Monday, October 25, 2010

Feast Recap

We are already starting the third week of second semester. Since my last entry we had a three week "break" for the Feast. The Feast is always a busy time of year, and this year was no exception. We had families that came from the camps to stay at the school and it was definitely booked here!

This year we have a big first year class so it adds when students come for the first time. As usual I really enjoyed keeping the Feast with the students. The activities are more fun if we are all together.

Big FOT highlights are the following:

- FOOD - Lots and lots of Empress hotel buffets, where the students stock up on the assortment of desserts and load their plates with white rice.
- MUSIC - The students' performances and all of those who participated in the music at the Feast, it was wonderful to hear. This year I directed the choir and am mightily thankful that I started out with a talented bunch!
- Chiang Mai Zoo and SNOW DOME - Not only did we get to see many animals, but some of the students got a taste of a Minnesota winter when we went in the Snow Dome.
- Bowling - Every year the student activity is bowling and every year I think it is fun - however, my score gets lower with time!
- Swimming - The last night we all get to enjoy the pool under the big, beautiful sky. And during the Feast I get to enjoy it and soak up the sun! It never fails to relax me!
- Talent Night - This year I laughed so hard! These students can be total hams! I'm not surprised, I've seen it around school too, but still, they were very funny in their skit!

Here are some pics so you get an idea of what it was like:

Students at the zoo.

My favorite fella at the zoo - he was very entertaining!

Quick mid-Feast trip to Minnesota!

Good times bowling!

Special music

Our version of the Beatles (at Talent Night)

Beautiful girls

Handsome boys

See my swimming gear underneath? Yup, about to hop in the pool!

The crew minus three students.

The Feast was really enjoyable not just because of the things above, but also the fellowship and chance to hear so many messages! It was a very positive time.

(Posted by Aj Erika)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Little Garden Obsessed...

So I realize that I write more about the garden than almost anything else. I'm not even really sure why. I think it has to do with what the goal is for it more than the reality. Eventually, the school would like to be as self-sufficient as possible. This obviously entails growing our own food. While our garden definitely has spurts of production, it hasn't reached maximum output yet. In the meantime, I rejoice over the little things (case in point, check out the watermelon!). And, as someone on the receiving end, I do think this garden fresh food is especially tasty!

Take a look at a few of the vegetables that we were reaping a few weeks ago. (I use the term we a little loosely there - I mostly end up in the garden asking questions!)

An ear of corn

Green beans

Long beans


Watermelon - which never actually took unfortunately.

Pea eggplant

Corn planted down in the river - it's all flooded now!

Now, wouldn't YOU like a delicious soup with eggplant and long beans or a Saturday night treat of roasted corn? I thought so!

(Posted by Aj Erika)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not Just Apples!

So, what does a teacher get in Thailand? Well, I don't know about the norm, but when my students go home they generally bring back some fruit. Something like this...

I would say I'm pretty lucky! Coconut, mangoes, dragon fruit...don't mind if I do!

For the record, I would say even this is a bit beyond the norm for what I usually get!

(Posted by Aj. Erika)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Great Orators - or something like that!

(I actually wrote this a little over a week ago, but our internet was down for about a week so I wasn't able to post it.)

I just wanna brag on my students a little bit. Tonight the second year students gave their first speeches of the year.

We all worked really hard, and after a lot of writing and rewriting, the students got to a place where they could give practice speeches. After watching themselves and making suggestions for self-improvement (along with my suggestions) they were ready to take on the whole school! This year they had a decent sized audience with 25 people staring at them.

They all took it so seriously and were nervous. I was even nervous, although I did feel confidant in their abilities to do a good job. As the time drew near for speech night to start, I felt myself feeling like I used to when going to a special night in elementary school. The same nervous excitement.

Having all those students really helped with the atmosphere. There was a real feeling of support and enthusiasm. You could hear it in the applause and reactions to the speakers. They even kept their chitchatting to a minimum! That says a lot for this talkative bunch that is almost half girls!

As I listened to the speeches I found myself being impressed. Of course, I’d heard their speeches once before, and I’d read all of their outlines. Obviously this helped with my overall comprehension. They surprised me, though, and snuck in some new things – most of which were really good!

My confidence in them was well placed and then some! At the end of the speeches, I was so proud of them and I felt like they were proud of themselves, which is more important.

I’m definitely looking forward to more where that came from!

The following pictures are just stills we took from the videos.
DaNi giving us some information about his life...

...and Peto doing the same!

PS - I've added a subscribe feature at the top right of the blog. If you are interested, you can keep up with us that way. It will also save you trips to the blog if it hasn't been updated! However, we're really going to try to keep this thing updated!

(Posted by Aj Erika)

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 4th Fun!

July 4th in Thailand, you ask? Well, yes! We have some Americans here, and it sure doesn't hurt for the students to learn a little of that culture. Plus, it tastes good and is fun! This year was no exception - we had a great time playing games, eating food, and listening to or playing music.
Students gathered around making delicious hamburgers!

Two of our 1st year students - Spy and Soda.

Playing balloon toss.

Getting wet!

Another 1st year student - Sorawi.

Me having a taste of home!

No party is complete without ice cream!

Students adding music to the fun.

Clapping along and singing.

Another 4th has come and gone! It makes me miss the US. This year we didn't have firecrackers (which we usually do - and they're usually pretty awesome!) because we couldn't find any. Maybe a residual effect of the protests here where they used them to scare people. Anyway, it just doesn't seem as much like the 4th without fireworks - but, it was still a great party. And the hamburgers were delicious!

PS - Photo credits go to whatever student was holding the camera at the time.

(Posted by: Erika)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Newbies!

Last, but not least, I would like to introduce you to our newbies-- the first year students. What a daunting life they lead! They voluntarily come to a school where the teachers are all foreigners (they love this, by the way) and all the classes are taught in English from day 1. A scary thought in my opinion. So here are these brave, new individuals we are growing to know and love.

Namu enjoys being with her family.

Jatah who is our youngest student.

Atima is kind of quiet still. I'm sure this will change.

Saree likes to play soccer and attempts to stay awake during Bible class, which is in the heat of the day.

Jaju is a quiet observer.

Ben has an amazing voice, sweet personality and attempts to use her English any chance she gets.

MaTee loves all sports and using his English. He's always happy. He does have a fault - he was against the US in the World Cup. Boo!

Mhuay likes to play Phase 10 and keep the boys in line.

Soda says her English isn't good, but she is trying and it's fun to talk to her. She'll get it.

Gila is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. She loves to try to talk to all the teachers.

Spy is good friends with Soda. They love to sit, chit chat and listen to music. I like to hang out with them to try and improve my Thai. They are in the process of trying to convince me to stay at Legacy until they graduate.

Boy seemed very scared when I first met him. He is improving greatly on a daily basis.

Pim is sweet. She knows more than she leads on to understand.

I have the privilege of teaching them Bible class. I get to put to use my elementary teacher training in that class, which I love. We play games, draw and many other things. I know it doesn't sound like a Bible class, but we are trying to get them to know/ memorize some of the basics they either do not know or just not in the English language. It's a foundation for all of the other Bible classes at Legacy.

I'm excited to see how these students grow and prosper throughout the year. It's always fun to see their personalities once they begin to know more English. They will definitely get to that point, but it will take lots of determination, hard work, persistence and possibly even some sweat and tears.

You have now met Legacy's class of 2013.

-Aj. Elainea

Drum Roll Please...

Making it to your third year at Legacy takes a lot of hard work and determination. This year we have two wonderful, talented, bright, and interesting students. They have made it to year three and now just seven more months to the finish line.

You just get to see their serious picture since the other one had too many shadows.

Fon is the kitchen boss and an amazing cook! She loves singing, sports, doing anything musical and hanging out with her husband, Atiwat.

Uarorawet is a walking miracle. He's my student who was in a motorbike accident last year. He has the best outlook on life, loves playing the guitar and singing, loves his family dearly, and looks for the next mountain to climb in this life. Such an inspiration!

My third year students, the ones who really tugged on my heart and made me want to come back for year three and see them graduate. Their first year at Legacy was my first year. I am very proud of them and push them in their classes everyday. Fon says, "My homework makes me crazy." I just respond like any teacher will, if I didn't think you could do it, I wouldn't assign it. :) I guess I'm becoming a "mean" teacher in my old age.

-Aj. Elainea

Introducing My Second Year Students

I teach a bunch of characters in second year. There are nine of them. Five are Lahu Black, one is Lahu Yellow, two are Kachin, and one is Karen. They are really a goofy bunch in and out of the classroom. Most teachers have a difficult time getting their classes to quiet down, but not me. They are a quiet bunch in the classroom and sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get them to answer questions to which you know they know the answers. Even with the frustrating times that come, they are fun to teach! They have to be reminded every now and again of expectations, but other than that, they're a great group.

The goofy side of them

Atiwat is our farm/garden boss. He does a great job. He's always ready for the next challenge. He loves God, music and football.

Wahrut is a quiet, but smart and funny individual. He likes to laugh and hang out with his peeps at Legacy.

Surachai is our oldest student so he is more affectionately known as Ajan Surachai by the other students. He has to work hard, but really wants to learn. He loves to laugh, sing and have fun.

This guy is a first/ second year hybrid. This is his first year at Legacy, but his English was good enough to be moved up into the second year classes. He loves coffee, singing and talking on the phone.

SomPorn is always smiling (except in photos). He can brighten your day with his smile. He's very curious and wants to learn English very much. He's not afraid to ask you to explain something again.

Peto marches to his own drum in a good way. He doesn't crave to fit in. He's very trendy as you can tell by his hair. He's always ready to help and very appreciative after each class. He's not shy at all, well in class is a different story. You can hear Peto from anywhere on the school grounds belting out a song. It always makes me smile.

Samuey is the jokester! He loves to make people laugh. He's typically full of questions about everything including, "Do we have snacks?" "What happened Ajan?" and other questions about the Bible.

DaNi came my first at Legacy, but then had to leave. He then came back this past year. He likes to rival Samuey for being the class clown. He would rather find a good book to read or play on the computer rather than play soccer.

Here's our token girl for this class. She is very smart and like most girls at Legacy loves to talk on the phone, sing and go to jazzercise.

These are the gentlemen and lady that keep me on my toes in my Reading 2, Writing 2 and Discussion 2/3 classes. If they didn't keep me on my toes, I might get bored. Haha!

-Ajan Elainea