Wow, it's been three weeks already since I first arrived in Nong Khai to teach at Isara.I've been really enjoying myself here, Nong Khai is a tiny little town with all the shops you'd need including a huge Tesco Lotus which I hate to admit has become a good friend for two reasons really: for starters it has a/c!!! Here you really need it, it's so hot just getting an hours relief in the store is blissful, and secondly they have provided me with delicious banana muffins for my breakfast :-)
We've got loads of great places to eat including my favourite roti (pancake to you and me) lady, she makes amazing roti filled with bananas, raisins and condensed milk (sooo sweet), they're so good at only 20baht which is 50p that I asked her name- Pun.We now wave to each other as I cycle around Nong Khai.
The food for dinner and lunch is also incredible with cheap little stalls alongside the road selling freshly made Pad thai and Pad See Ew for 30 baht, I've got my favourites already. Although you can get away from Thai food if you want by grabbing pizza or going to the local indian restaurant- very spicy food here!
Enough about food though which did I mention is amazing, the school kids are amazing. I've been teaching every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings for 3 hours to three different ages and abilities. My favourite group are the adult group, my last lesson of the evening They have great English already so you can really have fun with them and get them to act out roleplays, make pretend phonecalls to each other- such an easy class as it seems more like fun than teaching! Then I've got the little kids which we go through colours and fruit and things that they like, they're fun too especially when you give them a sheet to fill in and get things back like my name is snake, my favourite animal is red...you can tell they've tried to copy their friend and not very successfully!
Then I've been keeping myself busy, I wanted to help out as much as possible whilst I'm here, I've visited Teacher Dave's school (a local english teacher who also volunteers his time at Isara) in nearby village Si Chiang Rai a couple of times. It was great to see a proper English teacher in action and I borrowed quite a few ideas for lessons and resources from him- will definitely use some of Teacher Dave's Teaching Tips in my lessons back in the UK!! Then I've been visiting another school only 15mins away called Ban Nong Jang, which is a government school with very limited resources and only 60 children. I've been going there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday too in the mornings for an hour and working with a small group of students. Its been amazing to see them progress even in the short time I've been going, already I've got them reading English books and talking about what they like to eat :-) I'll be sad to hand them over to another volunteer as they're such a pleasure to teach.
On our most recent visit (Friday) there were 5 volunteers visiting the school so I suggested we teach a little bit and then play some games with the children out on their school field. So trying to think back to playground times I got them playing duck, duck, goose which they loved and particularly liked making me the goose and having to run!! Then we got them playing things like 'What's the time Mr Wolf?' to practice numbers and telling the time- they got very excited when I roared 'DINNER TIME!!!!' and chased them. Then we had the British favourite of British bulldog except we changed it to tigers as none of us knew how to explain Bulldog in Thai! They loved that too, especially when they got to chase and catch each other.So much fun, but we were all soaked with sweat as it was boiling in the sun.
Just planning my next lessons and what comes next after my visit to Nong Khai! Laos planning here I come!