Swe Eng

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It took me less than a weekend to make the Green Dorm my new home and Nongkhai my new hometown.

The volunteer dorms are a nice place to stay. The balcony and its hammocks are a central place in volunteer life and it is here where the best conversations started from the 'is there romance going on between....' gossip, through to discussing the political issues in the countries where the housemate's are from.

Teaching is really fun and every day presents a new challenge; how to explain new things to the to the pupils? Because of the small vocabulary of the kids it is very difficult to make clear what you mean, often resulting in strange gestures and funny faces. I often spent lots of time explaining things, sometimes without reaching the point. After a week of practicing Europe was still pronounced 'Ulop'.

Teaching and stage fright can be a bad combination as I found on a couple of occasions when the teachers pulled me and other falang (foreign) teachers in front of a big group of pupils to sing a song or to do a silly dance. Though I've enjoyed teaching most of the time, I've also had some frustrating moments, most of the time caused by language barriers and cultural differences.

I have also used the opportunities offered by Travel to Teach to have home stays and accommodation in another dorm in a nearby village giving me the chance to explore more of the real Thai way of living.

All these things together have made my stay with Travel to Teach in Nongkhai an unforgettable experience.