House Hunt, Working with Children, Exhaustion, and Elegance
Staying in guesthouse is fine for while, but when you’re working, it becomes kind of a drag. The day after the Komloy festival, I went to go look at a few houses. Unfortunately, it seems that Thailand has taken after the suburban US with having gated communities and houses that all look the same. I don’t think that’s for me.
The Thai version of Pleasantville - the gated communities where all the houses look the same, very small yards, houses too close together, and everything is paved. I don't think that's for me.
The houses are fine on the inside...
...and this is more than your average Thai kitchen, which is often non-existent
I love the orchids, but the entire yard is paved and I'm on top of my neighbors. I am not going to live here.
I got back to Chiang Mai after looking at a few houses near Panyaden School, which is about 30 minutes south of the city. I really don’t think I want to make that commute everyday, and there isn’t public transportation there. I’ll need to live closer to school. I love Chiang Mai and it has plenty of peaceful spots, but it can be loud and polluted in other spots. After walking around the city looking for places to stay, I took refuge in Wat Chang Man.
Wat Chang Man
Naga detail - Wat Chang Man
Elephant (Chang) detail - Wat Chang Man
Luckily, two of my new colleagues, Amanda and Robert, said I could stay with them for a while. After seeing their amazing house, which is conveniently located very close to school, it will be hard to settle for something average.
Amanda outside her lovely house
the gate going into Amanda and Robert's house
Their living room
Entrance to master bedroom
one of their bathrooms. Yes, Amanda and Robert's house is unique and lovely with a huge yard. I think I'll take some time looking for a good place.
The first week of teaching went well. Our curriculum (International Primary Curriculum) is integrated throughout the subject areas and centered around a theme. We started with a unit called “The Power of Water”, which seemed rather fitting considering the horrible flooding down in Bangkok. We even got 2 extra students from Bangkok who were staying in Chiang Mai for a while, until the flooding situation improved.
The power of water, "How far up do you predict this 'rocket' will fly?"
My students showing the power of water with a 'water rocket'
Panyaden is also a bilingual school, so I share my class with a Thai teacher. I lucked out and got an incredible teaching partner named Goy. She speaks English quite well, is a good teacher, and we’ve laughed together a lot already.
Goy teaching about why floods in Bangkok happened with 3D models
I love the hands on learning at Panyaden...so do the students
So far, I absolutely love my job. I was concerned about teaching children again due to the amount of energy it takes. Last spring I had mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus or glandular fever). Apparently 95% of the population has been exposed by age 40. How I missed out is hard to say. Regardless, it completely wiped me out for about 3 months, and I still have moments of exhaustion nearly 8 months later. I mention this because by the end of this week, my throat started hurting and I was extremely fatigued. Shoot! I hope this is short lived. I know the only thing I can do to make myself better is sleep sleep sleep.
It does make sense why I’ve gotten ill, I do have some stressors in my life: a new country where I can only speak a basic amount of the language, a new job, no place to live, no transportation, etc. Settling in takes a while. Patience. Take it slowly and enjoy each beautiful moment.
The view of Panyaden School and rice fields on the way back to Amanda and Robert's house