Yesterday marked TWO MONTHS since I left home. After getting accepted in the Peace Corps this past August, I tried to steer away from too much research and avoided creating a vision of what these 27 months would looks like. It's good I didn't set specific expectations because nothing could have prepared me for what I got. Leaving LA I was told to cherish the inexplicable feeling of fear and the unknown when boarding the plane to Thailand, and that the strong feeling I would experience is rare. I can't remember feeling such fear and excitement towards anything within the first 25 years of my life, but boarding that the plane would be not the only time I felt it, just my first. I also felt extremely crazy, scared, nervous, happy, sad, stupid, confused and many other things all at once that the day I got picked up by my host family, and the day I taught my first English class. In two weeks that fierce feeling will come back when I find out my site placement and have to go somewhere new without the support system that has gotten me through these past two months. Even though we came here as strangers I feel so connected to my fellow volunteers and not seeing them daily will be very hard to adjust to. I also have grown to love my host family; I feel at home with them and we've gotten so close. I don't think I am quite ready to start over with a new village and new family. I have no clue if I'll be a by a beach, city, mountains, Buddhist community, Muslim community, or something else! The suspense is killing me...this journey continues to make me FEEL SO MANY EMOTIONS!
With two weeks left I have been trying to process all that I've done and what will come next. Besides the technical sessions I will continue to have, (we talk about curriculum, methods of teaching, working with a Thai counter part, etc.) all the volunteers taught 14 lessons over the course of two weeks at various schools in Supan Buri. I taught first and second graders, and worked with a counterpart to teach fifth and sixth grade. I started my classes with classroom management techniques that worked really well. My lessons were not great, some days were a mess, but no matter what the kids had fun and learned something new each day. I taught them actions words, colors, body parts, emotions, and they learned how to ask and answer some questions. More importantly, I learned something new about teaching every day, and over the course of two weeks my lessons improved. I surprised myself when I ended up incorporating singing into all my lessons, mainly because I am not a good singer. Even on my worst lesson, I was able to see the silver lining and know what changes I will make and how I will adjust when I get to site. My friends were so supportive and came to watch my lessons with the Thai teachers, and they all gave me constructive, helpful feedback. I am so lucky to experience all of this with such a supportive group. I still don't believe that just 2 months ago we were living in different parts of America. I feel like so much has happened, but in retrospect this is just the beginning and I can't even try to imagine what is ahead. I can't wait to get settled into a new town, to work with a class consistently for two years, and to really immerse myself into the community and school!