I said Krabi. Not Crabs. FINAL UPDATE FROM AO LUK!
Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
22Trip End Aug 07, 2010
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Hi Guys, long time no blog - I know. Sorry. Lots on our plate recently and I figured it best to write one last blog and write it in two segments, rather than two shorter and more disjointed ones.
Firstly - I leave Ao Luk in two days time (Saturday)!! It's absolutely crazy to think I've already been here two and a half months - it's just gone by so quickly! Bangkok (as I'm sure you know) is a pretty hectic place atm, but I'll get to that in due course.
On Friday last week we had the last of our community projects (teaching kids again), which was pretty sad. We had a mix of ages and I was once again paired with the MIGHTY Zed and Lee to teach numbers
The last couple of weeks since my last post have been pretty much dedicated entirely towards lesson planning/ teaching / preparing for the end of term and end of term party tomorrow night. I had my last lesson last night (choc-a-bloc with grammar and tense revision) and plan to dedicate today's lesson to playing games and enjoying ourselves. I've made a full-on replica of a scrabble board and we'll be cracking that out and just having general conversation as we go along.
Topics we've covered have been Windsor, London, traditional English meals, English customs and holidays, England and the UK as a whole, America, man going to the moon, conspiracies (including Tupac lives!) and all sorts of others. Pretty fun for both students and teacher and it gave me a bit of flexibility with letting me do exactly what it was I wanted to do
Last weekend a bunch of us also went to both 'the Emerald Pool' and the 'Hot Springs;' two famous tourist attractions in Krabi. I'll put up the photos for you to see for yourselves but they were awesome. The Emerald Pool was a natural pool that was - you guessed it - emerald in colour (due to the minerals in the soil and water, apparantly). We got there just before the main groups of tourists and enjoyed a nice refreshing swim there. Lovely. Next we went for lunch and then to the Hot Springs. As you might have guessed from the name, the springs at the top of the waterfall contained hot water. By hot I mean, jacuzzi hot.. it was awesome! You'd be surprised just how nice it is to be in a (completely natural) jacuzzi in hot weather, but it was.
As you all know yesterday (Wednesday) was St. Patrick's Day and so, as is customary, the end of term party tonight will take on a theme to do with the time of year and everything will be decked in green to celebrate. Last night was a chilled out 'prop-making' party, where everyone spent the evening cutting out shamrocks and drawing leprechauns. Like I said, this post will take the form of one blog (written on two different days), so by the time you've finished reading the post you'll know all about what happened at the end of term party
Today one of my students who's a tour guide called Gift invited me and a bunch of other teachers out to take a little boat trip out to a beach for the morning before walking through some local caves. Both the beach and caves were great and it was a perfect way to see and say goodbye to the area.
We haven't really been out or partied much of late, bar a few quiet exceptions. Alex, sadly, left the other day and Martin too is no longer with us, having boarded his flight earlier today. The rest of us leave on Saturday to go our separate ways. Sad times all round! Still, onwards and upwards onto even more new and exciting things.
I ought to go because I have an hour before I need to leave for my LAST EVER lesson and want to shower/finish off designing my Scrabble board / get myself an ice cream (fatty) before I do. xxxx
Second Update of this post: Saturday 10th March, 2010
Hi guys... last blog from Ao Luk! We had the end of term party last night (St. Paddy's Day theme, of course!) and everyone leaves today. In fact, as I write this, many people have already left. Lots of tears all round, especially between those who've been here the longest. Ella and I take a 12 hour bus to get to Bangkok (which gets there at 5 in the morning!), but that's not til later today and it looks like we're going to be the last ones on base!
The end of term party itself was fun but a lot more well-behaved than the last one (Valentine's Day theme, 6 weeks ago). Lots of students came (wearing green, of course) and brought a hell of a lot of food with them. YUMMMMMM. The decorations were up, the party atmosphere was there (eventually) and it was touching to see so many people chatting with their students over dinner and to see how well everyone had bonded with the local community.
My students Gift and Pui were there, but sadly Teom couldn't make it. Pui could only stop by briefly but had brought me a necklace which she'd bought especially for me... An act of generosity I very much appreciated.
As you are no doubt aware, there are a few unhappy people in Bangkok (to put it one way) and a lot of people have expressed concern with the fact that Ella and I are deliberately choosing to go there. Sure, there are lots of headline-grabbing pictures and articles being thrown around, but having spoken to Sam (a Thai man who lives in Bangkok and a family friend), it seems as though the actual happenings and reasons behind them have been exaggerated. Here's an extract from a recent BBC News article:
''The red-shirt leaders have, thus far, managed to maintain discipline. Yes, there has been blood spilled, during ritualistic curses at both Government House and Mr Abhisit's private residence, but there has been no violence. The government has allowed the demonstrations to take place, avoiding confrontation. The security forces have held back.''
The link to the full article is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8575851.stm
Another article I read said that ''The group also reaffirmed its commitment to nonviolence, and announced it is breaking ties with allies who had made high-profile threats of attacks on government officials and institutions.''
In any case, the place we'll be staying at is on the other side of town to where the main troubles seem to be going down and (fingers crossed) there won't be any drama
All I can say now is that it's been a tremendous ten weeks here with GVI. The people have been awesome, the community extremely welcoming and the teaching was far more fulfilling (and difficult!) than I could ever have expected. I hope to stay in touch with many of the people I've met here and look forward to seeing them all outside of Thailand and in some nice, fresh, clean colthes (for once).Only thing to say now is... next stop Bangkok! xxxxxxxxxxx