Final Week in Hua Hin

Final Week in Hua Hin

DSC_8850After completing two days of teaching at the camp, we were rewarded with an incredible Wednesday afternoon.  We started the day off with a few hours in the classroom, then we all boarded a large songthaew and traveled see The King’s Cup 2013 Dragon Boat Races at Khao Tao Reservoir.  DSC_8846It was a fun time and one of the last times we were all together in a group.  The boats were extremely large, some holding 55 Thai men.DSC_8857  It was exciting to watch them take off from the starting line, counting in Thai and stroking quickly in a rhythm.  We all found a restaurant and chatted with Jaco and one another.  I even played a game of checkers with Zain.  After spending a few hours there, Kanchan and I went to one of the night markets.  We were both determined to find some skirts or dresses appropriate for work (covering knees and shoulders).  I had absolutely no luck.  Nothing would fit over my thighs and dresses were very tight on my top.  I had heard that I would not find clothes that fit me in Thailand, but I didn’t realize even “one-size” skirts with elastic waists would not fit.  As Kanchan kept saying, we are too “pom” (big).  Luckily my mom has already sent me a package with 3 long skirts I ordered from Amazon. This was fortunate as I received the final information about my placement.  It is in Southern Thailand which has a higher Muslim population.  Therefore woman teachers are expected to wear skirts, and I only packed pants.  My school is in the 4th largest city of Thailand:  Hat Yai City in the Songkhla Province.  I will be teaching at Songsaeng Technological College.  Yes, you read that right.  It is a secondary school, so I will be teaching students that are 13-19 years old.  After a few hours… okay days… of panicking, I accepted that I came on this trip to challenge myself.  What better challenge than to teach high school students?  I must admit, my heart did break a little when I found out how many of my peers are placed in kindergarten classrooms.  Of course I wanted nothing more than to teach young children. IMG_0689 Thursday and Friday concluded with our final lectures, lesson plans, and obligatory beers by the pool.  The reality that on Saturday some of us would be going our separate ways was setting in.  To celebrate our time together with XploreAsia, we went out to a club called Hi4 with some of the staff.  It was a local Thai club and there were no farangs (foreigners)  Our whole group came and we danced the night away. IMG_0633 Saturday Kanchan, Jared, and I wandered to a beach in the late afternoon.  The sun was just right and the water a cooling temperature.  It was so peaceful splashing around in the water and laying on the beach reading.  I was grateful to have some time to unwind.  Saturday night, Marcel and Nisha were boarding a bus to Phuket to start their teaching placement.  IMG_0638We had a ceremonial goodbye on the beach complete with fireworks, sparklers, and traditional Thai sky lanterns.  It was very symbolic and moving as we all stood on the beach watching the lanterns float away into the night sky.  This marked the end of an incredible three weeks together and the start of our new adventures.  We finished off the night with a short visit to Cicada market, the weekend market.


The best part about it was the fresh garlic bread on a stick.  It was warm, buttery, and amazing.  The market had many stalls with artwork and crafts that are not available in other markets in Hua Hin.

Monday was the conclusion of the TESOL course and I received my certificate.  In the end, I am really glad I decided to stay on for the course.  I learned some new skills and methodologies, fined tuned them at the camp, and really connected with a group of interesting and exciting people from around the world.  Also now I have another little resume booster!


Monday night the remaining people in our group played games by the pool and reminisced about our short time together. Tuesday was filled with packing and more goodbyes.  As much as I did not realize how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to everyone at home, I similarly did not realize how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my new friends.  IMG_0768                                      IMG_0394

Early on Kanchan and I adopted a street cat.  We call her Storm and visited her almost every day.  She was precious and began to run to greet us.  It was even sad saying goodbye to her!  I’m going to miss everyone and although we all hope to see one another again, we realize it may not be a possibility as time goes on.  Meeting people, quickly bonding, then saying goodbye is something I know is going to happen a lot this next year.  I hope to make some life long friends through it all though.

By six pm we were on our way to Chiang Mai via a comfortable and air conditioned bus.  Exactly twelve hours later, we arrived in Chiang Mai, bright and early before the sun had even risen.  We stumbled to Mojito Garden 2 and a worker gestured for us to sleep on the beds until we could check in later in the morning.  We did just that before we ventured out to wander around the city and see what it had to offer.

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