Nong Khai Travel Blog› entry 18 of 69 › view all entries
Arrived at Nong Khai about 9am and were met my Meow who took us back to the T2T dorm. After a much needed shower (the thai kind, you have to just pour cold water over yourself- will take some getting used to!). Then we had some breakfast and a tour around NongKhai.
Later we had our first Thai language class and then we helped Meow with some thai cooking. We also got our bikes this afternoon, it is the best way to get around town, they remind me of the bikes from ET! Tried the famous banana pancakes from 'the banana pancake lady', well worth a visit! In the evening there was a bbq with all the volunteers as it was Honzik's birthday. It was good to meet everyone. I went to a bar for a bit afterwards but pretty early night after all the travelling.
Relaxing morning followed by a not particularly stressful afternoon at the pool where we had oru thai language class. Lovely and hot at the pool. In the evening I went to teach the monks. Was good fun. As a girl you can't touch the monks or even pass them anything, so you have to remember to put things down for them to take. Some Pad Thai for about 30p for dinner, really good! Followed by another of the pancakes- think they could be my downfall!
Stated at my proper teaching placement today. Am working at the Non Formal Education Centre, for a couple of weeks we aer teaching the staff there and then I think we will teach the pupils. I take the lessons with Honzik from Netherlands and Chris from Germany. Today we were teaching them some tenses and also doing conversations to practice pronounciation. Is difficult as their English levels vary and you don't know where to start btu sure it will get easier.
In the afternoon I went with Connie, Steph(germany) and Sieb(Netherlands) to Namsom where some others are volunteering as we have a long weekend for a budhist holiday.
Had a good weekend in Namsom. The first night we went to an annal party at the temple, some games like at a fair and a huge stage with dancing and singing- didn't recognize any of the thai songs! It was a 24 hour party so we listened to the music in bed all night! On Staurday we did a motorbike tour around the Namsom area, was amazing scenery and really good fun. Some one drove each of us- probably a good thing as some of the corners up the hill were a bit hairy! Went to tha Karaoke bar that night, again a lot of thai songs- maybe they were growing on me by the end but I won't be rushing out to buy the CD I don't think.
Namsom is a smaller town than NongKhai so we were about the only Westerners, very where you go people shout 'Farang' and 'hello, hello'. At the market we tried Crickets or some other similar bug, not too bad but won't be rushing out for a bag full!
Was a good weekend, headed back to NongKhai on Monday in time for cleaning the dorm, a trip to tescos (a bit different to home- tanks of live shrimps etc...) and some more Pad Thai. In the evening we went to the temple (special budha day) and everyone was sending up these huge paper lantern, you set alight underneath and the hot air sends them all up into the sky and there's a whole row of them. Looks amazing. Steph, Marius, Connie and I did one. Apparently they do it in the film of the beach but I can't remember.
Started volunteering at the orphanage today. I will do and hour and a half everyday. The kids are all aged under about 1.5years, they are so cute!
Watched some Muay Thai (thai boxing) today. Was good to have seen it but it went on for ages! We saw about 3 hours and it still hadn't got onto the adult fighters. Saw lots of kids fighting, some looked about 5 years old. Was sad to see them fighting each other but thnk it is an honour for them, and there is a lot of prize money at stake.
Had a good few days. Thursday night was someone's birthday so went out with all the other volunteers. before we went out we had thai cooking class. One of the things we had to make was thai green curry. On my first attempt all I'd added was the oil when it caught alight, in my shock I added the green curry paste- this only increased the flames! The second attempt was much better! Had a good weekend. On Saturday went to this Scultpure park. Had absolutely huge sculptures in it, a lot of Budhist and Hindu ones. Also there was a big shrine to the man who had built the park who had died 10 years ago. The shrine included pictures of him in hospital, his old wheelchairs, pictures of his blood that he'd been sick just before he died and last but definately not least, his body! The body was in a big clear dome on top of a gold thing with flashing christmas lights on it, one of the strangest things I've ever seen!
On sunday we went to the swimming pool which was really nice, the best place to be in the heat. Then in the evening we did this sunset boat trip on the Mekong river, you can see Thailand on one side and Laos on the other, was beautiful.
Had a good week last week. Same teaching and orphanage as last week but also helped to paint an old classroom at a school so it could be used again. Dad would be proud, this week has been a practical week, unblocking sinks, mending bike tyres, putting up shelves etc... taught the monks again, one called Ping Pong is very funny, impossible to understand, speaks like he's holding his nose. On Friday night I went to Udon Thani to help at an English camp on the saturday. 4 of us went, stayed at the teachers house. Was really nice, went for dinner, shopping etc... as well as actually teaching. The kids were 17/18 but with varying levels of english! Went out on saturday night when we got back to a club called Hollywood, lots of fun!