Teaching in Chaiyaphum

thailand
I guess this is my name in Thai
Dried strawbzzzzz. Yum

There were 6 other foreign teachers at Anuban Chaiyaphum. The first day of school, one of them came and picked me up. So sweet.

My first day walking home from school I got lost (shocker). I walked by this restaurant and these two ladies were kind enough to help me. I called my advisor from Media Kids and she spoke to them and there I was hopping on the back of my second bike ride. She drove me back to my apartment. Apparently I took a right instead of a left. Sometimes I amaze myself.

The walk to school

The Thai teachers were so sweet. One of them got me some dried strawberries from the northern part of Thailand. Sometimes she’d bring me random food which was awesome. I love trying new food. And then, on my last day, she gave me a skirt. So cute πŸ’—

So before Thailand, I had never taught before. Soooo, teaching a room full of 40+ students was A LOT of work. I had to use a microphone and even then it was hard to hear myself. I never knew my voice could go so high.

I worked Monday-Friday. The English teachers had to do a morning talk once a week and we had to go on stage.. in front of the whole school 😟 It was embarrassing for me because I was a horrible MC. I can’t do large crowds… unless it’s karaoke hehe.

The kids were cute though. I had P6 which were 11-12ish and then I had K3 which were 4 (I think). I actually forget their ages but I think I’m kinda right. Either way, they were all adorable. It was fun but also super stressful and overwhelming.

I went through Media Kids in Chaiyaphum and they were okay. I had heard some mixed things about them before going to Thailand. They gave you the curriculum and you just had to make the lessons enjoyable and exciting. It was hard with 40+ students but it worked with the ones that actually wanted to learn.

There was no AC in any of the rooms so I had to plug the fan in prevent the sweat from dripping off of my face. It was dry and scorching.

They have a huge turnover of English teachers. Not only just in Thailand, but everywhere. So I think it is hard for the students to engage themselves into the subject when they have a new teacher every few weeks.

One of my students drew this. How cute ❀️

I interviewed with Christina’s agency one day and weeks later, I was off to Bangkok with Anna and Amy (Dina had already left) after my contract had ended. Anna was this super cool girl that I worked with. She didn’t start til after me but we became instant friends.

My last day with all of my kids was emotional. Of course, I cried. Honestly, I never knew how emotional I was until I met those students. There was this one student who just followed me around and hugging me. It was so precious.

Before I knew it, it was my last day in Chaiyaphum. Anna, Amy, and I all met Christina and Teddy in Bangkok. Teddy was one of my new co-workers at my new school.

Chaiyaphum was a cute little town. I miss it. I think Thailand in general had such a great impact on my life. Everything that happened there will always be a fond memory.

My K2 kiddies πŸ’— πŸ’—
I teared up. Miss them.

I never noticed how much 6 weeks could go by so quickly, but also make such an impact on your life.

Chaiyaphum was merely the start of my Thailand journey.

Chaiyaphum, Thailand

thailand
My first walk around the city

Chaiyaphum is about a 5ish hour bus ride to Bangkok. It was much more rural than Mahachai. I could cross the street without the fear of being hit.

The walk to school was about fifteen minutes and there was a 7 (of course) right down the street from me.

There were two bus stations near me (that I know of). The one that went to Bangkok was about a twenty minute walk from my apartment. The other one that we took to Chiang Mai was only thirty-ish minutes away from me.

I named this dude Bob

Xplore Asia placed Amy, Dina, and I in Chaiyaphum for the 6-week program so I was there from June-late July, 2019. Xplore Asia handed us off to Media Kids after orientation. Amy and Dina were placed at the same school but I was at a different one.

I spent the first two weeks in an apartment 5 minutes away from Amy and Dina. I made a few friends with some geckos and some worms that found their way into my apartment.

Tat Ton Waterfall

The last few weeks I moved into the same building that they were in and felt much more comfortable.

There were so many dogs in my area. Sometimes I’d bring a banana on my walk to school to feed the little guys. I felt so helpless. I wanted to take every single dog in and cuddle them.

One weekend I walked to this bar called Corner Bar with a few of the other teachers. It took like an hour to get there. That was a little fun adventure. They had live music and the girl sang some songs in English once she saw that we were there. It was a good time.

One or two of the weekends, Dina and Amy had English camp so I was by my lonesome. I doused myself in sunblock and brought my big water bottle and I was off. I walked for quite a long time. I think at least 2 cars stopped and asked if I needed a ride. I lolled. They thought I was insane.

I take horrible selfies

This sweet lady that owned a restaurant that we’d go to sometimes took me, Dina, and Amy to Tat Ton National Park. We just gave her some gas money and hopped in her van. It only took about a half hour-ish to get there. We only went to the waterfall. I wish we could’ve explored more. It was refreshing and awesome.

Black butterfly…cool

July 4th we had this party at a bar that we’d go to. It’s One Bar. I’d usually drink Jameson on the rocks. The owner (I think) was from the US. Or one of his good friends was, I forget. So they had a cookout. We listened to Party in the USA and other festive songs.

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July 4th cookout πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

That weekend me and some of the other Xplore Asia peeps went to Chiang Mai for the weekend.

The next weekend was a long weekend so a few of us went to the amazing Phi Phi Islands!

This dish was amazing…pasta and cheese… need I say more??
Karaoke time. Jbiebs, of course

There was a restaurant called Ghet within five minutes from my apartment. We’d have to walk by this house with these vicious dogs that would always bark at us. The dogs behind the gate would bark and then the strays would run over and it was just this whole scene.

We’d go to Ghet every so often because it was arrrrooi. It was owned by this chill dude. The menu was western and Thai food so it was a nice mix up. He was also the cook. He had a library upstairs for kids to read books. It was an adorable set up.

There was another room upstairs that was used to teach English/Thai lessons. The owner made a deal with the foreign teachers that if we went there once a week and hung out with the students who wanted to learn English, he’d teach us Thai for free. That guy was so sweet, as you can tell. I was only able to do it once. We played board games and card games for a few hours. It was enjoyable.

My last night in Chaiyaphum
Rachel, Dave, Anna & me

My last night in Chaiyaphum, we went to this random bar that was right near my apartment. This guy from the UK owned it somehow. We had a party for mine and Amy’s departures. I also broke my tooth there. I turned around and bashed my tooth into a beer bottle. That was painful but also I’m clumsy like that so I wasn’t even shocked. I got it fixed once I got to Mahachai.

This was a fun night

Although I spent such a short amount of time in Chaiyaphum, it was yet another great experience.

The Tremendous Thailand

thailand

It’s funny because I didn’t even plan on going to Thailand until three months prior to leaving, but yet it was the best (almost) year of my life. I also never thought I’d ever want to teach, yet here I am. Choosing Thailand was like most of the other decisions that I’ve made in my life: spontaneous. I love taking risks and facing new challenges and I had never been to Asia before so I thought, hey why not? I’m always up to do whatever and sometimes I like being impulsive.

Wat Pho, Bangkok

I was planning on going to Peru or somewhere in South America but they weren’t hiring year-round so I had to look into other options. I talked to different people in different Facebook groups and ended up talking to someone that was going to Thailand. I looked into different programs and came across Greenheart. I signed up, had an interview, submitted my payment, and I was off. Greenheart then handed me off to Xplore Asia. From Xplore Asia I went to Media Kids.

I left at the beginning of June for my 6 week program. Those 6 weeks turned into 10 months.

JJ Mall

When I landed in Bangkok on the 7th, my roommate, Christina and I ended up walking around Bangkok since we were the first ones there. Most of the others landed the day after us. We ventured off into the heat and got to see some cool temples: Wat Pho, Wat Arun, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

Pad Thai Gung (shrimp)

I took my first tuk-tuk ride, which was amusing, pushed our way through the Chatuchak Weekend Market (also called JJ Market) and ate delectable Thai food. I just gotta say I was so happy to see a mall because it had AC and man it was hot. Also, tuk-tuks are wicked cool. I loved riding on those things, they are really exhilarating.

Muay Thai class

For orientation week we got to learn some Thai, went to a Muay Thai class and met some cute doggies there. I also met some cools peeps. I ended up going to teach with Christina in Mahachai (more on that later) and now I’m in South Korea with Jules (haven’t seen her yet, but once Covid has simmered down that will change).

Big Buddha Khao Tao

During one of the days of orientation, we took a hike up to see the a huge Buddha. It took about 15 minutes. In the heat it seemed like it was double the distance and double the time to get there. It was worth it though. The view was beautiful and the Buddha was huge! On the way up, we walked through a cave and pushed our way up the stairs.

TOO MUCH PLASTIC

Totally unrelated to this post but I remember seeing all of these plastic bottles on the way up to the Buddha. I cringed. And the thing is, this doesn’t just everywhere in Thailand, but it also happens back home. I sent this picture to a lot of people back home because I wanted to show them how all of the plastic that we use adds up. It’s hard to see the build up of these things back home because we throw them out (hopefully most people recycle) and then don’t even think about it. We don’t think about these types of things because it doesn’t impact us. The side note here is to RECYCLE. Or just cut down on the amount of plastic that you use 😊

One of the dogs from Rescue Paws

This cutie dog is from Xplore Asia’s partner company called Rescue Paws and we got to spend a few hours there. We took a few dogs to the beach and got to cuddle with some cats. That was hands down my favorite part of orientation, duh.

After orientation week, Xplore Asia shipped us off to our provinces. I was nervous, excited and confused all at the same time. And that was only the start of my life in Thailand. Thailand will be chill and calm but also make you question everything.

It’s hilarious because I look back on my first few weeks in Thailand and now I’m just like well that’s Thailand for ya. It just makes sense. My friends and I always joke because nothing in Thailand makes sense but it does at the same time. And that is just one of my many favorite things about The Tremendous Thailand.