Here in Thailand the weather is starting to change. After 3 months of seeing no rain, last Thursday there was a big downpour of rain in the afternoon. I walked out of a building to see clouds, which was so strange! Then within 30 minutes it started to rain but only for a couple of hours. Since then it has been gradually getting more humid and next week it is creeping up to 36 degrees….! There are 3 seasons here, hot, cold and rainy. I have been here for the ‘cold’ season (which was definitely not cold to me) and we are gradually going into the hot season. I will miss the rainy season which is from June – September, but I’m guessing I won’t have missed much being as I am from the UK. The only difference is that it rains much harder and then is quickly finished.
This week at language school I have gone up a level to Journey 3. The teacher rarely speaks English and speaks faster than normal, which is the only way to truly absorb the language. We have started to learn more vocabulary about senses & feelings, the weather and transitional verbs – more and less. We are speaking more complex sentences and I am starting to grasp more, but despite this I still struggle to structure the sentences correctly!
You will also be pleased to know that I passed my Thai test at the Ministry of Education two weeks ago! I went with a representative from the language school and two other students. When we arrived, we sat in a large office and waited to see one of the officers. Fortunately, when my time came to be interviewed, she asked me some easy questions – what is your name, how old are you, where do you come from etc. And despite learning to read and write a small amount of Thai, I wasn’t asked any of this. Phew! Thank you for your prayers.
I continue to help teach English at Mittraphap Church and Gift the English teacher recently started teaching a small group of young children. One girl has no English at all, so it helped to be able to speak some Thai so I could help her understand.
I have started to realise how much I am absorbing the culture when last week I walked home with my take-away food. Street food is a big part of the culture here and you frequently see people serving food on the street with a long line of people waiting. Then you see people walking to work or back home with their various take-away boxes. It’s a way of life here. You also see people walking to work with various cups of ice coffee, and yes I now do this with one concession I only drink hot coffee! It still feels weird to ask for hot coffee and to ask for iced tea is just wrong!!
Next month a BTBAB team will be joining me for a couple of weeks. They are all good friends of mine so it will be really good to spend some time with them.