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September Update

I am happy to report that this month has had many fun activities for me to participate in! Recently I have been helping out with many English camps. The students at my school are on vacation which means I would have a lot of free time, however the teachers from the English department invited me to help out at the camps, which keeps me busy enough. On the weekends Greta “Fa”, the other exchange student, goes running with me at the park. I’ve been getting along great with both of my host sisters. We sometimes stay up late at night chatting. I’m always looking for more opportunities to practice my Thai speaking abilities. Looking back from when I first went home with my host family, and could hardly say “Sawasdiika” and now I can carry on conversations and even read Thai signs.
Some fun stories from this month involve missing shoes, and my adventure going to the AFS camp.

The AFS camp was held at the beginning of September. I remember waking up at around 4:30am so I could get ready and be on time to meet a bus that would take Fa and I to bangkok. I finished my breakfast, and grabbed my bag, and followed “Bpoo” (grandpa) out the door. The first thing he did was unlock the gate, and prepare the bicycle. I got on and he began slowly peddling along. At first I thought he would stop at the end of the neighborhood and I would walk the short distance to the school. But no, much to my surprise, he kept going all the way to the edge of the road. As he edged closer and closer to the endless line of morning traffic, I thought about AFS recieving a notification that I would be unable to attend the camp, because I was being hospitalised and recovering from a nearly fatal accident from being hit by a car while trying to go to school. Lovely thought. There was a small gap through the rushing cars and motercycles and thats when Bpoo decided to go for it! I immediately braced for impact… arms pulled in as tight as I could, tucking my legs in. “Think small, Think fast…”. Miraculously we made it across-to the median… which meant we would have to cross AGAIN!! :O And so once again he began to pedal… not very fast either mind you, but we dodged the reckless motorcyclists and made it across alive! We arrived at the school at a record time of 5:30. So, perhaps a little less than a half hour commute, not so bad I suppose. However, I wasn’t needed at the school until 6:30….Luckily there was a 7/11 just outside the school, and I compared the different varieties of Mama noodles to each other. Then deciding I didn’t really want to eat noodles, and thought it better to buy some coffee instead. I waited for Fa in the school canteen, watching the sunrise around the school. It was actually quite pretty! When she arrived we took a private van to a bus station in Bangkok. However there was a miscommunication, and we found out later, that we should’ve gone to the AFS office. And we spent about 2 hours at the bus station wondering where the other exchange students were. But no worries, because there were plenty of 7/11s inside the station, where we could spend some time looking through magazines until we met up with a staff member who took us to a taxi, taht would meet up with the bus. In the end we made it to our destination ok, and I still had some energy left despite the early wake up call. 🙂

The Missing shoes.

Generally I’ve had a hassle free stay here. My class mates are really friendly, and I get along with most people in the school quite well. One day I needed to print out some papers, so I went to the computer lab where my sister’s class was and waited to use a computer. Unfortunately, the printers were broken, and the computers were all busy anyway. So, I decided to go back to the office where I could hang out for a bit and maybe borrow the computer there. Much to my surprise as I stepped outside of the room and looked at the hodgepodge of shoes, mine were nowhere to be found! Well, that’s odd… I asked my friends to help me look for them, but still no sign of my shoes. 😦 We decided that maybe a classmate mistakenly took them for their own, and I could switch with them later. So I “borrowed” somebodies shoes and went to the office to print my forms. I had completed one task, but I was still worried about my shoes, so I went back to the computer room to see if they were there. Nope. And as my classmates went to math, I realized that the owner of the shoes I had borrowed had taken their shoes back. So, here I was stranded and shoeless in the computer room. The teachers asked why I was still there, and I explained to them that I couldn’t find my shoes. They searched and searched, still nothing. I met up with my sister before she went in the math room, and I borrowed her shoes to go to the office, where I talked with the teachers there about my predicament. They came to the conclusion that somebody had infact stolen my shoes, because they were still new. I was to buy a new pair and keep them safe. A teacher let me borrow a spare pair of her shoes so I could walk to the nearby Tesco Lotus and get a new pair. I wasn’t to thrilled about the whole ordeal at first, but now looking back on it, it is kind of funny. Fa still teases me about it. But hey, “Mai pen rai”.

Now to answer some of your comments from last month:
I share a room with my sisters, it is the only room with airconditioning. But I don’t mind because we like to talk a lot before going to bed 🙂
We eat our meals around a short table on the floor at home. When our parents our home my sisters and I eat with everybody. But sometimes we get to eat first. Bpoo likes to eat last and then he will clean the dishes.
I haven’t traveled very much yet, especially because transportation is limited due to the recent floodings. I have been to Bangkok often, and I have been to Ayuttaya(before the flood), and Petchuburi, and Chonburi. I would like to go to Phuket (pronounced Pu-Ket) and Chiang Mai.
I’m currently learning Mandirin Chinese, Thai, and French. Despite the fact that I have already studied French for 3 years in high school, I’ve managed to forget most of it. Also the teacher likes to give Fa and I “review” worksheets, however most of it involves grammar, and even some vocab that I’ve never encountered, which is why French is the hardest of the languages I’m learning.

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3 responses

  1. Jeanne in Michigan

    Hi Heather, I loved your update and all the September news! Thank you for writing to us! It’s fascinating to wonder about your life in Thailand, and to hear your stories. I really enjoyed both of your stories of the shoes and about trying to get to camp. I can’t believe there are 7/11’s there. I just went this morning to the one on State Street near University of Michigan’s campus to buy pop for our student lunch today. 7/11 seems so commericial and American, but when I googled it, I find that Thailand is one of 7/11’s biggest markets. There are 39,000 stores in 16 countries. I’m glad you’re enjoying the 7/11. Sounds you are having fun and learning much. How old is Bpoo? Would love to see more photos. Have fun and enjoy!
    -Jeanne

    October 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

  2. Dennis DeMuth

    Hi Heather,o
    Sounds like you are doing well & having an interesting experience. Keep it up.
    I’m at Shelly’s. I had a partial knee replacement 2 weeks ago & am walking eight blocks plus when we go shopping & around the house. Saturday they said that I could start going up stairs with both legs instead of just lifting with my good leg. I’ve started out-patient physical therapy & have scheduled a flight back to Michigan on Saturday 10/22. I was in my new MI house for 6 weeks before I came to NY & have been here for 4 weeks. I’m mostly unpacked, but not organized yet.
    Love you
    Grandpa Denny

    October 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

  3. I was wondering what was going on with you. Good to hear you’re doing well. Your bike experience reminds me of a cab ride I had during my first trip to Paris. We had to make a turn across 2-3 lanes of high-speed endless traffic, and the driver finally just hit the gas and went. I’d been tired from the all-night flight, but you can believe I was wide awake after that!

    Keep ’em coming, et gardez les chaussures,
    Uncle Jeff

    October 4, 2011 at 2:37 am

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