Wednesday, March 25, 2015


We finally got some rain!! Monday I went out with a friend for some ice cream after school.  Of course when I decided to come home was when the storm decided to come! I had to drive extra slow because of the fierce winds and sputtering rain.  It only lasted a few minutes though.  Tuesday however was a downpour.  The winds were still fierce but the rain was fiercer.  It probably rained a solid hour or two.  It rained so hard that our roof began to leak! What a way to start not-rainy season.  Our landlady stopped by that night though and we told her about it.  She said she would get it fixed soon.  She rocks.

The rain was great for so many reasons.  It wiped out the pollution so we were in the safe zone, green, at 50 levels and very clean.  It cooled things down. I actually was cold again on my motorbike in the morning.  And it brought clean air and freshness to this dull season.  The kids loved it too because it meant outdoor activities again!  They were able to have full recess, PE, and after school activities again!  whoooohooooo.  Let's be honest though, it is probably the only time of year when I like the rain!  I am not ready for rainy season yet... good thing I should have a couple months still... hopefully.

The Tri-Sport Tournament was a huge success.  We tied for first place!! I think I mentioned that it was a point based system with a win getting 3 points, a tie 1, and loss obviously 0.  We played as a school so both the girls and boys team points were totaled together.  The school that hosted it was the other winner so they were generous enough to give us the trophy.  So I have decided to tell people that we brought home first place rather than that we tied!

It was so fun to be with the team and have athletics be the focus of three days.  It was exhausting and hot as well though.  The kids were awesome.  They were great sports and did amazing.  New relationships were made and others were strengthened.  It was a great time and something I hope I get to do again.

Here are both the winning teams and the coaches. Sorry for the poor quality!

And an action shot! Thanks to the parent who took this ;)

And this was taken by a student on the yearbook staff who brought a GIANT camera with him!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pollution - Part 2

Well the pollution is still bad. We had our second week of absolutely no recess time.  Every recess is indoors in our classrooms.  That is an extra 45 minutes with the students each day... yes we have a lot of recess time!  Towards the end of the week it seems better, but we dont have school on Fridays this month for various reasons and holidays.  So we have had to deal with it.

My students have been wonderful though.  We have been playing Spot It (thanks mom!), Uno, Jenga, and so many other things.  The kids have been staying quiet, letting me work, and occasionally offering me to join their game.  I definitely am counting my blessings as this is not the case with other classes.

It has also been disappointing for our athletes.  We have had to cancel many after school activities as well. Our school participates in a Tri-Sport Tournament in Bangkok every year. The best 12 boys and 12 girls from the varsity teams play three sports (volleyball, basketball, and soccer) competing against 3 other schools playing 9 games in 3 days!  I am coaching the volleyball and basketball for the girls.  But because of the pollution we have barely had practice, like 30 minutes per sport, and we leave tomorrow!

I am very excited to go though. It will be better air.  A lot of fun. And I might get to go back to IKEA! Plus it will be a great experience and I am sure the teams will be great... right?!  My bags are basically packed.  Skittles... the essentials... my pillow/blanket, an owl, a friend got me for Christmas.

Not much else is happening here though.  Chico got a haircut.  Moe is working on his masters thesis though he has had some drama, which you can ask him about. The third quarter of school is over.  Report cards are due. April Break, spring break, is 2 weeks away and we are counting down the days.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Last week my bike broke down.  The battery died. Simple fix here. It cost 150 baht which is about 3 bucks.  Problem is, it took 2 days to fix. Plus we got it back and the next morning it was still broken because we didnt drive it around enough the first day.  So It was basically the whole week that I did not have a bike.  I decided to take the time to walk to school. It was the last week in February and somehow I knew it was going to be the last nice weathered week.  I walked to school in pants and a cardigan almost everyday and did not over heat or get too sweaty!

One day a parent of a student in my class saw me walking and picked me up! It was so cute and kind of her.  This is the kind of community I am in.  People help each other whenever possible and it is truly amazing.

Anyway, my gut was right that it was the last nice week.  Monday morning (sunday too, but I was inside all day!) was gross.  Farmers had begun their traditional slash and burn methods and the skies were gray with ash.  You could almost see the ash.  We had to have inside everything that day.  The AQI (air quality index) was 120, which America says 50 is the level air should be at.

Also, Monday was our last basketball practice as Tuesday was the tournament.  We had to have a "walking only" practice, which was a little difficult!  But the girls did it wonderfully.  We werent sure if we were going to be able to play in the tournament on Tuesday if the levels were still too high.

Tuesday was a little better but still inside recesses in the morning.  The AQI was only 105! We did have our basketball tournament.  The first game was outside in the 100 degree heat and the 100 AQI levels! It was rough. But again the girls were troopers.  The championship game was next. It was a good battle, full of drama, but it was a display of our growth.  Sadly we lost but I am so proud to be part of the team and thankful for each of them.  Here is a picture I stole from one of their facebooks... I hope that is allowed!

Today is a national holiday! So a day off of school! It is so nice, especially after a long night.  It is a Buddhist holiday that I wont even try to spell or say.  Our housekeeper still came, though only for a half day. We told her she didnt have to, but she wanted to.  She brought her twin daughters with her and they are soooooo cute! I love hearing them playing with Chico, chasing him around, and trying to get him to sit!   Here is a picture of them.   They were standing still for once, so he had to sniff them!

Also, side note - the pollution is getting better! Today it is only 85 which is considered moderate and not unhealthy!  This would have meant regular recesses today - wooohooo.