Monday, February 10, 2014


For the past few months, our sixth grade students have been working extra hard to prepare themselves for the ONET. The ONET is a Thailand standardized test that is taken in grade 6, M-3, and M-6. The test has nine subjects and each subject has 25 multi-part questions. The craziest part, the whole thing is done in one day! It blows my mind that at the age of 11/12 you are expected to take a test for seven hours straight. Regardless the students worked so hard, and I am so proud of them!


To celebrate the grade six students a few teachers, a few volunteers, and myself went out to a local restaurant in Kapong. The restaurant is a buffet of raw meat, vegetables, and noodles. At your table you have a little barbecue where you cook your dinner right in front of you. As always when you go to a buffet your eyes are bigger than your stomach, everything looks so good and then when it comes down to it, whoops. Well in Thailand it works a little bit different than at home. Riley, Insa, and I had noticed that after we had finished some of the teachers began finishing the food we were to full for. At this point we had just assumed they were EXTRA hungry. As it turns out, this was not the case. Apparently on top of the flat rate to eat at the buffet, any food that you leave on your plate you can be charged for! Picking up on the fact that wasted food was not in the budget, what did we do? Oh we began eating cold spring rolls, and leftover fried rice. It was quite comical, everyone was cracking up about the fact we would be walking out of the restaurant with triplet food babies. What can I say, lesson learned.

After a wonderful (and filling) dinner, the students set of a lantern for good luck. It was the perfect end to the evening. I am so proud of these kids, they have been working so hard to prepare for this test. Come mid-March when the results come back, I hope they remember that as long as the did their best... I am one happy teacher :)

Days off.

I had this realization the other day, you know when you are younger and you think your teachers sleep at school? You kind of imagine them having a secret pull out bed, or sleeping on the classroom couch and then cleaning it all up in the morning. To the students at Yaowawit, teachers sleeping not in the classroom but at school is quite normal. Although I am not exactly sleeping in the classroom, just imagine how funny it will seem to my future students that I lived at school. Since I am living at school, myself and the other staff have bizarre schedules that lead to having time off in the middle of the day and then not finishing school until eight or nine pm somedays. Therefore our full days off are precious and often used for some quality R&R.

Once a month the students all go home, which means a full weekend off. The last weekend of January Insa and I took off for Phuket! We decided to drive there via motorbike, which neither of us had ever done before. For the the most part it was an easy drive, but the closer we got to Phuket... the more insane the traffic was. At points I'd wished I had a flashing sign on my helmet that said "FARANG" meaning giving me at least five feet on each side, please. Needless to say, we made it all in one piece WITHOUT having to ask for directions once! Those of you who are aware of my directional ability know that this is a miracle all in itself. Once we settled into our hostel, we only had one thing on our minds... spa. Online we had found Kim's massage and spa, and it was everything we could have wished for and more!

Parking at the mall, this picture just doesn't do it justice!
We walked in, and right away the ambience reassured us of the amazing afternoon we were about to have. After looking at a list of the package deals, we both settled on a three hour treatment. The treatment included a foot and hand reflexology massage, and oil full body massage, and a honey-lemon facial. I couldn't believe it, all of this for roughly $40! For a lack of better words, it was amazing. I would highly recommend this spa for anyone looking for an upscale feel, with a backpacker budget. That night and the next morning was pretty much dedicated to food. We stuffed ourselves with cheesecake, mozzarella avocado salad, pancakes and a sandwich. Success. On Sunday we found our way to the mall Central, and the outlet mall. Courtesy to donations from home, Insa and I were able to pick up tons of workbooks, and books for the classroom library. The students were thrilled on Monday as I showed them the newly filled shelf. We arrived home on Sunday exhausted, but safe and sound.


Most of our weekends we try and spend at least one day at Memories beach, which I have mentioned before. It seems to just be our spot. We have gotten to know the staff, and last weekend one of the guys attempted to teach us fire dancing. Don't worry mom, there was no actual fire involved. All of these things are the perfect way to leave us recharged for a full week with the kiddos!


Monday, February 3, 2014


  1. perfect happiness; great joy.
    "she gave a sigh of bliss"