Nong Bua Daeng; the story so far!
Having tried to see the positive in a negative situation, I now consider myself very lucky to have ended up in Nongbuadaeng Wittaya School! This post comes later than I had planned, simply because I wanted to spend some time exploring the town, before I gave you an insight. This article should focus on; the general community and Nongbuadaeng Wittaya School!
The community in general appears to be very tightly-knit, although I suppose the lesser population is partially to thank. I am one of 3 Farang’s teaching at Nongbuadaeng Wittaya, although there are another 2 nearby. Generally, we are all welcomed by the local community with confused but warming smiles from the locals. Focus then, must be on the 3 F’s; food, facilities and festivals!
Regards the food front, Nong Bua Daeng did seem very basic; with 7/11 is the closest you’ll come to a supermarket for 50 miles. That being said, as you venture more, the food front becomes a lot more interesting and exotic. The night market provides a feast of foods, as stated within my last post. Night market food is generally as British as Pad Thai, but there’s something for everyone, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A NUT ALLERGY. Hot dogs and other strange sausages, on sticks. Pork, on sticks. Chicken, on sticks. Shrimp, on sticks. Octopus, on sticks. All available with sticky rice! You get the picture, yes? In addition to all these foreign delights, Nong Bua Daeng does boast a small ice-cream shop, named scoop, which sells a variety of Western meals. Fact is, you won’t starve here, nut allergy or no nut allergy.
Less focus on food then, and more on the facilities in the surrounding area. Sports wise, there’s lots to do. If you’re a teacher, then there are various after school sports. Football, futsal, volleyball, badminton, basketball, sepak takraw and even ping pong. Even if you do not teach, and like the sound of the area; there are football and futsal parks, in addition to a basketball court and a loch for running. Don’t run at nights though. The locals might be friendly 24/7, but the local dogs become a bit rowdy after dark! Theories behind this are inconclusive, but I reckon they see farang’s as vampires, or ghosts.
Food? Check. Facilities? Check. Time for some festival talk then! Thai’s love a festival. It’s great fun for everyone in the area! Early December has saw a massive festival enter the town of Nong Bua Daeng, for the kings birthday, featuring everything from acrobats, to live music shows, to a Thai elephant! (below) The set up is great too. Stalls featuring everything from games, to t-shirts with messages which cannot be spoken on here… All in all, this place is ace.
OK, onto Nongbuadaeng Wittaya (below). The school itself looks great, although the facilities inside are not quite up to Western standards, as you’d expect. Majority of classrooms contain a whiteboard, so life isn’t so bad on that part. The only negative, is that many classrooms do not contain a fan. Now a classroom of 40-50 lively kids can get very hot, but luckily lessons only last 50 minutes. Learning a little Thai can go a long way on this part though, using words such as ‘neap’ (quiet) and ‘grasip’ (whisper) to calm them down. In the long run, I hope to provide some additional tips to help you in the classroom. I’m still new to it all though, so would rather get more experience under my belt!
When entering a school, no matter how fantastic the aesthetics may be, the real heart comes from the people within. In this case, I’m delighted to say EVERYONE has been very welcoming. Teachers and students alike. The school contains 2500-3000 students, all with a crazy level of respect for the ‘Farangs’. This makes the teaching much more enjoyable. There are tougher classes, as some children do not care for English, but there are ways around their disinterest. The Thai teachers are always very helpful within these scenarios though, with most able to speak very good English. This is somewhat comforting, with everything around the school being written in Thai! No words can express my gratitude for them, but maybe photo’s can help. They thought I said perfect a lot, so below you will see a new trend I’ve started in school! The other image, is self explanatory…
- Posted in: From Cheesetown to Pua Nan