Here is a picture of the canteen where the students eat lunch, with all the food stands...the one on the far left is the fruit stand lady, whom I adore. The reason they eat so healthfully (albeit a chocolate pancake now and then) is because all of their food is fresh. Everyone goes to the market, picks up colorful vegetables, fruit or pre-made noodle dishes, which are all made with real food - no processed crap here. Now, I still have to wonder about their portion sizes - which are still excruciatingly small for this hearty American girl - but the corn lady at the market is my new go-to girl for snacktime!
Another interesting thing is that the school is a Catholic school - yet, the majority of children are Buddhist who attend there. And if not Buddhist, then most likely Muslim before Catholic. The Thai people are extremely open and accepting of other religions - they have no problem sending their Buddhist child to a school where they pray to Jesus as part of the morning ritual. Although, part of the morning prayers also requires students to say, "Thank you for my parents who spend a lot of money on me. I will work hard everyday to save money for them." So I am guessing that keeps the parents happy :) And no Catholic school would be complete without a shrine to good ol' Mother Mary!
Slowly, I am also making friends with the Thai teachers which has been so much fun! My Thai teacher who teaches in Grade 1C with me is adorable, and we get along great, which is good because I have heard of some horror stories about foreign and Thai staff not getting along. On a brighter note, I also got paid for the first time on Friday, which I am just excited about because now I have some money (which will all be blown on the Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia trip), which hasn't happened in awhile!
Also, this weekend we had the Saimai Music & Poetry Festival entitled, "Poetry in My Heart" - in which every class from every grade level performed a song, skit or poem. Oh man, hilarity! Absolutely hilarity! The Thai music teachers went all out on the set, and when I say all out, I mean all out. Take a look at my little kiddies performing "The Butterfly Song" (which does say Jesus in it repeatedly - which would NOT happen back in America) on stage!
Yes...those are cannons flagging the stage, a waterfall front and center, two lifesize school crests on both sides of the stage and a large styrofoam "Poetry in my heart" collection of rainbows, birds, trees...you name it! Another cultural note, Thais are obsessed with the way things look. Everything has to look good - if you have a spot on your shirt, they notice; if your fly is undone, they notice; and if you don't have the best stage set-up for a poetry and music festival, clearly they notice! All the girls were donned in full make-up (think bright blue eyeshadow, garishly applied blush and red lipstick!) - even the Thai staff!
All in all, it provided lots of entertainment and the kids had fun - which of course, is the most important thing of all. Now, I have Monday and Tuesday off, then preparation for next semester the rest of the week before I am off to on holiday! Wooo...the time is flying! I have officially been in Thailand a month as of today! And just in case you were getting homesick from not seeing me, here is a picture of some of us foreign teachers: Suzi, John, me and Lauren.
Hope all is well at home, would love to hear from you all and take care!