Learning Names- Volunteering in Thailand

As a complete tiger balm lover (that little camphor mentol ointment) I could not be in a better place. Thais love that stuff even more than I do. They use it for it all. So I can totally indulge myself on it without being frowned upon like back home. I use it for headaches, muscles aches, sinusitis, to relax and even to cool off when it is too hot. As I have been feeling a bit “flu-ish” I have been using tiger balm more than ever. I dont feel anything severe or serious, just mild flu symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and a bit of sinus irritation. Enough for Horm to want to take me to the doctor in case I have swine flu! I of course completely reject the idea, as I am sure if that is a place I could get swine flu that might be in the hospital.

Today I was left alone again with year 3 and 4. But now it is lots of fun. I actually came up with a way to FINALLY learn their nicknames. Yesterday I did it with year 5 and 6. Basically I ask them to tell me their nicknames, I write it down as it phonetically sounds to me, and I ask them to hold the paper while I take a picture of their faces and name. It was great because by today I knew everybody in year 5 and 6! Today I decided to do the same with year 3 and 4 and it was soooooooo funny… because I realized they actually were copying from me what their names were. As obviously they write their names in Thai, they don’t really know how to spell them in English… and I who was writing them down in a mixture of Portuguese and French had to half way change them to what it would sound in English…. For instance Ai in Portuguese had to become EYE while Aí had to become AEE!

It was not long before Horm came by saying we had to go back home to prepare for the camp. The camp will be this Thursday and Friday so we spent the whole day doing a worksheet with games, and exercises for the camp. Apparently even schools from the other district want to come to our camp! There are already 7 schools coming and Horm is having to reject all others. Too many people for our little school!

As usual the day finishes with OH coming for massage. Her daughter who is 1,5 has an allergy since I arrived here. I have no idea how many times she has been to the doctor in vain. Sometimes I wish I was a doctor and could help her, or take her to a good doctor. So much I like Oh. But the doctor just makes her wait and wait. This little 1,5 who cries in agony with this spots in her skin can barely sleep!, Oh does not even know what they are. Today as she massaged me she gave me a gentle kiss on my back. She said she would miss me. So will I. It is amazing how we can become fond of people who we barely understand and who are sooo different but at the same time just soo alike. When my massage finished I decided to give her one. This lady works like 10 hours a day giving massages  definitely deserves one the most I thought!. It was a bold thing to do, to give a massage to an internationally trained masseuse. I just meant to help. She said I was very good, that I must have learned from receiving massages. She is kind, and tired I guess.

I must go now, apparently we are having vegetarian vietnamese food!

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