It’s a great time of the year to be jolly! The foreign language department at Muangchalieng School hosted a phenomenal Christmas program on Christmas Day. I haven’t seen students this lively since Sports Days week! The program began with an opening ceremony where I gave a speech followed by gift giving, and then continued with a talent show. Students from all grade levels participated in the event. There were musical dramas (my favorite part of the program), dances, and singing performances. It was sooo much fun. I laughed so much and enjoyed every moment of it. The joy I received from Christmas day truly helped relieve some of my homesickness.
For New Years, I visited my Thai host family whom I first met on Global Semester in 2012 (my study abroad trip during college). I took a 12-hour train ride from central Thailand to meet them in Phetchaburi province, which is about 2 hours south of Bangkok (if you were to drive by car). There, we visited Cha-Am beach and celebrated New Years with Khunpaw’s (Thai dad) family. We then took a road trip up to Chiangmai where my Thai family lives. There, I hung out with my Thai brothers (Petch and Ping) whom I became close friends with. We talked a lot about sports and music, ate a lot of good food (Mexican, seafood buffet, etc), and watched a lot of good movies. It’s moments like this that make me appreciate all the wonderful people I have in my life, especially those who I consider family regardless of blood ties. The day I left my Thai family to return back to my host school was definitely one of the saddest days I’ve had since I first arrived for Fulbright in September. I can’t wait to spend more time with them this year. XOXO.