General, Travel

Settling In

I can’t believe it has been a month since we all went our separate ways after the tour. I can’t believe it has been a month since that fateful getting to know each other massage in Bangkok. I can’t believe I have been ,living in Roi-Et for 4 weeks. I can’t believe I have been away from home for 2 months. I can’t believe I have finished my third week as a full-fledged English Language Teacher.

Time really does fly by.

When I set this blog up months ago, it was mainly for myself, to preserve the memories that I would inevitably forget as I prepared for travelling over the summer and said farewell to education. It was the perfect platform to continue writing once I left University, and no longer had assignments to complete. 6 months on (well the best part of) and I can barely remember what I wrote all those weeks back. I can barely remember the beginning of the tour.

2 whole months have passed since I stepped onto the plane in Manchester. 2 months. It’s not really a surprise that the early tour memories are starting to blur into one. It was such a good trip, and even though it seemed like a huge effort and undertaking at the time, keeping daily blog posts was a good idea. Well done Liz. In my free time at work, I’ve been looking back through them, which reminds me that I need to add pictures to all the old posts before there are too many on here.

Last weekend we went around Roi-Et city properly and saw more of the city than we realised existed. It was really great to get more of a feel for the place and see more than just the supermarket. Our American friends kindly let us ride on the back of their bikes; taking us to a nice pizza place for lunch. well an Italian guy’s house who cooked pizza in an oven in his garden.  They took us to Robinson’s mall, a big shopping mall the other side of town, and to Makro – yep, they have Makro here.

Afterwards, they rode out to a temple around 10km out of town that we would never have seen if they hadn’t thought to take us. It was very in keeping with some of the Laotian ones we saw, especially in Vientiane. It felt a little sterile and more like a museum than a temple I thought, but there we go. The setting on the other hand was spectacular. Thanks for showing us ground guys!

I have gone off on as many tangents as I can get away with. The teaching, yes, that job that I do now. It’s tiring, but not in the way I expected. The kids are great for the most part, a bit cheeky and loud, and sometimes quite disinterested, but they are really good. The teachers are nice and help where they can and understand, but it’s still tiring making sure everything you say or do is simple enough to understand. I was really starting to actually enjoy the teaching bit, until they suddenly decided they did have a plan of what they want me to teach. This would be fine, great actually, if I thought they would be able to understand it.

I still don’t know if I am any good yet. I got more artwork from some children this week which was nice, so I can’t be that bad. I don’t know if they like me because I am less strict. Discipling is getting easier, maybe they just see me as a teacher more now, or maybe I am getting better/more confident doing it, but they seem to respond to it more. I am still not going to hit the kids like many teachers do here. That’s a few steps too far for me.

For now I see it as a means to an end, to earn money to travel. I still don’t think it’s helping me think yes or no to a PGCE, only time will tell.



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