I lethargically glance up from my plate of rice and bamboo curry to observe my teachers rapidly conversing in Isaan as the impending haze of another humid afternoon settles across the campus, when suddenly the realization hits me: I have completed this ritual for nearly a year now (A year? Really?), and it is quickly coming to a close. I’ve chronicled my five and ten month reflections living in Thailand as a volunteer teacher and today, exactly two weeks until I leave Isaan, I am searching for a meaningful way to document what I’d like to remember about the past year. For these next two weeks, I’ve decided to offer a series of tributes to the people, places and things that have impacted me in Thailand; these daily tributes will attempt to capture that which I consider most memorable.
This brings me to tribute # 15: Sunsets! I am always in search of spectacular skies to capture on camera and Thailand has not failed to please. I am constantly in awe of the reds, oranges and pinks filling up the sky each night, which are especially vivid with the commencement of the rainy season. I often climb the stairs to my bedroom after dinner, before turning on the lights for the evening, to find my room aglow with sunset. Above is a picture I took last week; a banana leaf blocks most of the setting sun and glowing thunderheads are building up on the horizon.
With only two weeks left at my schools, I’m looking forward to spending as much quality time as I can with my students. Last week they tried teaching me how to play marbles and I have to admit I’m really horrible. My students, however, are determined to make a competitive player out of me. One of my third graders even gave me his marble collection, which was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever been gifted. I’ll have to think of a tactful way to return this treasured possession to him by the end of the term without hurting his feelings. I’d feel horrible taking his hard-earned marbles back to the States with me!