October 27, 2011

Vegetarian Festival - A Bloody Good Time!

Mah song participating in this year's Festival
Vegetarianism is taken to the extreme in Phuket and Bangkok every late September to early October for about 10 days during the annual Vegetarian Festival. Large Chinese populations celebrate a holiday where they don’t eat meat and respect Buddhist beliefs of mind and body cleansing. Everyone who attends the event is supposed to wear white to show purity. Pregnant women and girls on their period are encouraged not to attend the festival because everything must remain untainted.

October 25, 2011

Teaching Practice Week with “Teacher A” in the House

After two weeks of repetitive classroom training with ATI, the TESOL trainees set out to various schools in Phuket for a week of teaching practice with real students and creating our own lesson plans.  The 38 of us broke into groups of 6 or 7 and gave one thirty-minute lesson everyday to different age groups with a different observer.  The first 3 days we went to a school about an hour from Nai Harn.

October 23, 2011

Family Matters – Dealing with Kinfolk Issues While Overseas

Brother, me, Sharmon, and Dad having dinner
It is the sad and ugly truth that uncontrollable things can and do happen to our friends and family while we are overseas.  I don’t want to sound morbid by any means but I have to be realistic when it comes to this situation.  My grandparents are in their 90’s and although they are still kicking it, living on their own, cooking, cleaning, watching Jeopardy and all that good stuff, the fact is that they are still 90+ years old.

October 20, 2011

Patong Beach – The Big Easy of Phuket

A short 35-minute drive in a tuk-tuk from Nai Harn beach is the Bourbon Street of Phuket called Patong Beach. Patong is known for its wild nightlife and non-stop party on the main drag called Soi Bangla. A large group of us made the trek to the beachside city for dinner and a night on the town. I’d say Patong has the largest variety of food I had seen in Thailand thus far.

October 10, 2011

Wai Not? The Dawg and the Monk

The first two days of my course in Thailand consisted of a tiny Thai woman nick-named Pat who forced me to sing children’s songs in Thai and practice bowing to the king.  It was actually really fun and Pat (Thai people go by their nickname so I will go by “Teacher Dawg” in class and it will be completely appropriate) made the sessions very enjoyable and useful.  To “wai” in Thai is a form of greeting like shaking someone’s hand or saying “Hello, nice to meet you.”  And if you think there’s only one way to wai, you’re wrong.

October 5, 2011

Leo Dicaprio’s Ko Phi Phi Island – Monkeys and much more on my face!

Ok I’m going to shoot it to you straight about Ko Phi Phi (pronounced pee-pee). Ko Phi Phi is an island about an hour (by speedboat) from Phuket and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. This statement is not just my opinion, it’s widely known by travelers who have seen the worlds’ most beautiful natural treasures. Have you ever seen The Beach with Leo Dicaprio? Yea, enough said.