It’s been a month and a half since I arrived here and I know enough to know that I know nothing at all. Here are some musings on my observations and experiences:
-Showering with a bucket is much less wasteful than showering with a showerhead. It’s also much colder.
-If you bike 15 km every day in the tropical heat, your body will protest in every way imaginable. And yet, you will bike.
-There aren’t many mistakes one can make that a smile and sincere apology can’t fix. Practicing these skills helps everyone around you.
-Staying connected with friends and family looks a lot of different ways. With no free time, communication can look like a friend waking up at 6AM to FaceTime you for an hour. Sometimes, the power is out so you just voice call them. Sometimes, you will really miss seeing their face.
-Food goes deep with people, not unlike religion or politics.
-Thai public schools are Buddhist and celebrate all Buddhist holidays. You may find yourself skipping class to go to the temple and pray for an hour with your students and fellow teachers.
-Teaching is not a game of perfection or power. It’s certainly not a game either– it’s a song. Listen for your part.
-Children anywhere are like children everywhere– they all want to have fun and feel safe. Don’t you? Don’t we all? Put yourself in their shoes when planning lessons because there is no other way to serve them better.
-Smile as much as you can. Know that this puts you at risk for what I call General Face Soreness (GFS). Smile anyway.
-Have a plan but don’t get married to it. Adjust accordingly.