I can't believe we've been in Thailand for a month already, although in some ways it feels like it's been a lot longer. In the last month, we've mostly been having a great time, taking in everything and enjoying all the new experiences and life here. But I still get pangs of homesickness, especially on the weekends, when we would usually see our friends and be able to do lots of different things without having to drive too far. I also miss being in familiar surroundings with familiar faces, and having access to many more varieties of cuisines than we do here (I'm sure they exist; we just haven't found them yet).
The one person who has completely embraced life here is our little guy. He's game for trying and doing anything, has loved seeing and experiencing all kinds of new things, tries all the different foods, and now greets every Thai person he encounters in Thai! He has made several friends with other teachers' children and at school, and is loving school. Just the other day, another boy at school bought my son a snack during recess because I hadn't put any money on his I.D. card yet. I think it made him feel accepted. It was only in the past week that he has mentioned a few times that he misses his friends at home, but he doesn't dwell on it. He actually has matured quite a bit in the last month, carrying on conversations with adults and carrying himself with confidence. I have been amazed by his adaptability and enthusiasm, and am so proud of him for the way he's handled this upheaval in his life.
In general, the quality of our life here has been much better than it was in the U.S. The Thai people are really friendly, helpful, and nice, so it doesn't really feel like we're on our own here. The pace of life here also is much slower and more relaxed. The frenetic pace that was our life is no longer. Maybe part of it is that we are doing without some of the modern appliances and machinery that allowed us to do things faster, like a dishwasher or clothes dryer. But I am loving my simpler life.
And the fact that there are no disciplinary problems for teachers makes a huge difference in the amount of energy we have left at the end of the day. Work, while still tiring, is no longer draining.
So far, we are really loving life here. Even though it doesn't feel like home yet, the Thai people and the wonderful school community have really helped to make us feel not so far away from home and our friends and family. And it's such a beautiful country and fascinating culture. We look forward to learning more about it and exploring it.