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Hot Season Continues

May 19, 2010

My life in Thailand is shaped most by weather. The hottest part of the day finds me at my favorite tea house, desperately slurping down pineapple and mint shakes (delicious!), parked in front of the largest fan, sweating and desperately trying to find out whats the latest in Bangkok. Or else the hottest part of the day finds me sprawled on my cement floor in the dark, planning lessons by the blue light of my computer. When it gets truly unbearable hot we suffer for a bit and then rain comes crashing down, bringing with it the hatching of thousands of winged ants in my room…or they also might be winged termites, I honestly do not know. What I do know is that they hatch in batches of hundreds and swarm my hair, the bed (they’re just tiny enough to get through the net), and crawl over the floor. Waging battle against these ants is a typical part of jungle existence 🙂

But I took a break from that reality for a week and have just returned from Bangkok and the lovely seaside AlilaCha-Am Hotel. Pictures of that week to come shortly. The Alila was amazing and my body was thrown through a loop at suddenly walking on carpet and sleeping in air conditioning. Bangkok was both intense and completely calm. Outside of the Red Zone, the hustle and bustle I normally associate with BKK was taken down several notches, and there were few tourists. My hotel was right outside the Red Zone, and on Friday signs were put up saying “Live Fire Zone”…so i steered clear of that. A haze settled over the city on Friday, right after the Red Shirt Commander was shot, a haze from hundreds of tire being burnt by protesters.  And now it’s spreading, with town halls being burnt and the protesters digging further in. I don’t see any solution by Monsoon Season, we need thundering Monsoons to put out the fires and drive everyone indoors.

Teaching has been going wonderfully, and I just started teaching my second class, as part of an internship program for a youth organization here. The interns will be here for three months and they’ll be spending two hours a day, each week day, learning English from yours truly. In our “Getting to know you” section this morning, one interns listed “raising living standards” as a hobby while another listed “politics” and draw a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi–I love my job. My college-level students are also doing well, yesterday in our discussion  section we compared American ‘cliques’ to notions of ‘cliques’ in Burma…Burmese cliques are certainly more industrious and interesting than American ones, with less focus on clothes and general nastiness and more of a focus on fundraising (one student was in a Poem Book clique and the produced and sold poem books) or just general awesomeness (another student was in a Bird Shooting Clique at age twelve and made bows and arrows to hunt bird in the jungle with friends).

There have also been a slew of Buddhist Holidays and Mon Cultural Celebrations. A Picture summary of the past weeks in Sangkhlaburi is below:

Breaking the Buddhist New Year's Fast with Elderly Mon Women @ The Monastery

Fast-Breaking Meal, Buddhist New Year

Ceremonially dousining Monks and The Buddha with Water, End of Songkran Fesitval

Contraption at The Temple which allows everyone to pour their water into the bamboo pipes and it drains over The Buddha statues and the Monks

After cooking lessons at my house 🙂

Hanging our with The Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, dressed like proper Mon ladies

free food market, to celebrate The Full Moon! Amazing.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 11:29 am

    This blog is wonderful.
    I love love LOVE the press, and I love seeing what you’re experiencing!
    Great work.
    I will bookmark this page.
    Thanks for this.

  2. May 19, 2010 3:12 pm

    Reading this makes me happy, hungry, and wanting to become a monk so I can wear cool orange robes. It all sounds amazing!

  3. willowmata permalink
    May 31, 2010 10:31 pm

    What an interesting contraption with the water, thanks for explaining. Glad you are enjoying your teaching!

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