My departure from Bangkok ended up being rather rushed as I thought I was leaving Bangkok on Sunday but I found out on Friday that I was supposed to be leaving on Saturday. So I abandoned my last minute shopping trip, did a mad panic pack and headed out to the bus station late on Saturday afternoon. The bus trip was fairly uneventful; the trickiest part was working out which booth to buy my bus ticket from (all the non-touristy destinations are written in Thai script) and then working out from my ticket where I was supposed to board the bus!
I managed it ok and arrived in Chyiaphum on Saturday evening. I stayed with the family of the people who organised my volunteering stint. On Sunday morning I woke up at sparrows fart by the not so friendly roosters outside the house (they are not so friendly as they are fighters used for cock fights) and went to the market for breakfast.
I was picked up by two of the English teachers from my new school (Kruu To and Kruu Ya) and a bunch of my students. We went to a Tesco Lotus shopping mall for my 2nd breakfast and then drove to my new home stay. On arrival at my new home (well, home for the next 3 months) I was welcomed by the elders of the village who tied bits of string around my wrist to wish me good luck and keep the bad spirits away. It was quite touching.
My home stay family are lovely. I am living with a host mum, host dad, host grandmother, host sister and host brother. My host grandmother chats to me in Thai, my host brother doesn’t try to talk to me at all (too shy) but the rest of the family try and talk to me in a mixture of very basic English and Thai. The family have made me feel very welcome; I have my own room with a fan, clothes stand and mattress on the floor (very comfy). They made me a new blanket (it gets a bit chilly in the evenings) and have even installed a shower in the bathroom for me! The shower is still cold but is a lot easier (and less painful) to use than tossing buckets of ice cold water over me!
On my first day in Bou Yai I was shown around the village (didn’t take long) and was given a quick tour of the school. Here are some photos of the group who took me sight seeing.