Hello everyone. I am now back after a rather long break and I hope you all been well.
So as you can imagine things here have been rather busy and chaotic. I am now about to begin my 5th week of teaching here in Thailand and wow has time flown by, it feels like only the other day that I first started and now to think that I only have 3 months left here is quite saddening. My experience of teaching so far has been both good and bad, pretty much what any job is like I expect. There are some days where I can picture myself teaching here for a couple years, but other days when I want to quit immediately. The main reason for this is the way the kids behave, I have some (the majority) classes where the kids are fantastic, they participate, they learn and we all have fun. But then I also have some classes where the kids just refuse to listen and cooperate, these classes are really trying for me as although the majority of the kids in the class don’t want to learn there about 5 or 6 who are really smart and interested in learning and it becomes really hard to teach these few with the rest of the kids behaving badly. But it gets slightly better and easier each week, so I am pushing through haha.
Oh, so now the school has a contract with all the foreign English teachers that every Friday we have to choose one of the classes that we teach and get them to come up in front of the whole school during assembly and either say a couple lines of conversation (in English) or dance to a song. It is a fun experience and usually starts the Friday off on a good note. It just so happened that this past Friday was my turn, and so I organized for my P4/2 class to perform to the song “Tofa Tafa”. For those that don’t know it is an action song that includes a number of dance moves and then some Tofa Tafaing haha. Now I also had to go up in front of about 2000 kids and shake my bottom haha, it was all (un)fortunately caught on camera and will be posted here shortly, but due to some technical difficulties it will not be in this post haha.
In some other news though, I recently went out and completed my advanced open water dive certificate!! And again, it was a truly amazing experience. This time I completed the course on an island called Koh Tao through a dive school called Big Blue Diving. This course included 5 dives with 2 compulsory and 3 adventure dives. The compulsory dives were a deep dive where we dove down to 30 meters and the other was a navigation dive. These dives were obviously less about the marine life and more about technique and theory, but still they were both fantastic dives and we managed to see a number of fish including a giant school of fusiliers, some sweetlips, some queen fish and even a white eyed moray eel. Out of the two dives the deep dive was probably my favorite, the feeling you get being so deep and sometimes unable to see the surface is really captivating, the marine life down there also changes compared to the shallower areas and I think it is something that everyone should try to experience at least once in their lives.
A school of fish swimming by at 20-30 meters
Another giant school of fish
The next three dives, known as adventure dives were just the cherry on the top after the deep dive. The three adventure dives I chose where perfect buoyancy, a wreck dive and a night dive. Let’s start with the buoyancy dive, this dive was also more about technique and learning how to control ones buoyancy and acquiring the ability to hover, ascend and descend all by using our breathing. This means that there was a lot of wayward drifting on my behalf, I couldn’t quite work out the floating upside down part of the activity but we all had a good time trying haha. During this dive we were also shown how to swim backward and how to kick without stirring up to much sand and silt from the sea floor.
Wonderful yellow under the sea
Two fish and the great expanse beyond
These next two dives were by far my favorite. I shall start with the wreck dive, we dove at a wreck called the HTMS Sattakut. Now this ship was in fact a naval warship and served during WW2, the ship is 49 meters long and has guns at both fore and aft guns. Unfortunately due to the size, structure and depth of the ship we were not actually allowed inside (you can go inside but you need to have your wreck speciality certificate to do so), but we were able to stick our heads in through a door. After sticking my head in I realized why we were not allowed inside, it was pitch black, I could not see more than 1 meter ahead, really it was a bit scary haha. However we did swim around the ship and were able to swim through a small section on the deck of the ship, we were also able to see both guns and it was quite an experience to be able to see a warship that had actually served in a war, it was like swimming through history haha. The ship wasn’t the only thing we saw on the dive, there was also an abundance of sea life swimming and living around the wreck and we managed to find some emperor fish, some scribbled filefish as well as a giant trevally.
Some fish just hanging around
Artistic viewpoint of the fore gun
The final dive of the course was the night dive. This was my first ever night dive and definitely won’t be my last. We did the night dive at a location called White rock, during this dive we never ventured too deep and bottomed out at 16 meters. To try and fully explain what a night dive is truly like is near impossible, the feeling of being underwater in the darkness and only really being able to see what and where your torch shines is a funny feeling, it feels both confined and spacious at the same time. It’s also rather scary as you know that there are creatures swimming all around you but you can’t see them, you can sense them though and every now and then a fish swims by your torch beam and lights up a number of other fish as well. The marine life at night though is really awesome, we were lucky enough to see 6 Blue spotted stingrays, one big and one small hermit crab and my favorite, the bioluminescent algae. This bioluminescent algae was really cool, we had to turn off our torches and then you wave your hand through the water and by doing this you disrupt the algae and they then sort of glow or shine a nice white color for a couple seconds. It is really awesome when the whole area in front of you lights up, it’s like thousands of little glow worms in the water haha. The stingrays were also really awesome, we were lucky enough to see at least 6 of them in and around the same area, at one stage we even saw 4 having a sort of dinner party haha.
Just a little glimpse as to what we see/can’t see.
One of the blue spotted stingrays
All in all it has been a fantastic experience here in Thailand, from the teaching to the diving, to the food and the temperature. I have absolutely loved my time here and cannot wait to see what the next 4 months has in store for us. I promise to post more often and make sure to keep you guys updated on all my adventures, thanks for reading.