Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fruit

Thailand has some really good fruit!  They grow ABSOLUTELY DIVINE pineapples and mangos,  They also have lots of fruit that I had never seen before.


Left to right: longan, rambutan, snake fruit.


 
Mangosteen and dragon fruit (most dragon fruit are white with black seeds on the inside, but I found one that was purple.  They taste the same but I think these ones are more beautiful)

Ranbutan and Lychee 



Half peeled


 The seeds


I like that they have new fruits to try here.  There are a few more but I don't have pictures.  I'll have to take some later.  I went through a phase about 8 months ago where I couldn't eat enough dragon fruit.  I would eat 1-2 a day.  I think I ate all I could because I don't care for them anymore.  Mangosteen just came back in season and I;m happy about that!  Sadly the strawberries they have here are not great.  They don't have many berries at all actually.  They also don't have cherries or peaches.  I have been thinking a LOT about peaches lately and would love to eat one.  It's a trade off I guess.  


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tah-when-tea-nine

That's how my students say the number 29.  We practice and they can say it in three syllables, but as soon as they aren't consciously trying to say it correctly they say it like that.  I sort of love it though, so I don't help them correct it as often as I ought to.  

I turned 29 this week.  Everyone helped make it a really wonderful day.  I got calls, emails and texts from loved ones back in the US.  My sister-in-law even wrote me a blog post!  The people here in Thailand showered me with love and kindness.

Lots of my students brought me gifts.  Pan and her mom baked me some tasty little cakes.  



One of my students brought me an ice cream cake!  All the kids came in and sang to me.  A lot of them came and gave me birthday wishes.  They wished that I would be happy this year and have good health.  They wished me wealth and good luck,  





Don't ask me what I wished for.  I won't tell you, because then it won't come true. 



MeePhoo


 Basia

Auto

Praewa

 
 Mhew

Yipso





At the end of school it poured really hard for about 20 minutes. Our classroom/school has a lot of windows so it's easy to enjoy the rain from inside.

video



That evening Sydney and Maeni (2 of my students) brought me an ice cream cake.  Tanner and I took it over to the girls' room and shared it with them.  We talked and laughed (a lot) then light off a couple fireworks.  I pretended to blow out the candles before we took the cake to the girls' room and asked Tanner to take a picture.  He took a video.  I thought that was pretty funny.






video



video

 The ice cream cake came packed in dry ice and I was as excited about that as I was about the cake!!!
We just added water and watched it 'smoke'.  Then we used out phone light and turned off the other lights and watched it like that.  It's the small pleasures in life, right?

video



The next evening (Friday) a bunch of the parents invited us to dinner.  There were about 30 people there: English teachers, Thai teachers, parents and students.  We ate and visited and had a wonderful time.  They even gave me a bouquet of 4 dozen pink roses!  The Thai people are so incredibly kind and generous and wonderful!






Today (Saturday) Tang and Ton took Tanner and me to Swensen's for ice cream.  It really was a wonderful day.  A really great way to kick off the next year of my life.





Friday, May 8, 2015

Creepy Crawlies

The humid, tropical weather here creates the perfect environment for bugs.  Mosquitos THRIVE over here.  The bathrooms are outside and they really love it in there.  They get more dense during rainy season and I once killed 25 during a shower!  

There are also tons of ants, flies, bees, lizards crickets and such.  Here are some of the guys I have encountered:

praying mantis



(with my finger so you can see how big it was)


dead frog (there are lots of live ones, but I thought this dead one looked especially gruesome so I took a picture)


giant grasshopper




With my hand once again for scale.


big dragon fly


This creature is some type of lizard, but it moves more like a snake with legs.  I walked into the bathroom one day and saw the back half of one slither under the trash can.  I swiftly turned and used a different bathroom!  In Thai it's called ching len.


Tanner got a video of the ching len moving/walking/slithering:

video

Big 'ol crickets  (Read about my first interaction with one of these HERE)


I have no idea what this monstrosity is called.  I am really glad that Tanner found and killed this one when I wasn't in the room!  He said it was crazy fast too. Yikes!


There are lots of millipedes.  This was one of the biggest I've seen here.


I also saw a centipede but I didn't get a picture.  I just went and got Tanner straightway so he could kill it.  The centipede was probably 8 or 9 inches long.  I thought that was REALLY big.  When I told Tang and Ton about it they said that was a small one!!! When I told my students they confirmed that that was small for a thai centipede.  Yuck!  I'm getting the chills just thinking about it.  It took Tanner a good 7 smashes with a shoe and one good chop with a shovel to kill it.

There is also a bug here that is a mix between a spider and a scorpion.  I don't know what it's called.  I found one month and month ago and when I got the guard he said, "Oh.  Bad." and killed it--which kind of a big deal.  Bhuddists don't typically kill bugs unless they are harmful.  Once I called Joj because there was a huge cockroach (I despise roaches).  Joj just guided it outside with his foot...  Well, until last month I had only encountered the spider/scorpion that one time.  A couple weeks ago when I came out of the bathroom there was one right by the door.  (The bathrooms here aren't my favorite.  I am really looking forward to a completely closed, indoor, air conditioned bathroom!)  I just quickly jumped over the creature and went back to my room.  Well last week one appeared in my room.  I yelped and woke Tanner from a nap to get it.  He smashed it real good.  I tried to get a good picture but that devil was fast and I couldn't risk a) getting too close or b) risk letting him escape.  So I didn't get a very good picture.


Thailand is really strong in the bug and creature category.   Not the best strength to have in my opinion, but it is what it is.  I'm so grateful Tanner is here to be brave and kill them for me!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ping Pong Table

We got a ping pong table at the school which Tanner was thrilled about!  He loves a good game of ping pong.  He played with Joj (the groundskeeper) who turned out to have poor hand/eye coordination.


We also had an evening when the Thai teachers, Tang, Tanner and I ended up over there.  We played some single games and some doubles.  It was a lot of fun.


Tang and Tanner are both quite competitive so it was amusing to watch them play.


Baby Flynn just hung out.


Doubles



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sports Day

Each year the school has a Sports Day.  They divide into 3 teams (pink, blue and green--I was on green team) and have a day of competition!  There was a parade, soccer, relay races, cheering, ping pong, badminton and more.  It was a fun, hot, exhausting day!  My team came in second overall.


Sassy pants Bonus doesn't like when she has to get all dolled up and get lots of pictures...







This little guy just cried through the whole parade and opening ceremony.






Our cheering pompoms turned into makeshift wigs.


Working on out banner the night before.


Finished team banner







Our team came in second overall, but we were first place in soccer!




Tackled to the ground by Lindsley



Pink team cheering



They had a few parent vs teacher events.  The pink parent team dominated in the soccer game.  Teachers killed it in tug-o-war