‘Surprise!’ -Mae

6/15/16 Previously mentioned, “I couldn’t sleep,” in: https://elainewanderlusts2.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/may-june-whops/

At In less than 8 hours I was going to see my mom! What?! Also she didn’t call me when she landed or got to the hotel so I was pretty worried (RUDE!)

Sukhothai!:  6/16/16 In the morning I met with my Thai father’s ex-students who were visiting home (Sawankhalok) from university. He pretty much has these two boys whom I’ve never met to drive me and my mom around. I swear I can never repay him. We go to the airport and finally she arrives… I see her in the distance and thought, ‘Yeaup there she is.‘ Then I saw someone oddly behind her and I thought she made a friend, but then I realized that was MY FRIEND :0  I was truly surprised and kept on looking at SAM (my friend) for the first hour in disbelief.

It felt normal REALLY quick it was weird showing them around and talking but I could tell there was almost a spell between us. A strange distance was in the air and I didn’t feel like I had with them in the past; in America. 20160616_094843

A quick stop to a coffee shop then to the Sukhothai Historical Park for my 8th time! I swear I have an annual pass.

There after they OF COURSE had dinner with my Thai father who treated us all ALL Day by even giving his ex students money and not letting us pay for ourselves.

There was a lot of chats and silences in observances upon one another. Taking it in. 9 months: a lot can change. I think my Mom’s and Sam’s visit was the most reflective I’ve been about myself. It was almost overwhelming.

They came to classes with me after the caught up on a bit of sleep and we went to lunch with 2 of my host teachers: P’Yu and P’Am. It was I think the first time since October that I had 2 of my host teachers together. 20160617_114608

Kayaked (I love it!- Round 3) And it was their first time too! 13475171_1212434332108551_1169261791733254764_o

After I took them to my famous Ice cream shop and… What do you know we get caught in a STORM! water levels were even with the side walks and there was a lot of thunder and lightning cracking nearby to the point we thought we were going to get electrocuted. What normally takes me at MOST 20 minutes to walk too us 1 hour and 15 minutes running and hiding from shop to shop. Welcome to Thailand Mom & Sam! 🙂


When planning for only my Mom to come we planned to go to Phuket since I hadn’t been there yet. Personally I could have done without it. It felt like no other place in Thailand but at least I got to go and see. 20160618_083209

We saw the Big Buddha with an awesome view

Wat Chalong 20160619_123235

Siam Cabaret show

Patong Beach strip

Koh Phi Phi Island Hopping (round 2)

and had an awesome Thai massage. There was a lot of needed down time, eating and shopping for souvenirs (weird, I have yet to do this)


Siam Museum (round 2)

Wat Pho (round 2)

REUINION!- So Celeste was an impromptu plan, sorta. We idealized her coming in December but it was forgotten. She messaged me again in May and BAM there she was. 3 friends/ family from Calexico in Thailand… NEVER in my dreams. But I was so happy it happened.

Lumphini Park (round 100?)

Grand Palace (round 3)

Wat Arun (round 2)

Golden mountain (round 2)

JJ Market (round 2)

Famous Khao San Road (round 3)

Malls- Who can say they’ve been to Bangkok without checking out the acres of malls…

Rooftop bar (round 3)

I really want to say Thank You to my Mom & Sam; this one is for you both! love you!

Elaine ❤

p.s. for those wondering ‘What about work Elaine??’ -I did ask for my 1 week off to welcome my mom to Thailand since April. Luckily for me, the week I asked for off was the week right before a scheduled week off -Sports week- so I did have 2 weeks off YAY!

p.p.s Mae= Mom in Thai.


May? June? Whops!

I’d say I’m sorry but; really, I’m not. Being MIA (which I have for 2 1/2 months) means ‘missing in ACTION.’ So yes, I’ve been busy and here is a recap of the first 5 weeks!  -Take out your calendars-

1. May 16-19: My first week back to school: teaching 10 classes of seniors in high school (in America’s standards) for 18 hours a week.

2. May 20-22: No Class FRIDAY! Yeaup. First week back and no class on a Friday. A 3 day weekend where I had a FULL HOUSE of Fulbrighters. Crystal, Ia, Dee, Mimi, and my Sukhothai buddy Edie all came to my house and had a fun Sukhothai weekend. We borrowed my gracious host teachers car and toured my province for 2 1/2 days. Truthfully, it was a lot of eating, talking, and sweating. 13301433_10206363220454970_1930753015916993884_o

3. May 23-June 1: Work Work Work…(Think of Rihanna’s song yet?) After slightly tying to figure out my students level of English (because they are all new students for me) I went ahead and taught my old lesson of synonyms where I act out about 36 new vocabulary so they can really understand the difference between each synonym. It’s a lot of fun and I get mocked a lot but they learned it. Oh & they LOVE ‘Heads Up 7 Up.’Also my new American co-worker stayed over for the weekend and I showed her around Sawankhalok.

4. June 2-5: Look for a new Fulbright School. Well news is out: unfortunately another Fulbrighter will not be coming to SawanAnan Wittaya School (my host school) next year. It seems that I am the last and the show must go on. If you want my honest opinion, I think there are other schools that NEED a Fulbrighter much more than this school.  SAW already has the budget for 4 other foreign teachers when other schools can’t even afford 1. Although conveniently located with a bus stop, airport and many many good local finds less than 15 mins away, it’s not about the comfort of the Fulbrighter but the mission s/he is tending to…IN MY OPINION.

  • So my Fulbright P’s -anyone older than me- came to Sukhothai, picked Edie and me up and toured other schools in Sukhothai. It was a lot of fun rating the schools and trying to give reasons why we think they would or wouldn’t be a good match for Fulbright. Later I too went to Edie’s house for the weekend and lounged with her at various coffee shops.

5. June 6-15:

  • Work wise I was teaching conversations on how to help give directions like buying tickets or putting things together. I did this so they could verbally practice First, next, then. My students are really good and they have a lot of support on behalf of the well budgeted school. Only thing is that they don’t get to practice verbally so just a little 411. I also taught small talk conversations about jobs and goals by having them write and share long and short term goals they have for themselves. Finally I left it at giving directions using Thailand’s BTS (metro) system and giving them a script to help each other get to different points on the map (they had A LOT of fun with this one)
  • Wai Kru Ceremony: June 9th was the schools ‘Wai Kru Ceremony’ they are held in each school on different days of the beginning of June. They are held to establish the relationship between the teacher and student and for the students to wai-bow- to show they are ready to learn. The students also give flowers to the teachers all symbolizing different things but very deep if you asked me. My thoughts: This in America; never. DSC_0058
  • KAYAKING! Later that day I went on my first Kayaking adventure in Thailand down a river in my small town and I swear I hadn’t felt so genuinely happy and care free as I did for a while. 13433231_1207557669262884_7794836975156069443_o
  • Weekend! My fellow Fulbrighter-friend Crystal stationed in Lampang (3 hrs away) and her friend from America came to Sawankhalok for some small town fun which included Kayaking (yes I went again), coffee shops, ice cream, and food. It was a lot of fun and really cool to meet one of my friends friends from ‘Merica.13422435_1388117081215293_8949174448899272141_o

On the 15th I could barely sleep I was so excited. Yes, after ALL of the 5 weeks mentioned above: teaching and every weekend booked I had something even more exciting coming the next day! Read here: https://elainewanderlusts2.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/surprise-mae/

Hope that answered 1/2 of your ‘Where’s Elaine?’ question. I’ll try to be better about writing,

Elaine ❤



Happy 5 Thailand

I’ve imagined myself cheating on my boyfriend with Thailand. I get excited when we reach new levels of comfort. I like that I feel home in Thailand. I also get really cute and celebrate how long we’ve been together and do monthly anniversaries. As so. 5 months in Thailand (well technically tomorrow) but luckily our honey moon stage isn’t quite finished yet.

See we were getting off on the wrong foot after my New Years trip. Thailand was giving me sas with it’s cultural differences. We were also spending too much time together. Luckily, I had some good company to get away from the situation and I told Thailand we needed some space and will being going to Bali, Indonesia for a week. It might have hurt Thailand’s feelings but he got over it and gifted me an internship with the Fulbright office in Bangkok. I think Thailand’s considering long term. We’ll see.

ANYWAY I’ve been MIA for a tad longer than a week but it feels like forever. I missed writing and sharing photos of beautiful Thailand, so i’ll update you:

  1. I got an eye surgery to remove my stye. SO painful! It was not enough anesthesia for me. Just 15 minutes and it healed fine; but still, I’m not sure if I would have done it knowing the pain I’d endure.
  2. I found out my students are going to change the world. For their final I gave them interview questions of their choice for either a sports team, a university, or a job. They answered I edited…344 papers. Once they were done they would type up the finished product and interview each other. I was mostly listening to their pronunciation, effort, and confidence in speaking English which has improved since I arrived!
  3. After their final was done SELFIE TIME! These students are seniors in high school so saying good bye really is Good Bye ❤   featured M6/01/1/2/3/4/5/6/7
  4. I’ve been given some extra love from students on Social media, that also answered my question if I was a good teacher this semester.
  5. I had a relaxing weekend with my Sukhothai Buddy: Edie! Where we found some good lounges, coffee shops, and explored Sri Satchanalai a lot more.
  6. Hung out with Kanoon, Cream, & Noe and FINALLY explored more of Sawankhalok (I’m never actually in town on the weekends).

    <Mango Sticky Rice>

I feel relieved fixing this blog situation to continue sharing my upcoming adventures: Bali, Indonesia! 2/28- 3/5. I’ll be going with 4 other lovely Fulbrighters and already have a volcano tour booked.


Elaine ❤