I've now worked at four English Camps and each has been incredible. The days are long, hot and tiring but it is an amazing experience none the less. Each camp is held at a diffrent school and its fun to be in a new place as I never really know what to expect. The second camp I did was actually teaching Thai teachers English, some of whom had been teaching for more than 20 years, it was strange to have them listening to me. We ran a similar program to the one we did with the kids and they got almost as silly and as loud as the kids did. It was a good chance for them to let thier down, they all really enjoyed it.
The third I worked was held at a scout camp, it was three hours drive away so we went up the night before and stayed over. When we settled in we were invited to drink whiskey and sing karaoke with the scout leaders/teachers but sadly I had to decline, I was shattered from a heavy one the night before so I had to get an early one. 10AM the next day, when it was break time, I disappeared down to the lake to have a ciggy. Here I came accross three of the teachers still awake, still drinking, and karaoke was still being sung. Obviously they had the day off and apparently a 24 hour karaoke party is the norm in Thailand but it was just so strange because it was all happening on the grounds, that definitely wouldn't happen in England. The English Camp with the scouts was good, they were 16-18 years old and most enjoyed it but I got the feeling the level of English they knew was low and nobody wanted to volunteer for anything, I had to almost drag some students to the front to get them to do anything. The camp was only a one dayer and in the evening we headed back to Ayutthaya where I was given the keys to an apartment, I was told so long as im working for LS I can stay here for free, I was pretty chuffed with that as it will save me a fair bit of money.
My first thought on opening the door to the apartment was that is was quite big, bigger than the rooms I've been staying in at the guesthouses. It is basically one room with double bed, wardrobe, dressor, fridge and TV. It has AC and a fan, a pretty big bathroom and small balcony to hang out the washing. My second thought of the aprtment was that it was filthy! My company rent this long term and have various people stay in it that work for them, I dont think any of them bothered to clean the bathroom in a long time and the sheets on the bed were only good for burning, luckily though there was a clean set so I could change them. I was pretty tired again so switched on the TV searching for for something English, my options are CNN, HBO movies and MTV. I got an early night again as I had to be up at 6AM for another camp.
Upon arrival to this new school I discovered we would be teaching primary kids of 10/11 years old, I was exited for it. There were 250 of them so I had a big group of nearly 40 to look after, they had bundles of energy and it was a full on day. It was extremely hot that day as we were outside with no fans but this camp turned out to be my favourite of them all. All the kids were willing to participate and there was no shortage of volunteers for anything, they truly were great kids. This camp was again only a one dayer and for the last activity we did the baloon toss, it pretty much turned into a huge water fight, it was a good laugh for all. At the end of the day we headed back and I went back to my (still dirty) apartment.
The following day was cleaning time, I asked my friend Fai to take me to big Tesco so I could get all the bits I needed. It was predominantly a lot of bathroom cleaner stuff to random bits like coat hangers and a small rug. I also wanted to buy foam padding to put on the bed as its harder than concrete. After a couple hours at the mall I had successfully aquired everything I needed, and in fact half of the stuff Fai said she could lend me which saved me some money. When we got back she offered to help me clean, I said of course she didnt have to but she insisted, she turned the bathroom around completely while I sorted the room out, she also cleaned the fridge and balcony for me. When everything was done I felt much better, im going to be here for a month of more so I wanted to make it nice. The only thing I need now is a big poster for the wall.
In the evening to say thank you I bought Fai dinner, she took me to a place I hadn't been to yet, it was a weekend market with food, clothes and.. pets. There were a vast array of animals for sale including, believe it or not, an alligator for 12,000 baht (£240). I felt pretty bad to be honest although surprisingly most of the animals looked reasonably well kept and healthy. We went to a bar to grab some food and shortly after sitting down two guys walk past with a frigging elephant! They were selling bananas so you could feed it but I found it highly unethical, the place we were was no place for an elephant. After a couple beers nature was calling so I went to the toilet, here I was taken suprise by an impromptu neck massage half way through peeing. Luckily I had read online that this happens in some places or I would have been seriously concerned. They have an attendant in there who comes behind you with a hot towel and starts giving a neck massage while you empty your bladder. When I was finished he then clicked my back for me, it was invigorating but very weird at the same time, I gave him 20 baht as a tip. Thailand never ceases to amaze me, everyday there is always something.
Last night I went to the cinema with Fai to watch the hunger games, they dont currently have any English speaking movies but I was happy to watch the subtitled version, she called to check it had subs but there must have been miscommunication as when the movie started there were no subs in sight. I tried it for about half hour and fell asleep, shortly after so did Fai, she said the translation was very hard to grasp and she hadn't seen the first one either so we left. We went to a cool Thai bar where I was the only farang, later on we grabbed a bottle of Hong Thong and headed back to my (clean) apartment.
I have a few more days off before the next camp, this one will be a three dayer. I'm not quite sure where it is, in fact I never really do untill I get in the car. Im looking forward to it. On Wednesday Fai is taking me to Lop Buri about an hour or so north because I want to see the monkeys there that roam the temples.
Sorry this was a long post but I was a bit behind, I'd like to break up paragraphs with pictures but I write this from my 7" tab with the blogger app which is buggy. If I upload a pic it throws all the formatting out and takes a long time to correct which is why I havent bothered. Thanks for reading!