To Understand

Soon soon hok. 007. Even in Thai his name is Bond, James Bond. Friday night my director invited me to dinner with her and her friends and after we finished an amazing meal we went and saw the new Bond movie, Skyfall. Even though the movie was dubbed over in Thai the action spoke for itself—there was a bad guy, there was a couple beautiful women, lots of guns and things exploded. I got the basic plot and understood the movie. Spoiler alert: He gets the bad guy and all is well at MI6.

007

007

Last week was our first full week in Kamphaeng Phet. I’m trying to establish some sort of routine, develop healthy habits and feel a sense of community. Again, my director invited my roommate and I to attend yoga class with her. Being familiar with yoga I wasn’t nervous about not getting the poses. Neung, song, sam…kaow. One, two, three…breathe in. It’s not difficult to understand if you are looking and listening.

Running the Historical Park each day I have been able to see and recognize (and surely they recognize the White Lady) many men who also enjoy a hot, sweaty run. Some smile. Some wave. Some nod their heads. Some don’t acknowledge the fellow runner, just like in the states it’s all about what you feel like doing. All this in recognition of us all being runners and enjoying the same high—no matter what side of the planet we’re on, it’s the same. We understand.

To understand another culture is one thing. To accept the fact that I am probably not going to learn Thai to fluency, I’m not going to be able to order a meal with out a crazy game of charades, I’m not going to learn all the vocabulary to get through an entire yoga class with out bending when I’m supposed to stand or breathing out when I’m supposed to breathe in—I know these facts. But the ability to understand is coming, it’s developing.

With that said, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t hard. It doesn’t mean that every day isn’t going to be a struggle, because it is. What it does mean is that I’m learning to grow. I’m learning to communicate in different ways. A simple attempt at the language brings a smile to the old ladies face who sold me some weird fruit I hadn’t seen before. Kahb kuhn, kaah. Thank you very much.

 

A smile is the best reaction. A smile is universally understood. In all the confusion, frustration and difficulties I find myself smiling. A smile of gratitude, a smile of uncertainty, and a smile a joy. Because you know what? I’m in THAILAND. How could I not smile at that fact?

Let’s Talk About Thailand a bit…

I guess it’s time to talk about Thailand a little bit more. Currently, I am scrambling to find my immunization records to prove to some doctor in a walk in clinic that, yes, I did have all my shots as a kid, so that he can sign off on a bill of good health and let me on my way. So if you know if a secret stash of records somewhere in the state of Michigan, let me know. I guess moving every couple years of your life is glamorous, but when it comes to being organized about the important documents it can get tough.

On another note, Thailand is approaching SOON! Oh dear, really really soon! I have my placement of where I will be living, what school I will be teaching at too. It’s a private school in the Kamphaen Phet Province. Your homework for me is to google it, research it and report back to me of the coolest locations, funnest (I know that’s not a word) places to go, and the most delicious food to eat!

So far what I’ve learned is that it’s on the Ping River which is pretty rad, I love water. And it’s at the foot hills of some HUGE mountains that I hope to explore via foot. I want to run all over this place, but hopefully not get Malaria in the process.

Getting all of this ‘stuff’ gathered is making me feel really adult. I’m having to take financial responsibility for it all, gathering records, filling out paper work for the visa and work permits, I’m selling pretty much everything I own and just donating the rest, (keep an eye out for a free box in front of my house soon.) This whole process is making me appreciate all the help from my parents in my past travel excursions and appreciate the help they are giving me now, not just with gathering the information, but emotional help too. This process is exhausting!

 

In the mean time I’m pushing forward, working a ton, trying to enjoy Oregon as much as possible and getting really excited for a trip back to Michigan in just over a week!

 

Stressing a bit about Thailand

Early morning stress about Thailand

Two Months From Today

If all goes as planned I will be embarking on the biggest adventure of my life, thus far. I will be arriving in Bangkok, Thailand for my teach abroad orientation. I have made a one-semester commitment to teach English in the Kamphaeng Phet Province. So currently I am working and working and working really hard to earn enough money to pay for program fees, plane tickets, doctors appointments and vaccines.

One of my biggest goals for the adventure is to really hone in and take this blog to a new level. I plan on traveling on the weekends, running in the lush green jungles, climbing the mountains and swimming in the Ping River. This blog is meant to be a self-learning experience. I want you to read it and be inspired and go off and do your own adventuring. I want you to write to me and tell me about it, I want everyone to know how great this country and this world is! Let’s discover it together.

Right now in this time of ‘getting ready’ any support you can send my way would be amazing. Positive thoughts, words of encouragement, emails of support would be amazing. I’m very excited but also really nervous about this whole thing. I will keep you all posted on my happens over the next two months and then while in Thailand I plan to take this blog to a whole new level!

 

But for today I’m headed to the Redwoods!!