This was originally posted on 2012-10-19. Additional commentary has been placed in [square brackets].
In order to make up for the shortfall in posts I’m going to try and dump information on you about what happened in the past few weeks.
Sports day here was quite something. Unlike the previous sports days I’d witnessed where a small group of people who could be bothered were surrounded by a majority who couldn’t, this was an event which encompassed all those who attended.
In fact i think its fair to say the crowd used up at least as much energy as the competitors if not more. There was endless chanting, drumming and waving of pompoms. By the end of the day I had a headache from being next to a pupil enthusiastically whacking a snare for 5 hours and sunburn where the sun had snuck up on me from behind the stands and silently cooked my arms. It was still a lot of fun though, I think PHS sports days could learn a thing or two.
Oh yea and there was a ladyboy cheerleader who ran out into the middle of the basketball court for a little freestyle dancing. She really had some balls to pull off a stunt like that. Ahem…
[ I'll leave that comment in there for transparency and to show that views change, but tut tut past me, not cool. The ladyboy dancer was actually really awesome, she kept running out and holding up the games with dancing and every time she did the crowd would roar with cheering. ]
Every morning the students sit down for assembly which is under a cloth roof hung between the school buildings over a tiled area in front of the stage. There is the usual school news as well as meditation, chanting, singing of the national anthem, plus whimsical additions such as gangnam style blaring over the school sound system or one of the students singing Price Tag.
[ From what I could tell students would volunteer to get up on stage and just do fun stuff in the mornings. People were far less embarrassed about being in front of a crowd than what I had seen in the UK. ]
At the weekend we went out for the day with our first host sister who we hadn’t seen in a while. We ate lunch by a beautiful waterfall before sticking our heads in it. After that we sat in the back of the pickup and were driven to the hot springs which were very nice indeed.
[ Pear’s dad paid for a private bath for the three of us. It was a tiled room with benches round the side then they filled it with steaming water just deep enough to swim in and poured in heaps of petals. ]
before we left for Chiang Mai it was Ajan Wasana’s retirement party. During the week all of the boys and girls of the language department staff room had to put together an act to perform on stage. The ladies did a song and dance while us men danced to the most elegant of tunes, Gangnam style.
[ The party for Ajan Wasana retiring was huge, she really was a big part of the whole community of the town. And she was the person to first invite volunteers to Uthai Thani. ]
Chiang Mai is at an end now. Its hard to believe how fast Three weeks have gone past. Learning Thai has been great with our teacher Tanagong, I'm definitely going to remember some of his techniques!
[ Ah Chiang Mai, so much fun :) And our teacher really was great, he taught me the most of any language I’ve ever learned. ]