Dogs fight, cats meow their hunger, and roosters croon a feeble cry. It’s six am, and my day begins as the sunlight streams in through the wooden slats on the window.
Pulling back my mosquito net, I stretch, air out my sheets and hustle to a cool shower or face scrub. Gathering my TEFL trainer books, rain poncho, umbrella, sunscreen and Nalgene bottle, I grin as I start my day with the ten minute walk to the Green and cheerful volunteer house. Neighbours are eating or cleaning up from breakfast, happily exchanging greetings with me in the lively Thai greeting “Sawadee ka”and the faithful Foxy keeps me company, trotting along beside me with his carefree canine ways.
At the volunteer house, a few conservation volunteers prepare for their 7:30 departure to either clean turtles or do an animal observation during a forest hike. I get myself some muesli or toast and hot water or tea and prep for the morning unit of TEFL.
Lunchtime comes quickly and options abound…. I can make lunch in our little outdoor kitchen, or head to one of three restaurants. The restaurants are the front part of the owner/cooks house and are open air.
- My Home best Thai restaurant is a favourite. Down the hill, it’s about a two minute walk. It’s where I observed a cooking class and is Run by Nam and her husband Bob and her parents. It’s the most delicious food I have had. It’s rich and flavourful and sweet. Fresh local ingredients, a huge variety of dishes and amazing friendly service with seriously the best food I have ever had
- Directly across the street, there is another restaurant. The two women who run it make three or four pots, offering a variety of options. You pick one and they serve it with rice and gentle, lovely smiles. It’s very reasonable priced.
- Boe & Benz is up the road about a three minute walk. Amazing rice and noodle dishes and the woman who serves has the most joyful smile. The sign brags of its amazing Pad Thai, but I generally love the rice dishes more. I have learned to be wary of the spice level and ask for just a little or no spice.
After lunch, volunteers and myself prepare for lessons and at four pm we head off in the back of a truck loaded down with flashcards, resources and games and head into the next town Takuapa to teach a fun and fabulous group of adults. Some days we do errands to help with taking care of the program’s functioning such as post office runs and shopping for bread and fruit.
The sun sets as we drive home, and we are welcomed back around 7:30 with food cooked by a happy Thai woman named Mimi. Again – delicious! We have a short nightly meeting, then a staff debrief and check-in and enjoy the evening. Sometimes it’s working alongside others preparing for lessons and other times it involves chatting or playing games.
Back home for a refreshingly cool shower before bed (best to wash hair on the weekend or in the am) and lights out around midnight.
It’s a lovely and fulfilling lifestyle and I love that it’s full of wonderful, inspiring and amazing people. I feel fortunate to live here and often can’t believe this is my life! My desire is to live each day feeling alive, adventurous, and beautiful. Pretty easy to do that here!