I wrote this four weeks ago before I left for vacation and then forgot to publish it.
Last week, the school was giving students their final exams for the semester. Nee and I are heading to Bangkok during the three week break starting Wednesday. Before I go, I will be a judge once again at a speech competition at my school. Once again I will get the chance to meet other native English speaking teachers as well as students from all around the valley. As school came to a close, Nee and I had a busy social life.
Thursday night we were invited to dinner by our Singaporean friend who is staying at a place owned by one of the local hilltribes. Tek Hoi came here as a missionary from Singapore and made a lasting connection with the Lahu tribe. Months ago, he took me and another teacher on a tour of their hotel where we ate dinner last night. The tribe is based on a nearby mountain named after the grandfather of the group feeding us. The museum has photos of the gentleman with the King agreeing to start raising food crops rather than opium. Thailand, especially northern Thailand is filled with a rich history of challenges and intrigue. This family has been running a tribe-owned hotel which gives its profits to the tribe. We were treated to a meal of fried fish, boiled fish, black chicken, a Chinese delicacy, various vegetables and fruits and brown rice. All came from the Lahu lands. Throughout the meal we drank tea from the same mountain where Nee and I had visited a few weeks earlier.
Last night we were invited to join a cooking class offered by one of the teachers. She is responsible for teaching Thai culture to the students, including cooking and dancing. She is a traditional Thai teacher who loves the students and the students respect her. We arrived at the house with another teacher, my partner at work, to see several students from my Matthayom 4 class. "Hi, Teacher Roy," greeted me. I spent the evening talking to a young man in my 404 class who wants to improve his English. Nee occasionally had to assist though mostly he was able to hold his own. I told him I would continue to help him throughout the year.
In the short time since we moved here, Nee and I have found ourselves with a bigger social life then ever before.