Monday, July 7, 2008

Last Days at Soppoengwitta School

It's hard to believe, but I am finished teaching. Even though it was only a one and half month thing and I am really happy it's over because I was running out of lesson plan ideas, I was quite sad to say goodbye to the children. On the last day Pa-ah (director) formally said goodbye to us during morning announcements and thanked us for our modesty and politeness (cause apparently the Austrailian who had come to teach before had questionable teaching habits) and then later that day served us a special lunch of Pad Thai (our favorite) with all the teachers, in the special teachers' room. It was a great honor. During lunch some of the 6th graders had Jessica and I come out to the candy store and there waiting was a group of about 20 students including one student who had a colorful box over his head that said "teacher!" All in unison the kids yelled, "We love teacher!" and then they dramatically pulled back a blue cloth off a desk to reveal a beautiful piece of artwork made out of Popsicles sticks, glue, and paper. They gave me my favorite chocolate treat and ice cream because I had bought it a lot while I was there. We were touched. The things I'm going to miss the most is Kru Daretts laugh when she told us about the 'bird hotel', Gong's happy chatter in the mornings, the little girl who everyday, without fail, ran up to me and exclaimed, "Aree! Beautiful," the other little girl who insisted on giving me a hug every time she saw me and because of her height her hands always wrapped right around my bum, the teachers who always told us we were getting fat, and heck, even the rambunctious first grade boys who rolled around on the floor wrestling each other through our entire lesson. Good times. So here's my tribute to the Soppoengwitta School. To all the teachers who drove miles to teach the low income children, to Pa-ah who sacrificed all his time and money for the betterment of the students and their educations, and especially to all the children who are fighting against the poverty cycle and helping to bring their families and their culture a better future. I will miss you all!