Susan & Ted's 1st Report

Photos with 1st Report - Adobe .pdf file (390 KB)

June 29, 2003

Dear Family and Friends,

We have been in Thailand for a week now. This is our second visit here and we love it. The people & the food are wonderful. The people are soft, polite, respectful and full of smiles. We know only a few words of their language, but have little problem keeping ourselves fed and dealing with daily life. The food is fresh and spicy. Ted loves the fresh mushrooms and fresh squid. Susan loves the variety of vegetables and we both love the weird fruits. Some look like they are grown on another planet. 

We are living in the home of our friend, Yupadee. She is an English teacher and we live in an upstairs room in her home. We sleep on hard mattresses on the floor. It is awkward for us old folks - kinda reminiscent of "hippy days". It is clean and comfortable. She (like us) doesn't cook much. But it is no problem -- there are dozens of tiny food shops (mini-restarurants) within a block or two.

Our job is to teach English to poor children. Each week we will teach 11 classes (over four days) at one school, and 4 classes (in one day) at another school. In total, we teach 500+ kids a week (our classes are big!). All the kids have a basic background in English grammar, so our job is to focus on exercises that practice reading (comprehension), speaking (pronunciation), listening, and writing. It's still a lot of work, but much easier than trying to teach grammar when you don't speak the local language. We are learning a few words each day - mostly words that help us eat what we like and avoid what we don't, how to find the right bathroom, how to read the numbers over the classrooms, etc.

This weekend we've toured a little. Yesterday a friend drove us to visit the Palace of King Rama VI (early 20th century) in Nakhom Pathom - about a half hour from Ban Pong. 

Today we borrowed Yupadee's car and drove out to the nursing college where we taught two years ago and re-familiarized ourselves with the countryside and roadways. After three hours of driving around, and walking around a couple of beautiful Buddhist temples, we came home - Ted was exhausted from driving on the left side of the road, and having the steering wheel on the right side of the car. He says the concentration it takes is harder than learning a new language.

We've attached photos of local scenes for your enjoyment.


Susan y Ted

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