For the last few months, I’ve lived in a small Thai city called Roi-Et. Located in central Issan, northeastern Thailand, it’s quiet, authentic, and has provided us with some awesome memories and experiences. To try and capture everything that has happened and everyone I’ve met in one post is going to be, well, impossible, but I can’t leave here without giving it a go!!
When we were placed here, the initial excitement of living together and teaching at the same Kindergarten school wore off pretty quickly when we found a place ot live. The place has since become a home, but the electricity, internet, and furniture, or lack thereof, that we encountered on our first night through up a whole host of issues, and put the ‘just quit’ idea in my head. After seeing more places, we decided to stick where we were and make it ours. A fridge, table, and new internet router later, and we were a lot more settled.
I can’t believe since that day I have taught 16 weeks to some of the funniest, cheekiest, and best students around. Anuban Piroj has been a great school to teach in. It’s a small(ish) private Kindergarten and lower Prathom school in the centre of Roi-Et. It’s sister school, Phairot Witchalai for upper Prathom and lower Mathayoum is where Jade was placed. The teachers were kind, and helpful where they could be. The language barrier was a problem at the beginning, well throughout to be honest, but we did our best with what we had. I became friends with a few of them.
The students took a while to come out of the shells and be comfortable in my class. I’m not surprised; Thai children are shy for the most part anyway, and the history of the farang teachers in there school is not positive. Once they realised I was sticking around, and when I tried to make the lessons as fun and relaxed as possible, they got involved, began talking as best they could, and their own little personalities began to shine through. Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I think their English, or at least their confidence to use their English, improved notably while I was there. Job done!
Not only did school turn out to be a great adventure, the city began to grow on me too. I don’t want to say this was solely due to the arrival of Matt, our AYC friend, but he certainly opened some new doors and introduced us to some new people that we became good friends with while we lived there (Thanks Matt!). Everyone made sure we had a great time, from giving us rides on their bikes so we could see new places, to being eating and drinking partners at different times throughout are stay. Seriously, to all you guys, thank you, I’ll miss you all!
It’s hard to think that I may never go back to Roi-Et. It was so much more Thai than anywhere else I have been in Thailand. It was virtually untouched in terms of tourism, and we got a real feeling of what it is like to just live normally in this awesome country. Everything is just so laid back and go with the flow, something I will definitely miss about going home.
I don’t know what else to say about Roi-Et. I went from hating it there to loving it, from knowing no-one to making great friends, and had a fantastic time teaching. I guess it couldn’t have gone that much better really!