Thursday, February 14, 2013

Moments in Thai-m

I was going to wait to write this, but I couldn't. 

I was just too afraid I'd forget one of the many poignant, interesting, or bizarre moments that I've been afforded since my last post. As it stands, I probably will still leave something out...

I'll begin with the bizarre. Yesterday, during lesson planning at the temple/school, I witnessed my first cat-catching-bird moment. It was all stealth, swiftness, and shocking, to say the least. I say "first" because this evening after completing my homework, I witnessed my second cat-catching-bird moment. A dove flew into our kitchen/family room area and was very disoriented. After flying into a few walls, it landed on the truck and we tried to shoo it away, but the male orange tabby (Ding Dong) decided he'd rather keep it...for dinner. There must be some sort of meaning in this happening twice in two days in my presence, but the meaning escapes me at present. Bizarre.

I'll follow up bizarre with interesting. I noticed when we were learning the different times of day that my language teacher was drawing the sun red. As we know, a more common color for the sun in the states is yellow, and I figured it would be the same worldwide, but here, in Thailand, the sun is red. I thought about it for awhile on my ride into class the other morning as I gazed over a rice field shimmering in it's green splendor under the yellow rising sun. To be fair, it was a golden color, but nowhere near the red in the drawing I had seen earlier on. Today, on the ride home, it hit me. As I looked to the west, a bright red sun burned through the graying sky. I've noticed this sun before, but today I stopped for a moment to appreciate it more fully. The contrast to the dull clearness behind it, the depth of the red, the mildness of the brightness. I saw it standing proudly in the sky, far more pronounced than the morning's golden orb, and I finally understood why the sun in Thailand is truly red. Interesting.

Finally, at school, my lesson, which was projected to be focused on sports, was artfully tweaked to give some time for cultural exchange with students about Valentine's Day. By the end of the day, I had 14 small fabric roses, one live (though severely parched) red rose, chocolate hearts, hard candies in the shape of hearts, a key chain with a huge bear hanging from it, and a huge collection of heart stickers on my shirt, placed with great joy and care by my sweet students. Today I learned that wishing and hoping for understanding will only get you so far, to truly learn you must dive in, dig deep, teach, and be humble enough to be taught all along the way. I love lessons such as these. Poignant.

Happy Valentine's Day!
From Thailand with Love,

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