You may notice that it has been a while since I last updated my blog. This is not, as many would think, a result of nothing significant happening during the absence; but it is in fact the opposite. So much has been happening that every time I told myself I need to sit down and write a new blog submission I would feel that it was just too much to write about in a single submission and would simply end up losing ground and would end up still writing about my exchange even after I came back to the United States. This is the kind of experience you can expect if you become an exchange student. There are so many new, foreign things that occur around you every day that for a while you will simply be overwhelmed and at times awed by it. Eventually things settle down though, and so now things have for me, and I have a moment to write a bit of the things that have occurred in the last month or so.
Currently I am in a national park near Korat Thailand. It seems that I have some relatives who live here in the main house of a complex of houses and buildings. I think it may have been a small neighborhood at some point, but now it seems it is all just a bit of a resort like thing. Then again I could have the situation completely wrong. At any rate here I am, sitting at a twenty person dining table that sits just outside the kitchen and is situated underneath the second floor of the house. Our family is gathered here because my host cousin is becoming a monk. This is a very big deal in Thai culture and essentially all families want a son to become a monk. So this is a proud moment for the family and one which I am very grateful to be able to be a part of. The past 5 days I have been sick, so nothing to tell there. The week before that I was at a RYLA camp- that’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. It’s basically a Rotary sponsored event in which a lot of kids get together and they are put into positions of leadership and such. At the end of the camp awards are given out to the best students. This was a rather fun event for me as I got to get to know my camp group members pretty well and they were all really nice people. I was a not a little sad to be leaving them all. Also, because they come from all over the district 3340 in Thailand, there is a pretty good chance that I won’t be seeing them again. At the end though, because there were many exchange students present at the camp, they awarded a best male and female exchange student award, and my entire group was fervently demanding that I must be the one winning the male award. Of course the winner was the Brazilian who has been here since January and speaks Thai much better than any of the others. Nevertheless my group was rooting for me and at that moment I was proud of the job of representative that I had performed. None of the other exchange students other than a Japanese student had even attempted to stay with their groups and participate in the camp. Before this camp I had been out of school for week or so and hadn’t been doing much aside from having Thai lessons for an hour and playing a game that sounds like Takraw for two hours every day. It’s a bit like hacky sack and volleyball mixed into one. You will just have to Google it. Thailand is number one internationally in this sport and even the men who play on our local court every day seem to be at least as good as most other countries’ international teams. This is a fun way to stay in shape and I look forward to introducing the sport to wherever I end up after my exchange.
I begin classed again the 25th and I have rather mixed feelings about that. Of course it is quite boring because it is difficult to participate in the classes however that is where I get most of my socialization from and I do miss being around my friends from school. So things here are just like in the U.S. in that regard.