Monday, July 6, 2009

A typical day at Blai Praya Wittyacomb School

6:30 AM - Wake up to the sound of a Thai news radio station being broadcasted throughout the school grounds. Wish they would turn it off so I can sleep more :) Roll off my pallet and head downstairs for a dip bath and brush my teeth. Read my Bible, pray, eat a granola bar, and get dressed.

7:50 - Walk to morning ceremony on school grounds with my roommate, P'Nid (Her first name is Suphanee, but her nickname is Nid. P stands for big sister.) Observe morning ceremony: a teacher lectures the students while they stand in straight lines (in the sun!), a student leads the other students in the Thai National Song, then the school song, then they say the 5 tenants (??) of Buddhism and wai to Buddha. I keep my hands by my sides.

8:10 - Walk to school, climb 4 floors to the English department. Sit at my desk and receive my schedule for the day. (Turn the fan on HIGH!) There are 8 periods in a day and I usually have 3 or 4 classes. In between classes I do a Bible study called "A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place" by Beth Moore. It is great and I usually am able to finish 2 "days" in one day. I also check papers sometimes or work on my next lesson. There is a computer in the room, and when the power is working I can check the internet!

I am also blessed with many visitors to my desk! Teachers come and offer me food and fruit and sit down to talk and practice their English. Students stop by and look at my pictures or just smile at me. They all marvel over my white skin. I tell them, "In America white skin isn't popular! Dark skin is!" They can't believe that white people would actually lay in the sun to get darker. When they go to the beach they wear a hat, pants, and long sleeve shirt so they won't get darker!

A typical class - I walk into the room and am greeted enthusiastically and happily! "Hello teacher!" "Hello Katie!" Then the class leader says loudly, "Stand up, please." All the students stand up and say, "Good morning teacher Katie." I say, "Good morning! How are you?" They say, "I'm fine and you?" I usually throw them off my saying "Excellent!" or "Great!" (They only know fine!!) And then I tell them to sit down.

Sometimes the teacher will give me a topic to teach and sometimes they will say it's up to me. So I do songs: "Hokey Pokey," "This is the way" and so on. We play games to practice their English. I also do a lot of vocabulary practice by showing my pictures. I can show them pictures of my sisters and they learn the word. Pictures of my dog, my church, so on. They LOVE to see my pictures, especially of my sister Karlie! They say "suay mak mak mak!" Which means, very very very beautiful! (I agree, by the way!)

I also get a chance to share my faith with them. I usually draw a cross on the board and say, I'm Christian. Or in Thai - Chris-te-an. I tell them that I love Projow (God) and Preyesus (Jesus). I tell them about my boat (church). Some students know what I'm talking about but for many I am the first Christian they have ever met.

12:20 - Lunchtime! P'Beab (Niyom) usually cooks lunch for me and it's pretty good! We sit at my desk and eat together. Sometimes, teachers will make "appointment" with me and take me to a restaurant for lunch. Every Thursday I meet with the Blounts (missionaries) for our weekly meeting. It is such a blessing and encouragement.

4:00 - School is out! By this time I'm HOT and yucky, so I go home and take another bath and change clothes. Sometimes I watch a little TV (ER on DVD) or read my book. Take a break!

5:30 - My roommate P'Nid and I go to the market on her motorcycle. They sell raw meat, fruit, and vegetables. And don't forget insects to eat! We buy some meat and vegetables and go back home and prepare dinner. It's been fun learning how to cook Thai!

6:30 - Go walking around the school with P'Beab! Sometimes I watch her play basketball first.

7:30 - Time for another bath and get ready for bed! Do my Bible study "Lies Women Believe" and write in my journal. Talk to Grandma or Mom. Go to sleep around 9:30!

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of my typical day! There are always surprises and different things that happen, but this can give you a good idea! Leave a comment!