by Angela Grindle (July, 2009 – March, 2010)
Once upon a time there was a girl named Angela. Angela had often dreamed of teaching in a far away land but something had always held her back. Then…one day Angela awoke to find herself in the magical land of smiles, the land that is Thailand. After asking herself how she had got there? she set about exploring her surroundings. This fledging teacher gazed in wonder at the creatures which before now had appeared only in the pages of books and as images on television. A statuesque Elephant strolled past her house, an impertinent frog was sharing her shower, a curious gecko watched over her as she slept.
Young Angela thought about the castle that she had left behind in Scotland, the sanctuary in which she had spent many comfortable years. The new abode was not what she expected, which perplexed her for a long time. Suddenly the dimly lit room that she had newly acquired filled with glorious light from the day break and then came the moment of clarity. Angela realised that although things had not been as they were before, this was actually a very good thing. Why would we try anything new if we wanted it to be the same as everything that we had ever done before? Everything changes, even when you don’t want it to. Embrace the change and slay the dragon of fear. If you never do anything that scares you, do you ever stop treading water?
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different. What’s good for one person is definitely not for another but what Angela realised was that you’re not being fair to yourself if you don’t give things a chance. Not everyone will have a fairy tale ending, but she certainly did.
I wish I could tell you in more detail about her experience but honestly she wants you to find this out for yourself. It is so much better to explore than to not explore. Open your heart and mind and you’ll be just fine. Surat Thani is a fantastic place to teach, especially if its your first experience. Also, if you’re half as lucky as Angela you’ll meet the most amazing, diverse, interesting and FUNNY people you could ever dream of. If I had could ask you all one question as you finish reading this, it would be…Why wouldn’t you come and teach in Surat Thani? There is no bug big enough or toilet/shower dysfunctional enough to have made this experience any less magical.T-each in Thailand don’t delay, E-xpand your horizons in every way A-bsorb yourself in the culture that is Thai, C-hallenge yourself, spread your wings and fly H-ave a dream and watch it come true, I-nvisage something exciting and new N-ever forget now lucky you are, G-azing out at an ocean lit up by stars .
I-magine a country where EVERYONE smiles, N-ot forgetting the beaches that go on for miles .
T-ravel in the holidays, wherever you like, H-op on and off trains, or get on your bike A-roi mak mak, every day!, I-ce cream wrapped in bread..no way! L-emon fruit shakes with salt, why oh why? A-mazing students that bring a tear to your eye N-ew beginnings and excellent new friends D-ays with no beginning and no ends………