Christmas in Thailand

Christmas day was fun, probably the best I have had in years…  we started the day with champagne and presents, and ended the day with a fab BBQ (Albert worked his magic and it was the best BBQ food Ive ever had!), plenty of whisky, music and drunken antics.   

I bought myself a bike for Christmas (I need some wheels as Dads place is quite a distance from the main road), I got lots of chocolate, smellies and other goodies from lots of people.  I felt much loved!  
Here are some photos from Christmas day at Dads:

Christmas The Pat, Beau and Kob on Christmas morning  Champers for Breakfast (we had REAL Champagne thanks to Albert) Me and Dad on Christmas morning Kob in her party dress and slippers on xmas morning! My new bike (from santa)  Dad helps Albert with the BBQ Albert working his magic on the BBQ Christmas BBQ - yum A christmas baby Beau Pat and Oh - Christmas Party Albert (aka Santalina)

Playing tourist in Bangkok on Christmas Eve

 My friend Albert has come to Thailand to spend Christmas, New Years and have some quality beach time with me!   Yay,  Albert and I used to work together at the NZ Embassy in Belgium; he is still working in Europe so I don’t get to see him much! 
On Christmas Eve we went into the city so I could show Albert some sights… we went to Chinatown (for beer no 1), the Grand Palace, Wat Prakaew, had a quick peek at Wat Pho and then headed to crazy Kao San Road (aka backpacker central) for beer number 2, 3 and 4.     

The first beer of the day (chinatown)  Wat Pra Kaew 01 Wat Pra Kaew 05 Wat Pra Kaew 03 Wat Pra Kaew 04 Wat Pra Kaew 02 Wat Pra Kaew 06 Wat Pho Grand Palace KaoSan Road 03 KaoSan Road 01 KaoSan Road 05 KaoSan Road 02 

Meet Parit the newest edition to the extended family.

Meet Parit (pronounced Paliet) the newest edition to the extended family.   Beau (my stepmums niece) had a beautiful baby boy on Dec 13.   He is sooooo cute, I am teaching him English by chatting to him – someone has to teach the little lad that his grandmother (Granny Moet) is not really his sister as she claims!!

Me and Parit

Beau and her baby boy:

Parit and his mum (Beau) Parit

Dad, me and Kob with Moet (Kobs sister, the grandmother) who is holding Parit:

The baby and the family  

Parit gets his haircut by the monk.   The hair was saved and will be released into a river (I think) as an offering to something/someone.   Sorry, a bit vague I know… Im not sure what the story is with the hair.

Parit gets a haircut by the monk

A visit from a monk

This weekend Kob has organised a Buddhist meditation weekend.   She invited a monk and some of her friends over for the weekend.    They arrived on Friday and have spent the weekend meditating, praying to Buddha and learning from the Monk.    They will stay another night and go home on Sunday.

Today I participated in some of the prayers, gave an offering of food to the monk and later in the afternoon had a chat with him (with Kobs help to translate the bits I didn’t understand).        It was quite an interesting day, I am glad I got back to Bangkok in time for it!

Offering for the Monk 1 Me offering the monk some food

Saying goodbye to Kredlin Whittya School

It was my last day at school today, it was quite sad saying goodbye to everyone!   The morning started with me saying goodbye to my host family and the villagers.  Then a teacher picked me up on a motorcycle in time for the flag ceremony at school.   The directory said a speech to farewell me, I said a few words and then we exchanged gifts.    I gave the school a set of English/Thai dictionaries as this is something I noticed was missing in the English department. 
Here are some photos from my last few days at school:

A gift from the school to say thank you Kids at morning flag call Dictionaries for the school M1 Kids More kids at school The christmas tree in the English Dept Students decorating the hall Kids at School

My last day at the village

Today I had to say farewell to my host family.  While waiting for one of the teachers to collect me some of the people in the village came to say good bye.   Here are some photos:

Here are some photos of my host family:

 My host family 2  Me and my host family
This is Wan, the 3 year old that lives with my host family (she is the niece of my host parents).   She is soooo cute and was my good friend.  I spent many hours entertaining her consequently she picked up a few English phrases.

 Wan and the toy I was given as a leaving present Wan and her grandma Wan Sleeping - its a hard life being 3 years old!

This little baby used to wander over to our house, take one look at me and start crying.  This was a bit of a joke, ‘the baby is scared of the forang’ they would say.  I am pleased to report that a few days before I left I managed to convince the baby forangs aren’t scary and this little boy became my friend, would crawl up onto my knee – happy as larry! 

The Baby 

This old lady is really cool.  She would chatter away at me oblivious to the fact I couldn’t understand a word she was saying!   Her teeth are red as she chews bettle-nuts all day.  I took a photo of her and the kids on the digital camera and showed her – she thought it was very cool, I don’t think she has ever had her photo taken on a digital camera before as she had such a big reaction to seeing herself – she thought it was hillarious!

The old lady at the village with the kids

A leaving party – for me!

As it is my last week of school some of the teachers and I had a little farewell party at a great BBQ restaurant in Chyaphum (about 40 mins north of my village).   The restaurant was a 69 Baht (about $3nzd) all you can eat buffet – I can confirm we got our moneys worth as we were there for nearly 3 hours and we ate a lot!!!             

BBQ - team photo! Ajarn Nitti (head of English Dept) Ajarn To Team Photo