Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baby Powder Creates A Great Game

so here I am almost a month into my exchange, time has just flown by, I can still remember the day I left perfectly, the texts, the goodbyes everything, and it feels like it was only yesterday.
Yes I miss Canada and the people in it, but I'm not homesick I don't cry over it, I don't sit in my room just thinking about home. I have facebook to talk to the people, Usually I don't really feel gone from people's lives. I'm just somewhere else.
anyways now that I can erase that thought from my mind.
So this week hmmm way back to Monday I go.
This was Alanya's and mine second week on our new schedule, I'm getting used to the changing of so many classes, and always going to classes with different people.
I've finally got down pat the campus of my school. There is 6 different buildings, not including the gym and workshops, all at least 3 stories tall and all my classes seem to be on the 3rd story.
On Wednesday We have double computer with my home class 4/7 and can I say this is a memory I will hold until the end.
With a double class of any subject, the first class you sit around while the teacher isn't there and talk, more like a spare then anything. As we were waiting for the classroom to be opened, my close thai friends started teasing and picking on (all in good fun) the resident gay boy, Poupay. 10 girls tackling him, pinching, elbowing him outside the classroom while we stared in awe and watched.
Once we got into the classroom, things escalated from there.
The girls were chasing him up and down the the aisles between computers, screaming, grabbing and generally looked like a good old fashion gang beating.
Then Poupay turned the tides and went "blind-monk-karate-ninja" sound effects and everything. There was pinching, slapping, and everything in between. It was priceless, me and Alayna were on the floor gasping for breath because we were laughing so hard. My class is something else. I love them all to death, and I wish I could have caught it all on tape.
Other then that my week was pretty quiet, just school and life.

Now on to the main event of this blog.
English Camp
now I know it sounds kind of strange, I'm pretty sure I'm fluent in english, so why go to a camp for it?
(when I say we in this section I mean Alayna and I)
We were told last week that we should take part in english camp where kids go who enjoy or want to further themselves in the english language. It's a weekend thing that is hosted at the school by a company called Media Kids.
So I arrived at the school at around 8am on Saturday to no one being there yet. I had to wait around until people I actually knew arrived. I mostly sat and listened to music while watching the school's local puppies running around and playing.
Thank god Alayna finally showed up. We headed into the cool air conditioned room in Building 3 and learned what the heck was going on, for this weekend we were neither student or teacher, but an in-between. We got to meet two teachers from Bangkok, Adam and Laura who are both amazingly nice. Adam seems more like a goofy teenager then a teacher and Laura always had a smile on her face.
We also met the Media Kids company reps. The leader of it was a very flamboyant guy named Porsche. I thought he was kinda nice at the start, but that went downhill pretty fast.
We also saw the familiar faces of the 3 white english teachers and before I go any further I want to talk about the three teachers because we hung out with them almost the whole weekend.
Let's start with Matt.
He's taller then anyone else in the school, shaved bald and has a Riddler-like question mark on his right calf. He has a good sense of humour and you can carry a good conversation with him without effort, I don't have him as a teacher so I haven't really talked to him outside a few occasions. He's not exactly quiet but he's not loud either. He also has an endless stomach that reaches down to his toes.
Now Steve,
How can I describe him, He looks like Clark Kent. He has more fangirls (and boys) at this school then I can count. They all his name as Su-teve which really makes him mad so he now tunes out anyone trying to call his name. He's super quiet and an art student which boosts him in my books.
Last but not least, Howard
He's a bad a$$ 37 year old from England with tattoos and a shaved head. We have class with him 5 times a week and man I love to push his buttons. He hates Shakespeare and thinks his plays are the most useless things ever created. He's let the F word slipped more then once and has a wicked sense of humour. He's very strait forward and will tell anyone what he's thinking and he doesn't spare people's feelings, it's kind of great to be around someone like that. He's my favourite teacher out of the three.
Back to Camp.
Once everyone had arrived we started with an energizer, the classic BANANA song, a little different tune and a few different versus but holy crud, the same song from 4-H camp was on the other side of the world, that made me want to cry in bittersweet happiness. Then we played some games to get them into the 'spirit' of camp, the games were mostly explained in thai, from from the get go, there wasn't much english at english camp.
After about an hour, us and the teachers went into a back hallway to paint the teachers faces for their tribes (supposedly thai people would do crazy things to first nations people, they are crazy about them). I painted Adam and Laura's faces, who were Eagle and King Cobra respectively, how do you face paint a king cobra? Steve was a tiger that didn't turn out too bad. Then Matt walked out of the washroom and the first words said was Howard saying "why so serious?". Matt looked like the joker, he was supposed to be a polar bear... No worries, I got pictures.
Then there was Howard who shouldn't have said the joker comment, because karma came back and bit him hard, I offered to paint his face but he laughed and said he didn't trust me, he instead let on of the thai teachers paint his face. Lets just compare Batman villains, if Matt was the Joker, Howard was the Scarecrow. There was in no way a wolf on his face. He was a little grumpy about it afterwards. Me and Alayna decided to battle the good old fashion way, Canada vs. America.
The first thing to do in tribes (which we were not part of) was to create cheers and dance.
the highlight was Matt's group doing a very "abstract" and "natural" cheer.
by this time Howard was already angry about certain things, especially angry at Porsche for some things. The whole thing was a bit of a mess and really didn't have anything to do with english.
After the cheers they broke into smaller groups and went to 5 different stations competing against other teams. We opted to help Matt out with tug-of-war. I think we picked the wrong station. The rope was horrible, it burned our hands and mine are now blistered and chaffed. yet it was still fun. Matt was a good sport about it and always had to call on me to help one team or another, though I don't think I did much help.
Then came lunch, rice and some soup-stuff-thingy that wasn't too bad. Listened to Steve chastise Howard for getting on Porsche's bad side. man Howard did not like that guy. After lunch there were more games, and the quote of the weekend which I cannot write because it was kind of inappropriate but it involved Howard grumbling about getting face paint on his boxer shorts. Me and Alayna keeled off our chairs with that. Howard laughed with us then said something that got to me. "I normally wouldn't say anything like that to a student, but I don't think of you guys as students really" That made me pretty happy because I don't look at the english teachers as teachers, but as people I can be on equal ground with, laughing, joking, and conversations.
Then at 3 the teachers left to go shower at their own houses and left me and Alayna to amuse ourselves for 3 hours until dinner while everyone else practiced for the talent show and singing competition. I taught Alayna how to play chess, showed her all the dances I could remember. We still had an hour to go before dinner.
We started talking to Jo, one of the singers, Alayna's friend, and gay. Really adorable and generally good  guy. He also had to really good looking friends, including another of the singers, a really sexy guy nicknamed 'fame', really sexy. Anyways Jo tried to get me to be a back up dancer for one of the other girls as a joke, no way was I getting in a puffy, ruffled red sparkly dress and go dance on stage in front of 150 kids. It was pretty funny.
Out of no where about 10 minutes before dinner Steve and Matt walk in. Steve looks like a dirty hipster and Matt looks like a golf Caddy, this was their ideas of "dressing smart". They had to for their role as judges for the singing competition. Thankfully the rest of the English teachers looked normal. Dinner was...rice and soup-stuff, spicy stuff. yet good, and some really awesome chinese donuts for dessert.
After dinner we headed up stairs for the competitions. The talent competition was not in english so I was lost and it wasn't talents, it was skits, including the thai classics of English camp such as drag queens, gay love, steve, and Snow White. man, the drag queen or Gitoy as they are called here made such an amazingly cute girl. I wanted to go and give her a hug. though I got sidetracked watching Fame sing.
They also sung all Thai songs, everything was also announced in Thai. kind of lame.
Neither Fame or Jo won the singing competition, but it was fun all the same.
After that all wrapped up we went off the go to bed, yes we slept at the school, we all slept in rooms in building 4, girls on the second floor and boys on the third floor.
I learned something very new while going to bed. how to bath in public in thailand.
It is crazy. on one of the girls bathrooms there are giant tubs filled with water, and people put up tarps blocking off view from the street. then over top of your clothes you slip on a well dress sort of thing that has an elastic in the top.
then underneath you slip off your clothes but not your undergarments, remember, these people are very modest. you then bath with the cloth on, scooping water on to yourself, we had more of a water fight then anything. when you want to get into your pyjamas you put your pjs on over top of your soaking under garments and under the soaking cloth thing, then slip out of the cloth cover. While we were doing that we had the surprise of having a gay boy come and shower with us, that was funny. as we were changing it also started to rain that beautiful heavy rain. so I walked back to building 4 in the rain, trying to keep my clothes dry.
For sleeping I borrowed a sleeping bag from my Grandparents, it was paper thin yet still stinking hot when we were i the class room yet i slept like a rock after we sat for 20 minutes testing Meena on how to say difficult english words.
Gotten woken up at 6:30 by all the movement from the other girls already getting up to go exercise. Then it was off to brush the teeth in our pjs while boys looked and talked about us, You always hear your name being said and you know they are talking about you. just not idea what they are saying
 Waited around for breakfast, which was a rice and squid soup, yummy. Alayna, along with half the student body was still asleep, so when we headed to the stage, all the teachers led  warm up of much stupid looking dancing. It woke me up just watching everyone else do all the moves. right after that we went into a nice round of limbo. the finalist were all boys and man they must have been going under a 2 foot space, which was redonkulous, yeesh did I feel unflexable or what.
Then came a game involving marbles and tubes.
so everyone sat in a circle. a dozen or so bottles of baby powder were handed out. Baby powder is big here to decrease the sweat and make you look nice and white. When the music starts you pass the bottle around the circle, then when the music stops the people with the bottles stand up and put a whack load of powder into one of their hands, then Adam would call out a direction like "put the powder on the face of the person three to the left" of "put the powder on Steve" which you would follow diligently, then by the end it turned into a big powder war, me and Alayna were prime targets along with all the teachers.
We came out looking like abominable snow men.
After the game was the total count for scores that had been kept over the weekend, Matt's team ended up winning which was good, much sheering was had.
pictures were taken, certificates handed out, candy, food. then a goodbye video.
After everything was said and done and all the kids were out of the rom the first thing I noticed was Howard ripping off, and yes literally ripping off the Media Kids shirt he had to wear today...he really did not like the way the camp was run, actually I talked to one of the Thai teachers after and she confirmed that the students said there was a huge change from last year to this year, and not for the better.
Even though there was a ton of things that weren't the best, the camp was genuinely fun, It was nice to get to know the english teachers better and I got to meet more students and got closer to others. I also met Fame which is a bonus enough all on it's own =P
anyways thats all I can think of for the moment...
tomorrow is school, I just spent the weekend at school, not even a day's break from me

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