Goodbyes came faster and hit me harder than I thought they ever would. The past week has been a whirlwind of string tying ceremonies, dinner parties, and hugs. I still find it hard to believe that I will no longer go to my schools every day, and that by Tuesday morning I will be in Kuala Lumpur to start my backpacking trip in Malaysia. Despite all the heartache I’ve felt, and will continue to feel for some time when I think of my students, I am also leaving with a very full and happy heart. It has been an honor to teach these students for a year; they have filled my life with so much joy and happiness, at times I didn’t know what to do with it. The last few days at my schools were wonderful and we celebrated with lots of dancing and laughter. I only hope I was able to leave them with even a portion of the love they gave me.
Category Archives: Tributes
Dear fabulous friends,
We met for the first time last October at LAX, but by the time we landed in Taipei to catch our connecting flight to Bangkok, we had already bonded in a way that only people moving abroad together for a year do. We were each others main source of support throughout much of orientation and by the time we began teaching in November it was impossible to imagine a Thailand without our group of ten plus field director.
We’ve been with each other through all the joys and triumphs that come with living abroad, as well as the heartaches, the uncertainties and the frustrations. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve danced, and we’ve traveled; there is no memory I am taking with me that doesn’t include at least one of you.
I am anticipating that our lives will continue to cross more frequently than we think, if not because of our gravitation towards international work and education, then because of our ardent love for travel, adventure, and the unknown. Thank you so much for all you have given me this past year and I cannot wait to see where our next chapters take us.
Much love and chok dee,
Today I pay tribute to the mosquito nets I’ve slept under for a year. It has long become second nature to tie up my net each night before going to bed, and unfasten it every morning to avoid hitting it during my sunrise salutations. More than keeping the mosquitoes away from me while I sleep and protecting my bed from the gecko droppings that fall on everything, my mosquito net has become a part of my daily routine that truly distinguishes my life here from the one I left a year ago in the States.
I am quite grateful to have lived in a house with so many amenities, like running water, electricity (and Internet, usually), screens on my bedroom windows, a shower head and a washing machine with spin dry. Most Thai houses lack window coverings, so mosquito nets in those houses are even more of a necessity than mine is to me. I don’t have to take bucket showers if I don’t want to, and even though cold water still comes out of the shower head, it is quite a luxury to have two free hands while bathing. Also, most women in the villages wash their laundry by hand, which is an incredibly manual-intensive job, in case you’ve never tried it yourself. Now I don’t think twice about having to manually rinse my own laundry and line dry everything because I know I have it much easier than most. In addition to these differences, other things like squat toilets, fans, and floor mats are a few more examples of what makes my life here so unique and sets it apart from what is waiting for me at home.
I am so excited to come home to the family and friends I have not seen for a year but I am also nervous about many aspects of the re-entry process that will be more challenging, like eating foods my body is no longer accustomed to, washing laundry in gigantic machines, and falling asleep without the safety net I have grown to love.