I Leave for Africa with the Peace Corps on October 4th

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Teaching Kindergarten at Ban Bo Phut elementary school, Koh Samui

It’s all confirmed; I leave for Africa with the Peace Corps on October 4th. I called to make sure all my paperwork was in order, as I hadn’t received a confirmation in writing, and I have to sell my car and pay for a storage unit.

My recent Bamboo Project volunteering, was the best thing I did to prepare for the next stage of my life: Teaching primary education in Lesotho, Southern Africa, on October 6th, for  a 27-month period.

Thailand taught me the importance of accepting that things are done differently, to be flexible, and to understand the local “Thai” way of teaching and doing things.
In the beginning I struggled with the way we had to teach. It was so different from what I learned (t) in British English, at my TESOL course in Greenwich in May. Most of the teaching at our school was based on repetition and copying from the board.  I felt like the children did not understand what we were talking about, and asking a question was impossible.  The kids would repeat what I said (out of habit) but apart from one or two in the class, most kids could not answer my questions.
The Bamboo Project was about more than teaching. I had to live in a communal (student-style) accommodation, where we shared one toilet and two showers among seven people. It brought back fond memories of college dorm days.
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Our living room

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Living room and kitchen with tiny fridge crammed with our drinks and food

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The downstairs shower became my own. Cold water and a handle that popped off every time I turned it.

I loved my new routine of getting up at 5:30 a.m., making Nescafe, and then checking e-mails and blogging. I realized that everyone else stayed in bed until 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at the pick-up stop for school. I have no idea how young people can roll out of bed and be ready in 10 minutes.

Jeep Bamboo

Ready for our Jeep Pick-up at 7:30 a.m.

I also enjoyed the nightlife with the volunteers at the ARK,a beachfront night club. You’ll see some amazing stuff from 1:50 seconds into the video.

Amazing fireworks from 1:50 onwards.

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Having dinner at Zanzibar cafe after teaching.

Now I start teaching in an Orange County, California, primary school, and look forward to learning some new skills, before I leave for Lesotho, with the Peace Corps.

 

Comments (4)

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  1. Really great that you’re doing so much. Yes, teaching in reality is SOOOOOOO different from what we learn on out TEFL courses, especially in different parts of the world. TEFL shows you the theory, how it ‘should’ be done (what is ‘should’ these days?!) In practise, it works so differently, as in most things in life.
    At least you have that certificate though.

    Keep us up to date as and when you can. Very much enjoying hearing about your new life journey.
    Rebecca Hall (Bex) recently posted..An English girl in AmericaMy Profile

  2. Sonia Marsh says:

    Rebecca,

    I remember you telling me this when I met you in Greece before my TESOL course.
    Sonia Marsh recently posted..I Leave for Africa with the Peace Corps on October 4thMy Profile

  3. I just found the option to subscribe to your posts by email, Sonia, so I’ll be following your new adventures! Good luck and safe travels.
    Patricia Stoltey recently posted..My guest blogger tomorrow is Catriona McPherson, President of Sisters in Crime NationalMy Profile

  4. How very interesting! And fun! You’re a teacher and loving it! I taught for five years and it’s the most rewarding career. Always underpaid or you do it out of love. Enjoying your experiences vicariously.
    PS My new website for Getting Rid of Ian is just going up and I’m keeping http://www.donthangupbook.com for next book or books.

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