Ready For a New Term!

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged – sorry about that! At first it was because I was so busy living life that I didn’t have time to write all the details down (on my trip to Bangkok). Then, when I got home I discovered that the Internet at the house isn’t working, so I’ve come into school today to post a long overdue update for you! 🙂

Here are the highlights of the past couple of weeks…

Primary Picnic – The primary school went on a picnic at the Sterling Club (British Embassy) on the last Friday of term. We split up into our colour houses (I’m green!) and played lots of games against each other. I had a group of six green house students from gr1-6, and I sure had fun cheering them on! The students were treated to French fries and watermelon, and they even made sure teachers and parents got coffee and tea at break time!

Easter Assembly – Then, we came back to school and ate lunch outside. After lunch, we had a whole school Easter assembly. It was interesting to see the whole school and any interested parents all together in the half-gym. I don’t think you could fit my whole middle school (Centennial – about 550 students, just grades 7/8, when I was there) in that gym… I have a really hard time estimating numbers of people, and so I found that assembly helpful for getting a visual idea of how many students and teachers there really are here. The assembly itself went well. They sang some praise and worship songs and talked about “what Easter means to me”. The student council arranged an Easter egg hunt around the campus and provided ice cream cones for after. Definitely a creative assembly!

Thailand!!! – The next day, I left for my vacation to Bangkok to visit friends. I had such a fantastic time! Here’s a recap of what I got up to…

Old Friends – I stayed with a friend right next door to where I lived before. Without sounding too corny, I hope, I spent my entire vacation surrounded by people who are so encouraging to be around, and I so appreciated the conversations we had and just being able to spend time with them again. This was definitely the highlight of my trip!

New Friends – Sandra has an intern right now, as well as another girl about my age, staying with her, so I ended up hanging out with them quite a bit, too! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know them; they are both such amazing people, and it was encouraging to talk with them. It was also nice to have people to do some activities with!

Grand Palace – I took Sandra’s visitor to the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha. We had a really funny tour guide at the Grand Palace who wandered ahead of us and then smiled really big while waiting for us to catch up. Seriously, we’d be looking all over, “where is he???” and then we’d see him off in the distance just standing there smiling at us… He was pretty funny! He told us he’s been doing tours an average of three times a day for 10 years, and he wants to be the Prime Minister of Thailand. Evidently he speaks several languages, including French, Spanish, Italian and something else. He said he learned those languages from tourists he met. He promptly pulled out a pile of papers to show us. Sure enough, on top of the first page was written a sentence in French about the king, and the Thai underneath it, which I presume was the translation. What an interesting character!

Siam Ocean World – One day, I decided to take myself to Siam Ocean World, in the basement of Siam Paragon mall. It’s like an aquarium with fish and whatnot, very small scale compared to something like Sea World, of course, but quite large considering it’s in the basement of a mall in Bangkok…! I quite enjoyed it as a random diversion for a random afternoon! 🙂 They also had a movie theatre playing this very environmentally-themed short in a theatre where you’re seats jerk around a bit (not enough to need seat belts or anything) and at appropriate points, your seat vibrates or blows air at you – all designed to make you feel like you’re really in the movie. It was pretty corny, which made it loads of fun!

Floating Markets – We drove out to the Floating Markets one morning. It was such a beautiful drive! It felt truly tropical – passing such beautiful, green scenery, large palm trees… It was just lovely! The market itself was pretty neat, too. The vendors are all along the sides of the canals, and the boats go down the middle. The vendors try to get you to stop and buy something at their stall, and many of them actually have long hooks and they’ll hook your boat and pull you over to them!

Other Random Things – We spent a lovely afternoon in the pool at the muubaan. I managed to find each of the Thai dishes I wanted to have again before leaving. We watched Alice in Wonderland in theatre seats that were more like comfortable armchairs than theatre seats. I went to NewSong Church one weekend, and Jai Samarn Church the next – for Easter Sunday. I saw a Thai choir of about 10 people sing “Oh Happy Day”, which was quite interesting! We went to the Night Markets again, and I also went to visit everyone at NightLight.

I stayed in Bangkok for just under two weeks, arriving on a Saturday and leaving on a Thursday. By the time it was time to leave, I was ready to come back and gear up for school again. I’m ready to get back into routine!

Term Four – Term Four was supposed to start today but school was cancelled for a bandh (which ended up being cancelled after school was cancelled, but too late to uncancel school… such is life in Nepal! haha… anyway…). This term, we’ve reshuffled the teaching assignments and now I’m continuing to do Grade 6 Math and Literacy, Grade 1 Math, and Grades 5/6 Geography. I am taking on Grades 5/6 Art (which technically was mine before, but we had a guest art teacher all term, so I didn’t have to do anything for it), Science, Reader’s Theatre, Handwriting, and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education). I’m no longer doing anything with the Grade 4s, or Grade 5/6 Grammar. I’m excited about these changes – I’ve got more teaching assignments and it should be a great term! I feel much more settled in the classroom now and hope that this term will be more “stable” instead of feeling like we’re taking on someone else’s class, and we’re all just still getting used to each other. We took last term to establish classroom routines, etc., and hopefully this term will be more relaxing for everyone! 🙂

What’s Next? – I am excited to say that I have accepted a teaching position at ICS Bangkok! I will be teaching a grade 4 class. The commitment is for two years, and I need to be in Bangkok by July 20th. This means I have only about three weeks at home, and I am starting to get used to that idea. It helps that this feels so incredibly right, and is such an amazing opportunity in so many ways! It is such a great school, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to join the staff there!

One Last Update – I am all signed up for another Additional Qualification course! I will be taking my “Senior ABQ – History” course online from the end of May through to the end of August. This will qualify me to teach Grades 11 and 12 History, meaning I’ll be qualified to teach K-12! Hooray! 🙂 I’m looking forward to being back ‘in school’, even if it is only online! 🙂

I will certainly keep everyone up to date as things move forward (in all different areas). I thank you all so much for your prayers and emails/comments. I really love hearing from you!

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