Since it's the day we usually toast to what we're thankful for, I thought I would share a few things that I'm grateful for in my new life in Thailand after my first month and a half here:
- Thai people and culture: They are so friendly and kind and generous - I have learned so much from them already and how they handle every situation with a "Mai Pen Rai" (no worries) attitude and a smile. I'm also obsessed with the tuk-tuks they use to get around, the "wai" they use to greet each other, and their deep love of karaoke.
- Travel opportunities: There are so many beautiful sights to see in this country, I've already seen so many great sunsets, waterfalls, elephants, mountains, beaches, and rice paddies, and there's so much more to do. I'm super thankful for easy and cheap transportation and lodging that allow me to explore this country, even on my teacher's salary.
- Meeting vagabonds: I love meeting people from Israel, South Africa, Italy, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Scotland, Australia, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, China and England as they travel around the world for 2 weeks or 1 year - it's such a great cultural exchange and I've met some really cool/interesting/inspiring peeps.
- My students: These kids provide endless entertainment, they are sweet, full of energy, and occasionally terrors - but they make me laugh and they challenge me every day to come up with new and exciting ways to teach them about my three favorite activities - reading, writing, and talking!
- My BFF Nell/Deej/DJ/Jill: It's so nice to have someone to share this crazy journey with - we travel, grab meals and test our ever-increasing tolerance for spicy food, take outdoor Jazzercise, commiserate and celebrate our lesson plan failures and successes, and practice our Thai together - it would be a much bigger adjustment here on my own.
And last but most certainly not least:
- My family and friends: I was worried I would lose touch with some people being so far away and out of contact, and then there's that whole 12-15 hour time difference to the States, but everyone has made so much effort to keep me updated. I am very, very thankful for all of the cards, packages, emails, facebook messages, tweets, g-chats, skype calls, etc that have been sent my way. I hope you enjoy your turkey and all of its' stuffings, go wild on Black Friday, and watch lots of football! Khob Khun Ka!