.

Anyway, so I arrived and Mint and Eveline came to pick me up and instead of letting me take a taxi they insisted on putting my huge 23kg bag, my 10kg smaller bag, my laptop, my handbag AND me on their 2 motorbikes. 

[By some miracle we actually did it]

We then went to the apartment where I was gonna stay.
Now when I say the apartment where I was gonna stay, I do not mean that I had booked it or that they knew I was coming. I guess I just assumed there would be a room.

There wasn't!!

Hmmm, that wasnt really part of my plan.
So anyway, we went apartment hunting. The first apartment we went to was awesome and they had a room oping on the 11th of may. I booked it and off we went to mint and eveline's house which would be my temporary home until then.

[Check out the massive jack fruits in their garden!!!]

I had my third shower for the day and off we went to bible study where I got to see all my friends. There were was a swedish couple who had helped plant the church that were visting and we all went for dinner afterwards. We then went to the night market to get more food. And mint being mint went shoe shopping:)

We eventually went to bed at 2 in the morning with the plan of waking up at 9 to go swimming. At 12:30 the next day I woke up to a thunder storm. Swimming was cancelled. I also realised that today was the day I had to check in at immigration. I get to immigration only to find out I do not have to check into immigration until the end of july.


So off we went to fetch my motorbike:D:D

I have named her Mia because she is a Yamaha Mio!
Here's a picture...

Harry Potter and the Eiffel Tower

Have you ever wondered how you would cope, if you landed in a country and you weren't sure of the date or the correct time. You had 4 bags (one of which weighed 23kgs), you had no accommodation booked and the weather outside laughed at a sauna?! 
Well I was about to find out!

And can I just say, since no one else was there to say this for me...I did rather amazingly!
I was sitting in the lobby of my hotel in less than an hour without having hardly broken a sweat!

And that is how I roll!!

The hotel, as it turns out, has not been maintained since they took the website photos about a hundred years ago! And the air con seemed to make the place hotter rather than cooler. 
Oh this was gonna be fun. 
Did I mention the cupboard that looked like the cupboard from the grudge? 
Well this room had one and I am not a fan of the cupboard from the grudge. Something else ive learnt about myself over the past year is that ugly things cause me to go into a sort of depression. 
No seriously, before I left to go back to South Africa, I had to drop off all my things at my school that I wasnt taking home. Things like all my pretty fairy lights and things that made my room pretty, and that last night sleeping in a bare ugly room I actually cried. Yip, all those of you who keep calling my brave, take my fairy lights away from me and I will cry!!!

Anyway, back to my story. 
I figured since I hadnt slept in awhile I would just get something to eat and go straight to bed, wake up in the morning and look for a new hotel. 
Oh how wrong I was. 
Have you ever wondered what happens to a person when they are jetlagged and placed in extreme temperatures? Well that was something else I found out, but I will leave that for you guys to find out for yourselves. 
I wouldnt want to ruin the surprise.

Somewhere between 2 and 3 in the morning I finally fell asleep under a wet sheet. (I wet it with water, I did not wet myself, it was the only way to stay cool, lets just get that straight) I woke up at 11:30 the next morning with a dead ipod, a dead laptop and no plug! 
So much for finding a new hotel. 
Luckily I had the address of one that I prayed had an empty bed, a plug and a proper air con. Getting all my bags across bangkok on the subway was great fun. The security officers at each station were lovely enough to search all my bags for me. 
That was nice of them!:)

Eventually, after only one thought of jumping infront of a train I made it to my beautiful, airconed, clean, grudge cupboard free hostel. 
And they had a free room. 
I put down my bags and went shopping. 
I had only 2 things on my list, food, glorious cheap thai food. And an ipod cable(i left mine at home). On the way to the mall I found a street that im pretty sure they will have in heaven. It was just lined with FOOD!! It was right about then that I finally got excited about being back. I probably ate one of everything from each food stall that I passed. With the exception of the bug stall and the pig liver stall. It was AWESOME!

I then went to the mall. 
Now ive experienced the overboardness of thai malls. They're insanely huge(they rarely have less than 5 floors), incredibily modern, have loads of cool stuff and they're very pretty, so naturally its where I spend most of my time. But this mall was by far the coolest one i'd been to. I suddenly felt very underdressed in my shorts and tshirt with my hair that had been subjected to the humidty. But nevermind, im a foreigner, people are going to stare at me no matter what. I had my ipod cable in no time and after walking myself dead I decided I would watch a movie while I waited for the sun to set and the heat to become bearable. 
I watched limitless. 
It was brilliant, you should all go see it! 
On my way out towards the taxi stand I saw a beautiful thing...a MARKS & SPENCERS!! This could only mean one thing...PERCY PIGS!! I ran inside to find a promotion on what? Percy Pigs!! I mean could my day get any better. I bought my 2 big bags of percy pigs and went to catch a taxi to Khao san Road:D But this taxi driver decided I had had too much happiness for one day so he thought he would end my happiness by trying to scam me. He obviously did not know who he was dealing with, as I am the queen of seeing scams and putting scammers in their place(to put it nicely). This guy was easy so we were great friends again and off to khao san road in no time:)
Khao san road was still the same only I realised I had changed (yoh, lets get deep now). Believe it or not but I had no desire to shop. I was at my favourite market in the world and I didnt feel the need to buy anything. Surely this meant I was broken! I consoled myself by saying that subcounsiously I knew that I couldnt fit anything else in my bag and I had probably already bought everything there anyway so thats why I didnt feel the need to buy anything. I then bought 2 pairs of earrings, some lovely green curry and went back to my hostel.

I dont think I mentioned earlier that I chose to stay in a 4 bed dorn instead of a private room, well I just assumed that they had put me in an all girls dorm and it would be all fun making friends my age with girls from around the world. Well, in walks mister 30 something, obese pakistinian MAN! Ok, nevermind, maybe the other 2 people are girls. Fast forward 1 hour and in walks cute little german boy, I say cute and little because next to the pakistianian he was. He was cool and we made friends and he kept saying we and us so I assumed he was talking about his girlfriend (yay, atleast one other girl in the room) walks the other half of the we and us, german boy number 2 and all hope of not being the only girl in the room disappeared. Luckily the germans were cool and slept like normal human beings. I cannot say the same for the pakistinian. I have never in my life heard anyone snore like that. In fact I dont think I would even call in snoring, in fact I wouldnt be surprised if the guy wasnt even human. 
It was a massive lol. 
But somewhere round 2 I managed to fall asleep. 
I was woken up by people cleaning the room, which made me incredibly angry. Was it really necessary to clean the room so early in the morning?!! I then checked my phone to find out it was 1:30 in the bad!

After eating some lovely raw eggs for breakfast I thought I'd go sit in the park that i'd always wanted to go to and read my book. After being outside for 30 seconds I decided that to the mall it was!!

I'd always driven past Siam Paragon and it looked cool so I thought i'd check that out. OH.MY.WORD!!! Forget everything I said about yesterdays mall being amazing. This one was better, way better!! You'll have to go there for yourself one day because I cannot even begin to describe it. It was slightly overwealming. It had the biggest aquarium in asia and an IMAX in it. And there were like 2 other mini malls(and when I say mini I mean like 2 of cavendish) next to it. One of them had a madame tussauds in it so I thought id go there but to my dissapointment they didnt have a wax model of Mario Maurer so after filing a complaint I left. And thats when I found the food court, which had a Krispy Kreme and I ate an oreo donut to make myself happy again:) I then went to 3 different malls and tried something different at all the different cute little coffee shops. While I was having coffee next to the eiffel tower, a group of thai teenagers came up to me and asked me if I was in the new Harry Potter movie. People have told me I look like Drew Barrymore and Catherine Zeta Jones(don't worry, I dont see it either) and ive been asked if im related to Dustin Hoffman, Matt Hoffman and the famous jewish rabbi(twice!) but never have I been asked if I was in a Harry Potter movie. It made me feel very cool tho:) I considered lying and saying that I was but, I didnt, because im a good, honest person! They looked very disappointand apologised and waied prpfusely and then ran away. By far the most bizarre moment of my life so far. I am very curious as to who they thought I looked like in Harry Potter. Or maybe they just thought ilook like a witch in general . Maybe they thought I looked like Belatrix Lestrange. Maybe I shouldnt think about it too much.

Anyway, there was some commotion going on by the movie theatre and because I was convinved that mario maurer was there and the only way to get there was to buy a movie ticket, I bought a moive ticket. Mario Maurer was not there:( I will find you someday Mario!!!

I watched Source code. 
It was brilliant, you should all go see it!

Then I decided that since the sun had set it would be ok to step outside of the air coned buildings and go to the park. After getting very lost, irritated and drenched in sweat(yummaaay), I arrived at the park but decided I didnt want to go to the park anymore so I got on the train and went home. By then, I was so exhausted I managed to fall straight to sleep.

After a very traumatic morning of getting my bags back across bangkok to the bus station, I am finally writing this to you on a bus to Khon Kaen. 2 more hours and I get to see the lovely and awesome Mint and Eveline:)

I will let you know what else is waiting for me in Khon Kaen and if I have a roof over my head tonight as at the moment im kinda homeless...

 This is Mario Maurer for those of you who don't know. He's half Thai, half German, thai actor.

Leaving again

Yes, yes I know this is 9 months late but whatever. Im older and wiser now and so instead of having to write the same thing over and over to different people, now I can just be like, 
read my blog!!
That and, have you typed on my computer?! Its awesome!!

I guess I could copy and paste each time but this way I get to make it look all pretty aswell:)

So, Day 1
I got on a plane! 
Only it wasn't on time, it was an hour late and just to make things exciting, I only had an hour stop over, so guess who missed her second flight?! 
I wasnt too worried tho because this was following my plan of getting put up in a 5 star hotel and then getting bumped up to first class so everything was running according to plan really. 
That and I was much too concerned about the fact that all the movies showing were complete rubbish! Oh and did I mention the creepy turkish guy that was sitting next to me?! And the crash landing into joburg that sent my laptop flying also added to the distraction.

Anyway, I hope you're comfortable, coz I am and that probably means this'll be long.
So we arrive in Doha, turns out more than half the plane had missed their flights, but I must say Qatar handled it amazingly and we were on a bus to our fancy 5 star hotels in no time(My plan was working brilliantly!) ...well everyone else was, I left something on the plane so I got the later bad! It was quite funny, all the south africans were talking about how amazingly everything was handled and how organised they were and all the europeans were all like shouting at the staff about missed trains in paris and all that. We're such good people:)

That is what went over and over in my head driving through Doha, while my mouth was hanging open. I would have taken a picture but I was so mesmerised by how amazing the place was that I forgot what a camera was. It's like something from the future. Perfectly manacured lawns (the people busy mowing them were on these like futuristic looking lawn mowers and wearing uniforms!!) on the one side and the sea on the other with palm trees and pretty walk ways. And the buildings, my word the buildings. Hundreds of skyskrapers, each more insane than the next. Each one was shaped differently with crazy detail. And all the cars on the road (all only had men in them, there were no women anywhere) were like SUV's and shiny BMW's. And then we drove past what I thought must be a palace but turns out no, it was just a bank! 

[I found some pictures for you]

Anyway, enough about Doha and more about me and my cool hotel. I stayed at the Movenpick hotel, yip the famous swiss ice cream:) It was super fancy. No one let me carry my bags ever, not even my coat that I had in my hand. And when I got to my room I just stood there giggling, it was soooo beautiful!! Look, I took some pictures for you...

Cool hey?!:)

You should have seen the buffet!! 
I of course, as a South African, took full advantage of the free food and had about 6 helpings and then 2 helpings of dessert! And after that I rolled myself to bed and slept like a baby until I got my wake up call. And then I got up, had a shower in the super fancy shower that took me about 5 minutes to figure out, and then I went back to the buffet for dinner and repeated lunch time:) And then we were all driven to the airport where we caught our non delayed flight and arrived in overly humid bangkok at 7:30 this morning.

So I got my 5 star hotel but not my first class flight. Oh well, who needs first class anyway, they probably would have kicked my out for laughing too loudly at The Big Bang Theory anyway!!