Thursday, January 31, 2013


I have so many random thoughts, sentences, and experiences and I am struggling to find the connection between them all. Since I do want to share with everyone, and of course not forget everything... here comes THE LIST version 1.0

1.     Linfield came to Yaowawit on part of their study abroad trip, and I could not have been happier to see a few faces from home! I was able to spend a few days with them here at Yaowawit and at the beach. Like I always say to my dad “Forget Disneyland, Linfield is the happiest place on earth!” What a great few days to have them here.
2.     I officially now eat ham and raisins. For those of you who know me well, I don’t think I have eaten either in 15 years besides the occasionally bite because people don’t believe me that I don’t like ham. I suppose sometimes ham and raisins sound more appetizing on days I’m not feeling so adventurous.
3.      At Yaowawit we have volunteers and teachers from many different countries. I am lucky enough to have made some great friends from all over the world! It absolutely cracks me up when we are all speaking English and we are stuck on a weird we all have a different pronunciation for it. Cough cough ANNA!
4.     I am so thankful for a good Internet connection!!! In my mind this would be a good time for me to be separate from my phone and not as dependent on facebook. Although I am not as obsessive as I am at home, it has been a lifesaver being able to talk to friends and family from home J
5.     We had a girl’s night with the high school students at Yaowawit on Monday night. It made me realize teenage girls, are teenage girls no matter where in the world you are. Topics of conversation: boys, painting nails, music, movies etc. Such a good night with the girls!
6.     Did I mention the high school girls chose to watch “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” one of my top 10 movies of all times?!?! I knew I liked Thailand haha.
7.     As much as I tell myself I am getting accustomed to spicy foods, I am absolutely not. The Thai teachers are constantly laughing at me and warning me when I eat spicy things! One day I will be able to handle the heat!
8.     I have never heard the song “Gangnam Style” so much in my life. Since being in Thailand I have a new appreciation for the song. The other night we had guests so the students did a few of their dances in the theatre. When it was the kindergartens turn, they showed up dressed up, make up and ready to go. They began to dance Gangnam style, which turned the entire school into a dance party. It was one of those moments when you just stop, smile and think how is this wonderful life mine?!
9.     Never did I realize how much I like food from home. I am craving turkey sandwiches, Mexican food, pizza, and the list goes on! Yesterday while in Phuket, I spent the equivalent of almost $7 on a regular sized box of Cheez-its #whoops they just looked toooo good to resist!
10.  From as far back as I can remember I have been obsessed with music. Constantly having music playing in the background, jamming in my car or the shower, discovering new artists, or playing one song on repeat until everyone else likes it as much as I do haha. I have made a Thailand playlist that I loveeeeeee so I thought I would share in case you are in need of some new music. Here is what I have so far:
-       The ENTIRE Biebs acoustic CD
-       Windows, Bones, Nothing, and What about today by Lewis Watson
-       Let Her Go by Passenger
-       The Ground by Orla Gartland
-       High and Dry and All At Sea by Jamie Cullum
-       Cups by Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect Soundtrack)
-       And of course whatever Taylor Swift I choose for the day

 So like it or not, version 1.0 of the list ladies and gents. I have so much more to tell but it will have to wait until the next blog post! I am so thankful for everyone I have been able to Skype with and keep in touch with so far! I appreciate every message of encouragement it truly helps! LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!

Monday, January 21, 2013

One week down, MANY to come!

These buildings are the dorms and classrooms here at Yaowawit

Well I have made it through week one of many! Of course, like anything it had its number of ups and a few downs. My first few days I was a bit of a homesick Helen as I have chosen to call it. The reality of one week down, 14 months and 3 weeks to go can be a bit daunting. At first I was struggling to get used to things such as the time difference, not being able to get ahold of my friends any moment of the day, and of course the adjustment of living in a new place. Luckily I have already met some of the most wonderful people! I have already gotten to go to the beach several times and even go surfing. I suppose I should clarify when I say surfing, I really mean recklessly standing on one leg attempting to balance on the surfboard.
My friend Anna and I on a motor-bike, these nerd glasses are our bug shields!

In this past week I also had four days of school! Words cannot describe how incredible these children are. Even with a language barrier at times you can feel the love and kindness from these kids. Since I was able to move to Thailand in January, I am able to learn and observe from one of my friends and the current head English teacher Kru. Lan! Since Ashley is quite a difficult name to say by the students we tried Kru. Ash… that was also a little difficult. So I am proud to introduce myself as Kru. A! For you Pretty Little Liars fans, no I am not turning into a crazy or do I have any mischief up my sleeve! Regardless my first week in the classroom could not have gone better and I am so close to knowing all 120+ names!
Meet Bas (Boss), guaranteed to make you laugh and
keep you on your toes!
 Never would I have imagined that I could be okay with bugs in my room, geckos in my shower or hearing roosters outside of my window haha! Strangely enough it has not been as hard to deal with as I thought! Of course I still panic every once in a while, let out a random scream or go running out of a room but hey… you can only ask for so much progress in a week. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Amazing Race

Since you are reading my blog I would assume that you know that I am about to begin teaching in Thailand! The last few weeks have been long to say the least. Between the countless number of good byes or I should say see ya laters, the excitement, the nerves, packing, and the anticipation of actually being in Thailand… I am exhausted. Exhausted yet here I am, three am Thai time because my mind is to all over the place to sleep. I sit here in my bedroom at least I think, a room with two beds, no sheets, no closet or dresser, but thankfully a fan on the ceiling. Currently I am unaware of where the bathroom is or available Internet to tell my mom I am here, SORRY MOM!

Yesterday I left Seattle, around 1:45pm my flight was delayed but at this point, I figured I still had over an hour layover in Beijing. MY first flight was loooooong, and I only slept for about an hour. Thankfully I am totally into cheesy movies so the in-flight entertainment kept me busy. As we were landing in Beijing the flight attendants warned us that they would be taking our temperature at the customs desk to see if we need to be quarantined…WHAT?! My stress level went through the roof because of course I have a cold right now. I also am officially scared to go to China if they can quarantine you in the airport, for some reason I was picturing The Hunger Games when they take your blood. Anyways I swear it took 40 minutes for us to get off the flight, and my window of time between flights is dwindling quickly.  As soon as I get off the plane, we are walking through what seems like a maze made of plexi-glass walls and at the end is a woman yelling for people who are traveling to Phuket. As I go over to her she grabs my arm and begins running with me, let me tell you… this woman was quick and she was in heels! Thankfully there were four other girls in the same boat as I was, and they were holding the plane for us. We went through a modified security and had to enter our flight gate through a carpet store! Through the carpet store, down a giant set of stairs, and all the way across a terminal with a man yelling for us to hurry. Um, hello! I am running and sweating with 3 bags! It felt like I was running towards the finale on The Amazing Race with Phil (Amazing Race Host) waiting for me on the red and yellow mat!

Regardless we made it on the plane. I slept the majority of the flight from Beijing to Phuket and woke up with 30 minutes to go, now how’s that for timing! Getting of the flight was scary because at this point I had no idea who I was looking for to pick me up, I couldn’t find my luggage tags, and there was officially no turning back. So like I said I’m sitting in a room I think is my bedroom without a clue of where to go when I wake up. Let the adventure begin!

PS: It might be late by the time you see this but HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA, I LOVE YOU!