5:30 a.m. – 5:45 a.m.: wake up to the sounds of our roosters crowing from beside our house and the cultural music blaring from the many local temples
5:45 a.m. – 6:40 a.m.: lay in bed with my pillow over my head, failing to attempt to fall back asleep
6:40 a.m. – 7:10 a.m.: get dressed, wash my face and brush my teeth then dtuum chaa (drink tea) and gin gloi nam-vaa (eat a banana) with Mee
7:10 a.m. – 7:20 a.m.: kii jakrayan (bike) from my house to my language-learning school
7:20 a.m. – 7:55 a.m.: typically chat with some of the younger students who want to show off their limited English skills then make calls to my family and friends from America while waiting on class to start
7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: change into my formal clothes in an extremely hazardous and unsanitary hong-naam (bathroom)
8:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.: learn Thai with Ajaan Norhayatee in a group with three other TCCS trainees
11:45 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.: change into biking clothes and ride to a food vendor closer to Anuban TaChang, otherwise known as the ‘hub’ (the school in which teacher technical training is held)
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.: eat lunch with fellow volunteers, typically try to avoid rice and sugar although it is nearly impossible
12:50 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: bike to the hub
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.: attempt to cool off before changing back into appropriate clothing i.e. ankle-length skirt and ironed blouse (Thailand is in a year of mourning until October in honor of the late King so colors must be muted out of respect)
1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: two sessions of teacher technical training in which we essentially learn various strategies to be the best English as a Foreign Language Teacher we can be; I also have to try not melt as afternoons typically reach 100 degrees these days
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: SDL, Self Directed Learning i.e. work on lesson planning and technical skills with fellow trainees or practice Thai with an Ajaan
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: play soccer or Frisbee with the Anuban TaChang students
5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: bike home
5:45 p.m.: – 6:00 p.m.: sit on the porch and eat a snack with Mee and Knong Broht; typically my ‘cousin’ Im comes over, but she is too shy to interact with me
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: go kayaking with Paa who coaches some of my students and other neighborhood kids (if I don’t go kayaking, I typically take the opportunity to snag some alone time, explore and taai ruup [take pictures])
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.: GIN KAAO (eat dinner… and yes, they speak it as you probably just read it) at Megan’s baan, the house of another volunteer whose Mee is my Paa’s sister
7:50 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.: bike home and ap-naam (shower)… finally!
8:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: get in bed and take some time to write letters to friends or in my journal, read if my brain isn’t too friend, talk to family back home, etc.
If I am not asleep by 10 o’clock then it is a late night for me! No day is ever the same and each day presents new challenges, but this is a fairly accurate (and extremely brief) depiction of a standard day in PST.