Yesterday we were told to prepare a speech for the welcoming ceremony today. So last night after dinner, playing with their dogs (Charlie, Sarah and Milo – who is chunky but funky)
and booking our flights to Chang Mai next weekend (we’re going to hug elephants!), we went and practised the speech that Kate had written between her lessons. We only saying one or two sentences each but it was long enough considering we were saying it to the entire school. At breakfast (which was fried rice and egg) Aum told us he would be translating the speech. When we read it out to him he said it was too long, so we had to cut some of it – such a shame.
Today was ridiculously hot, the heat and being covered in chalk during lessons was not a great mix! But the two classes I had this morning (G.12 and G.10) went well and the students are enjoying the activities. Apart from when I use characters they don’t know (Katniss Evergreen being one of them!). Before lunch me and Hannah went round the school and took photos. We took two outside the school by the sign, of the buildings and the fields beside us.
The ceremony took place at 1pm, wait no, 2pm. So I still had to do all my lessons but I didn’t mind since I had planned them the previous day. We went to the cafeteria and were sat at the front, out of reach of the fans. Thankfully, Ben got a student to move a fan closer to us. It was bliss. We were then given water as well, I couldn’t have been happier; even if I was still sticking to my chair a little. After we gave our speech we were given lovely yellow flower chains. They smelt really nice to me, but Hannah sneezed as soon as she was wearing it.
We then sat back down and watched some amazing performances. There were dancers in traditional Thai dress. Their dances performed parts of Issan (north-eastern Thailand) culture.
We were also treated to a live band and singers. They were really good and the costumes were amazing.
I even recognised some of the students from my classes.
After the performances and speeches finished we were given the rest of the afternoon off. This was a godsend seeing as we were all in desperate need of a shower and possibly a nap after sitting in the heat.
In the evening we went to a party at the principles house with Aum, the other foreign teachers and the rest of the teachers. It was really nice to relax and get to know some of the other teachers better. We drank beer Chang with our meal, it’s not as heavy or bitter as normal beer as it’s made from rice and not barley. Chang might be my drink of choice in the future. The food was great: I had breaded chicken (a bit like KFC),fish and there was some vegetables too. At one scary moment we had a soup with chicken feet in it. Needless to say I was glad when it was removed from our table soon after.
But the dessert was bizarre. It was a poached egg with colourful sweet potato balls in coconut milk. I did try all of it, however if it was put in front of me again I would probably just drink the milk.
After dinner the music teacher, Jimmy, set up some karaoke screens and began to serenade us in a mix of Thai, English and Chinese songs. As much as it was a little weird he has a good voice. Then Ben and the principle asked if one of us would go up to sing a song. Eilidh and Kate were quite adamant not to. But since they kept asking I volunteered knowing that it wouldn’t be terrible. When I found out they had ‘Let it Go’ on the computer, I couldn’t stop myself from singing it. It was great, afterwards I felt like the queen of Arendelle. Teacher Dong, one of the Chinese volunteers sang a Chinese song and Kate and Eilidh were eventually persuaded to sing a song. They sang Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ and were word-perfect – especially on the rap.
When we headed off to our rooms it was only 10pm so I stayed up watching Netflix and catching up with people from home. I still haven’t got over the 6 hour time difference yet, but hopefully it’ll get easier soon.