The last few days in Thailand were spent packing and prepping for the kids’ Pride Day program and trying to squeeze in enough food, fun and memories to last me who knows how long until I get to have another adventure. It was hard to say goodbye to so many amazing people, the teachers I had the chance to work with, the kids I’d become attached to, and the girls who started out as strangers and quickly became my friends and lifeline.
Pride Day was the culmination of a year of hard work and all the quirks and foibles and cultural gaps all rolled into a couple of hours. The exact date was undetermined until about two weeks before, as were our exact roles and duties for the day. Once those were figured out there were hours spent planning dances and plays, arranging parts, and decorations, most of which were changed at least twice. The day came and the festivities were supposed to start at 9 and by 9:30 we were just beginning to get underway. The kids did their stuff, each class performing a short skit or dance while the ones who weren’t performing ran wild in the audience among the parents who talked the entire time. There were countless photos taken and hugs given and I admit there were even a few tears shed.
That night there were hugs and tears and laughter on the roof of our apartment building, and then a few more early the next morning before I said goodbye and made my way to the airport. It was with very mixed emotions that I watched Thailand shrink below me through the airplane window. I was surprised at how attached I’d become in such a short amount of time. And with so much unknown facing me on the other end of the runway it made it all even more bittersweet. But in between the takeoff and that runway at home was a two-week vacation in Australia and New Zealand. More to come!
|the fabulous English teachers|
|a couple of the hooligans|
|program's finally underway|
|a few more hooligans!|
|the duck in the park (oh, and us teachers)|