Thursday, November 19, 2009
Work all night on a drink of rum.
On Monday I started work here in Ban Phe at the Siam English Training School. I'm one of two teachers (the other is a girl from the same TEFL class as me) doing the Immersion English program right now. The program involves 3 hours of English lessons in the morning and then an activity for a few hours in the evening, and it's geared toward people who come here for a few weeks at a time on holiday. The English lessons are English lessons, but the activities make the job fairly interesting.
Yesterday the lesson and activity were combined: I took my ward (right now there is only one immersion student, but this will change next week when there will be two) to Ko Samet (which I learned in preparing for my lesson is also called "Magical Crystal Island" as it shall henceforth be known on this blog) and we had our lesson there and then went swimming and lay in the sun. It's a hard life.
This afternoon's activity was a visit to the Monkey Temple. I was trepidatious on seeing this in the list of activities, and it was a surprise this morning that the temple would be the day's activity. I changed to my most monkey-proof outfit and pinned up my hair. I got to ride in a sweet 1957 Mercedes. As the car slowly chugged up the hill to the temple, I noticed that some of the forest had been cleared to widen the road. At the top of the hill, the temple awaited. This time, though, there were about 20 monks milling about, music playing from a boom box near the temple, and folks were actively working on renovations.
It's a beautiful building so I'm glad that it won't be abandoned anymore, but at the same time it makes me sad that it probably won't be overrun with monkeys for much longer. Eventually the monkeys came out of the forest and we handed them our bananas, but there were too many people inside the gate of the temple for them to venture in at all. It was a fairly benign excursion.
There were many more babies than I saw before, but no sign of the Baron. I think he's either planning a large-scale attack to coincide with the temple reopening, or scouting a better location for his Barony. Or both.
After shooing the monkey off of the Mercedes, we went to the night market where I bought the second best tee shirt I've ever seen.
This is hard work, but somebody has to do it.