Despite normally being woken up at 6 every day by a mixture of the headmaster handing me breakfast and the school’s stray dogs barking at whatever looks at them funny, having to set an alarm for 5.45 this morning felt like torture. Today I did some paid teaching at an English Camp within an Ayutthaya school, and this required Bubpha having to pick me up at 6.40, although she at least brought round the reheated steaks that I didn’t manage to finish last night to make up for it.
We then met up with Nipatta, another teacher Bubpha knows (and I’m slowly finding out that she knows many) who was also working at the camp, and she drove us the rest of the way to Bang-Sa-Ngob school. I managed to nearly break the belt that I bought yesterday by misunderstanding how the buckle actually worked (it was early in the morning, cut me some slack), plus we just avoided running over a MASSIVE lizard on the way there, completing my weekend’s theme of lizard-based shenanigans. So all in all it wasn’t really the greatest journey ever, but once we got there everything ran smoothly. The school itself was quite nice and I was told that it was built over 100 years ago, making it one of the older schools in the province, plus the surrounding temples gave it quite a good atmosphere. Bubpha in particular seemed impressed at how well-behaved the kids were compared to how they are in Watphachi, which she told me was probably down to the school being based in a more rural area and the kids “not having access to computer games.” I don’t think I necessarily agree with that argument, but the day did feel a bit different to my usual weeks of teaching (although the kids on average were a bit older than those at Watphachi, and I think that was reflected in their behaviour a bit.)
This was despite my role being pretty similar to the one I’ve taken in Watphachi’s own English Camps – that is, helping kids with pronunciation and singing songs and games. Other tasks involved the kids getting into groups and writing about their holidays which I then interviewed them on, but towards the end of the day I was the one being interviewed in front of the class about my favourite food and sports. One kid asked me who my favourite footballer was, and after saying the only one that came to mind (Messi, if you’re wondering) most of them cheered, proving once again that I can win the trust of most young people here through faking any knowledge relating to watching or playing football.
The camp finished in the early afternoon but by that point the lack of sleep and early start had really begun to hit me – I slept for most of the car journey back. We returned to Bubpha’s house only to find that she had forgotten to bring her keys with her, so I watched as one of her neighbours pried the door open with a very large knife. That didn’t really give me much assurance in regards to the security measures around here.
There isn’t really much else to say besides all that – currently I’m battling with a fairly rubbish internet connection and a desire to fall asleep whilst writing this, plus Bubpha’s son keeps giving me beer which isn’t doing wonders for my concentration. It was nice to teach at another school today, especially since I got paid 1000 baht for it, although I don’t want to commit to doing any further weekend camps as I’m undecided on where and when I want to travel next month. But the teachers and kids all seemed to like me, so at least I have the option open.