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

Sunday, July 11, 2010

...The Making of a Garden

When I thought about my bench, I envisioned it at the end of a path in a little garden by the teachers' house. These are more ideas that I shared with the boys before school. Well, reshared actually. We'd already started part of the process for the garden awhile back when they made the compost bin.

DaNi, Uaorawet, and Atiwat putting up chicken wire for the compost.

The overgrown area by the teachers' house.

Samuey waters the newly planted squash, tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers.

Taking a break to eat a snack - fruit and chili!

The finished garden with the gravel walkway and bench!

Now we are just waiting for the vegetables and flowers to grow. The vegetables are growing really well, but it looks like we will have to wait on beautiful flowers lining the walkway!

Posted by: Erika

The Making of a Bench

A few years ago at a local garden I saw a bamboo bench that I really liked. I've thought about that bench since, and wanted one here at school. A few days before school started, I stood around with some of the boys and shared my ideas. Before I knew it they took them and ran with them! They gathered bamboo at the farm and made me a very cool bench!

The boys discussing the design.

Atiwat holding in the bamboo so it could be nailed.

The stripped pieces of wood they put inside the bamboo to make it stronger.

Surachai checking out nature's cup holder!

The three "movers and shakers" on this project - Atiwat, Uaorawet, and Surachai.

The bench getting some use.

When the bench was being hauled away in the truck (to the school) Atiwat said, "My company has a guarantee, if you have a problem with your bench tell me!" Well, no problems to report yet!

Posted by: Erika