Whirlwind. That seems to be the only word that accurately captures what’s going on in my life right now. And not in a bad way, mind you. Just a busy way.
Pat has been completing her final few days in Thailand and we’ve been very busy. Against that backdrop has been my other activities getting some projects with work finished up while also preparing for my trip to Melbourne on Saturday to go apply for a new one-year visa.
On Tuesday I went to the law firm that does my visa application paperwork and they completed the necessary sponsorship papers. Now I need to complete the actual application and go to the consulate in Melbourne to submit everything. Why Melbourne? Because the US is too far away and too expensive this time of year. Plus, my parents, aunt, and uncles will be visiting in another ten days or so – silly to fly there to see them then have them turn around and fly here to see me.
More about Melbourne next week. Meanwhile, here’s what Pat’s been up to:
Tuesday afternoon we went back to the dress-makers for a fitting on the dresses and other pieces Pat is having made. They are looking wonderful and after about twenty minutes of adjustments and the adding and subtracting of straight pins, the tailor will be able to finish his work by Thursday afternoon. Below: Tawn’s mother supervises the fitting.
Wednesday was an early day for us. We picked up Ken, who has recently moved here from Chicago, and went to teach English at the school in Bangkhonthiinai. I wasn’t sure if Pat and Ken would enjoy a full day of this activity, but they both performed wonderfully with plenty of stamina – which you need when dealing with these children!
Afterwards we did a vocabulary review and then did many activities where the children broke into groups of about seven students, and working individually with Ken, Pat or myself.
Ajarn Yai (the principal) had invited the school board to have lunch with us, so there were a group of five local residents who dined with us on what could well be described as a Thai food feast. They almost had to roll us back into the classroom. In the afternoon, Ajarn Yai also presented us with generous gifts including pomelos (taken from the trees of some of the student’s families) and palm sugar, produced locally.
In the afternoon we had the grade 1-3 group. Attention spans waning as they usually do this time of day, we played a direction game where students practices using the vocabulary “turn,” “right,” “left,” “stop,” “stand,” and “sit” with a blindfolded classmate to get them safely from one chair in the room to another. Lots of fun.
At the end of the day, all the students and teachers posed on the steps of the school for a picture with Pat and Ken. It was a really fun day.
After dropping Ken off at his home, we were stuck in some really nasty traffic down on Sathorn Road. So we called Tawn and asked him to meet us at the Vertigo restaurant and bar on the rooftop of the nearby Banyan Tree Hotel. There we enjoyed a bottle of dry Australian sparkling wine and a 61st story view of the city.
After tiring of the hip, plush surroundings – we can only do hi-so for so long before it becomes so fashionably blase (or maybe before we realize how out-of-place we are!) – we traded in all in for the comfort food of pad thai from the world-famous Thip Sa Mai pad thai vendor located in the old city.
Right: Pat enjoys a Thai dessert khanom bueang, sometimes called a Thai taco.