Backtrack 1: Goodbye and thank you

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are two realities, one optional a...


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There are two realities, one optional and one inevitable, when teaching English in Thailand.

Caught in the act
1.Copying, copying, copying!


2. Saying goodbye


For me, this time, saying goodbye was not optional.

My last few weeks in Thailand were a whirlwind of eating as much of my favourite food as possible, taking a final holiday (Koh Samet), going to the dentist and doctor (it is all so very cheap in Thailand), packing and re-packing and re-packing my bags, seeing friends, sorting through my things and donating, setting and marking exams and working on a painting.

The days to my departure rushed by and before I knew it it was my last day at school, taking a thousand photos, comforting distressed girls, handing out treats and sweets, clearing out my desk, exchanging contact details with the students and, yes, finally crying when sweet little Nob wrapped her arms (and legs) around me, her little body shaking with her sobs.

When my students left to go home on that final Friday, they left my life. No longer would I see them every morning, serve them lunch, despair at their confusion, laugh at their antics, be the recipient of their little drawings, be there to hold Nut back when he gets a little out of control and starts to beat his friends. No longer would they hang on me and hug me, play with my 'funny' hair or flutter their lashes to try get extra treats from me. I was leaving the next day and I might not ever come back.

Quite sad, really and a few weeks later, in South Africa I found myself looking through all the goodbye photos and feeling a little heart sore. Being in Thailand was wonderful and educational (for both me and my students..sometimes) and hot. I learned of the culture,the good and bad, a little of the language, the mannerisms, a little of the history and, quite amazingly, I learned how to interact and talk to children. Thank you, Thailand, you were a good teacher!



The lovely Dusadee, the HOD for the English department and sweet T.Jum, the other home room teacher for my class

The faces of my homeroom class.
Mild and Meen, two sweethearts that I tutored every Tuesday. Their Mother's name is Bee 
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Now I am going to gush about my agency for a few paragraphs.

I worked with a really great agency while I was working in Thailand. My job was secured through them and they assisted or provided me with the necessary paperwork and procedures needed to get my Non-immigrant visa (necessary for legal work in Thailand). They suggested housing options and would liaise with the Thai landlords if necessary, provided me with more than the basics for my new home and treated me to a lovely welcome dinner.

But that is not all. They went over and beyond what is generally expected from an agency. The agency consists of two people, Michael and Supamas, a couple. Supamas was very concerned that I was eating enough and any visit to her house resulted in me either seated at her table eating something or at least carrying some sort of food back home with me. Her other main concern was that I was happy at work and in Thailand. Michael would feed me foreign food that he cooked and, many times, during my stay there, they took me and their other teachers out to dinner. They opened up their home to me and I organised a few dinner parties, creating mayhem in their kitchen.

Both Michael and Supamas were extremely helpful when it came to assisting their teachers in the questions and queries we might have, from work, to travel, to doctors appointments, to Thai culture, language and policies; making phone calls, doctor appointments, embassy visits with the vital stops in the town to get one of my favourite treats and zoo trips.

When I left Thailand for home, Supamas gave me a lovely scarf to take home to my Mother to say thank you for having an Austen. Such a lovely gesture. Definitely the best agency to work with in Thailand.

I made them this painting to say thank you.

Here is their website if you ever decide that you want to teach in Thailand and want to work with a fantastic agency: www.tseta.com


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This is Chertam. She loves 'My little Pony'. Here is her collection of tiny ponies.



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