Friday, July 29, 2005
ok. change of plan. go to sign in as and use the password 'thailand'. you will be able to view a wonderful slide show put together by Alissa of our doings thus far! enjoy!
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there are pictures. check you e-mail. and we'll work more on it later.
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Thursday, July 28, 2005
ok so i missed the singing of 'ache brache heart' on the account of little dinner and the gyro cart looking overly appealing. (it was delicious). big news times two. i have a job! i will start on monday at Burapha university. eek. no, i'll be teaching english and possibly math and or computers and or music to elementary kids. should be fun and challanging. the commute will be tough, but if it's that bad, we'll move. we actually have already moved! we, alissa and i, moved into a nice little two bedroom two bathroom two story fully air conditioned if we so chose house yesterday. it's on the east side of sukumvit (main road from bangkok to rayong) in a nice quiet residential area with stray cats and the occassional food cart. i run to the window to see what is passing everytime i hear a horn (they are basically kid bike horns which are turning me into one of pavlov's dogs) it's a forty baht motorbike taxi ride away from margaritaville or a free ride at four and home at midnight if we catch one of the girls who works at the bar, Risa, on her way to/from work. she lives about fifty feet from us.

the school is a 45 minute bus ride away to the north. it may take some getting used to. it's a huge school. thai kindergarden and elementary school with an english track for grades 1-6 if they so chose. then an english high school with 80 percent of the classes taught in english (Alissa is teaching chemistry and maybe biology there) and then a university that is taught all in english. it's a beautiful campus with water all over and nice playgrounds and stuff for the kids. i'll have about 30 kids in each class, which have AC (you wouldn't think it, but it's vital), and will teach about 16 hours a week with the rest for prep, etc. i'm gonna need all of that prep time and more when i'm starting! next week i'll be observing one of the other teachers on monday and tuesday and then there are sport days the rest of the week. i think they are going to let me participate and or coach a bit. we'll see.

we are going to ko chang this weekend. it's a language corps trip, so all are going. we are riding elephants, walking to water falls and as rick says, sitting on the beach, eating, showering, finding a place to eat, drinking beers, eating, sleeping, and eating. it is going to be a fantastic weekend! nice way to have a break before i actually begin working. and we haven't really been out of pattaya at all since we've been here. so that will be nice.

for any who are worried. there are no tidal waves, and the muslims are active in southern thailand. pattaya is not in southern thailand, it is on the 'eastern seaboard', which is nowehere near southern thailand. southern thailand is the tip that stretches down and touches malaysia. so i'm not gonna get blown up or run over by the sea. :) sorry to disappoint.
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Monday, July 25, 2005
serious decision making day. four interviews and three and a half job offers to consider. i'm torn between mental challenge and patience challenge.
it's getting on to be monsoon season. lance won his seventh, people are bombing people all over the place, pattaya is boomin, and we ran slower than usual today.
i spent the day on sunday and the weekend market in bangkok. it was absolutely nuts. i got a few things for teaching and a few things for the rest of the time in my day. alissa and i went with the cook from margaritaville, one of the bartenders her husband, and rick's wife's brother. it was a fun day and we got to know Noi, Risa, and Dtone better.
pattaya is becoming more and more like home. we sit and chat at margaritaville with all of the regulars with whom we have become friends and even may feel like family. we have all begun to plan for thanksgiving dinner. i am torn between moving and seeing real thailand and staying, doing research, and having friendly faces nearby.
other than that there isn't much news. i saw a police truck chasing an elephant. apparently it's illegal to bring elephants into the city, but we see at least two every night. ah well.
gotta get back to the bar. rick is going to do kareoke and i really don't want to miss it. his rendition of 'ache brache heart' is fantastic!
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Saturday, July 23, 2005
another long week of looking, applying, and interviewing for jobs. i had two interviews last monday. one was horrid. the man was aweful and renigged his job offer after i said had still had a few other interviews. the second was better and i would consider that job as i have jsut received an e-mail saying that they would consider allowing me to teach elementary western music, piano etc to some kids. i wuold fill up hours with english teaching. i also have two more interviews on monday. one at Burapa university where some people we know already work and really enjoy it. and one at Asian college where Alissa may be teaching biology. both are excellent schools and both are in dire need of english teachers, so hopefully on tuesday i will be employed and by wednesday we will have a place to live. possibly a house together, or maybe apartments. we'll have to see what we can find in respective areas. the past few days have been Buddha holidays, so not a lot has been going on. spend five hours yesterday at the gym working out, laying by the pool, and going in the sauna. it was fantastic. today i started doing some writing up of field notes. i am proud of myself for that, i have to start somewhere if i want to write anything! tonight we will probably end up at our favorite club, where on wednesday night we met the band that plays every night. it's a band that does hip hop covers. (dad they do a great version of 'Toxic'!) it's really fun because they always recognize us and wave and now we know their names! yipee. tomorrow we are probably going to bangkok to hit the weekend market with two of the women who work at Margaritaville. and three more language corps people are coming, so we'll be making new friends and helping them get oriented in Pattaya. so it's been an eventful and uneventful week. i hope you all say the full moon the other night, as it was rather beautiful here.

will update on the job situation when i know more. :)
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Sunday, July 17, 2005
wowie. up at 4.00 this morning to prepare for a quarter marathon in thai heat. we made it the whole way without crawling (i came must closer to crawling than Alissa did). totally fun with medals at the end and free t-shirts and everything. very poorly managed as an event, but what can you expect in Thailand? the rest of today is dedicated to getting ready for tomorrow and resting. there will be movie watching. just ate pasta so am on the way to full recovery.

i am running out of things to say! obviously there will be things when i'm working, but in the meantime, if you have questions, comments, or requests of things you wish to know...e-mail me, please not all at once!
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Friday, July 15, 2005
many thoughts on many people today. for those who know, it's the two year anniversary of Brad's death today. my thoughts are with his family and all that know him. i will be quietly toasting him with a few beers tonight. my master sprayer. :)

another day at the beach in the clouds and partial rain. it was fun to huddle under umbrellas with the owner of that portion of beach, who we have used three times now. she smiles every time she sees us coming along the beach. we saw the coolest thing today!!! little fishes swimming along and jumping like crazy. they were the size of minnows, but more colourful and they actually encircled us. this was right after a rain so they were going crazy. it was incredible.
tomorrow we are signing up to run part of the Pattaya marathon that is on sunday. it's gonna be awesome!! and shoe and shirt shopping for interviews on monday and tuesday. i am super excited about one school that is here in Pattaya and another that is in Trat, near Ko Chang, one of the most beautiful beaches around. tonight we have a language corps dinner at mike's mexican resturaunt where the daquaries are delicious and the cheese is plentiful. (there is not much cheese to be had here, and i am in withdrawl) .

for any inclined, bow your head or raise your beers (he would appreciate both) and say thank you to an amazing man for being constant and caring of me with hardly even knowing me. and then listen to some Phish. my love and gratitude.
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Thursday, July 14, 2005
googd news! i have an interview on monday! and possibly a few more later next week! more tomorrow when i'll have more internet time. am currently looking into the Pattaya marathon that's on sunday. huh. ciao ciao.
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Sunday, July 10, 2005
all right. what i'm doing here. many of you who are likely to be reading this asked before i left "how are you going to teach english?" well, it's simple. model a dialogue using pictures or drawing to show meanings of words, or actions for non-pictoral wods such as honesty. have students one at a time answer and initiate the dialogue to me and then to each other. practice again to each other. expand vocabulary by replacing nouns and verbs with other contextually likely nouns and verbs. practice these new words. do a fun activity using the new language. it's actually quite straight forward (for most of the people in our TEFL class, though a few did struggle) and the hard part will be not getting bored as a teacher (because there is so much repition of simple dialogue) and coming up with fun activities to practice the language. some of you may be cringing and thinking "that will not possibly be successful language learning". STOP THINKING! it works. i've done it, it is how we learned Thai, and let me tell you, three and a half years of Italian do not even come close to one week of Thai taught with this method. i mean, i know more italian vocabulary, but in terms of being able to speek and not having to translate the words in my head, Thai is a strong winner. it also helps that i am living in Thailand and have to use the language every day to do things like eat and get home from walking street at 5.30 in the morning (don't ask, a long night of babysitting for a silly person who got very drunk). it did, however, give me a long time to chat with Erinn, who i thoroughly enjoy and with whom i seem to have much in common. this next week i will be completeing homework, which is watching some DVDs, doing some writing, and creating lesson plans, etc. i will also be going to some interviews around to find a job. by next monday, or possible sooner, i will be working. yipee skippy! it's going to be stressful for the first week, but after that i think it could be quite a lot of fun. bummer thing is that i feel very comfortable in Pattaya, have made good friends here, and am leaving now. though Alissa and i have decided to try to get jobs in the same areas so that we can easily meet up on the weekends to go to the beach, which we have done every saturday this far. :) she's really awesome, too. and she loves kow neow ping as much as i do! (grilled sticky rice with butter and salt. yummy!!!) i've mentioned this before, and will surely mention it again. :)
i just got a call from Erinn and will be going to another pool party in a bit. there seems to be a lot of relaxing here, and not a lot of tough work. though i do see Thai's working hard all the time. i watched a few plastering a wall yesterday. they made a lot of progress between 11.30 when we went past on the way to the beach and 5 on the way back from the beach. we however, did not make progress as i slept and Alissa nearly finished a book. well that's a mouthful for the day. i'm off to the pool! ciao ciao and enjoy your sundays!
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Thursday, July 07, 2005
hello, for some reason my browser is in Mandarin, so i don't know if i'll be able to actually post this. fourth day of TEFL and we have a big project to do for tomorrow. i will spend the evening working on it and preparing for presentation. last night Alissa and i went out to a club, it was fun. there was even a band and music we both liked! i have realized that i haven't said anything about food. well! we eat about four times a day two doors down from the school at this Thai place. they cook one dish at a time, and i have pretty much the same thing every time, with the occassional curry. it's absolutely delicious, and 25 baht a plate. can't really be beaten by anything around. though we did go to an italian place the other night that was fantastic. other than that, there isn't much to say about food except for the near nightly search for the kow neow guy (sticky rice) for a grilled evening snack before heading in for the night. it's actually very good for you, and cooked with no sugar. the sticky rice they use for mangoes and sticky rice is cooked with coconut milk, and is BRILLIANT, but not that great for you. i broke down and bought a new pillow yesterday in order to facilitate better sleeping as the pillows here are much to fluffy. must have worked because i have been groggy all day from a good night's sleep (or a night out on the town??). ooooh. and i took a shower with a geko the other morning. i think he liked the smell of my shampoo because he'd been hanging out there for the day. hehe. cutie. that's all for today. i have to go work on this project. :) ciao ciao.
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Sunday, July 03, 2005
OK! Robin Bruno
c/o Rick Barnes, 193/148 Moo 10 Rungland, South Pattaya, Banglamung, Chomburi
anybody who wants to get a phone card: 066 7 910 9634

one very eventful week gone, and another more crazy one to come. we can now speak a little thai. enough in fact to get to the beach and back by ourselves yesterday, even bargaining with the driver and getting unlost. we = Alissa and myself. it was a gorgeous day at the beach, and a gorgeous beach. not crowded or full of tourists like some of the bigger beaches. and it was cloudy, so not scalding hot like today is gonna be. today we are going to somebody's house for a pseudo fourth of july party. food, beer, and pool await the entire margaritaville crowd. margaritaville is the bar next to the school that Rick (head hancho guy) owns. and it's margaritaville because he lived in mexico for a few years. we see the same people about eigthy billion skillion times a day sitting around the tables outside. it's nice to see the same friendly faces everyday, it makes everything seem not quite so foreign and far away. last night we all went down to Soi 7, which is where all the 'darling bars' are. tough to see at first, but Rick says "you have to think of it as not reality", which, surprizingly has gotten easier. a few of us also went to a Thai disco. totally fun and very loud, i think my ears are still going to be ringing next week. tomorrow we start the TEFL class. (it's all very complicated which company does which thing) it's going to be grueling i think, as there is a lot to learn in a relatively short period of time.

i hope everybody is resting well as i'm writing because you have to get up and go waterskiing in the morning!!!! happy fourth of july! i hope it's sunny and clam and fantastic. ciao ciao.
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