After so much preparation in the run up to this point, I can’t believe that I am finally here in Thailand! I have settled into my new home in Ekkamai, Bangkok where I live with Celeste and Rachel two American missionaries who work for NGO’s. My home is close to the city and it takes me roughly 45 minutes to commute to my language school.
I have been at language school for two weeks now and I am learning a lot of vocabulary and along with my classmates, we are tentatively making basic sentences in Thai, but it’s hard! There are 5 tones in Thai, low, rising, mid, high and falling tone. So, for example, depending on the tone that you say the word ‘maa’, will depend on whether you say dog, horse, mother or ‘come here’!! However, despite my struggles, the Thai’s really appreciate that you try and speak their language, I have had a few people exclaim ‘paasaa Thai’ (you speak Thai) to which I respond – ‘nit noi’ (a little). But the joy on their faces is evident!
I attend language school every morning from 9-12 and on a couple of afternoons a week, I have been helping to teach English at Mittraphap church, a new church plant near Ramkhamhaeng university. The journey to the English class is quite long, a minimum of 1 hour each way, but I really enjoy it. I am now familiar with the bus route and I haven’t gone wrong yet!
On Thursday it was a national holiday – Fathers Day of the late king. There are 16 national holidays in Thailand, compared to our 8, some are Buddhist celebrations, and some are in honour of the royal family. For this national holiday, I went to a beautiful park with my friend Gift (who runs the language school). It’s not a place that westerners go to, so it was nice to see how the Thai’s celebrate this day. The park was full of lights and there were many traditional food stalls, a floating market and a stage with traditional dancing. It was a special evening.
The temperature here has gone down to the mid 20’s; it was the mid 30’s when I arrived. The Thai’s are all wrapped up and complaining about how cold it is but I am relishing the break in the hot weather! I am praying that I adjust to the heat soon because from March – May its SO hot and humid.
Thailand doesn’t celebrate Christmas like in the west, but they seem to enjoy putting up the Christmas decorations to celebrate with us! Christmas in a hot country is very weird!! I am spending Christmas in the north at the village I went to last March, if I don’t manage to update my blog before then, I pray that you will all have a fantastic Christmas with your friends and loved ones.