Life in Yasothon is moving along, as life always does. There have been good and bad times, but I can effectively say that everything here is now normal to me. Christmas and the New Year came and went without much of a fuss, that which proves to me that it is easy to avoid homesickness during these times if you just think about a holiday as any other day of the year... Score one for apathy!
As far as farewells go, there have been a couple this month. I had to say goodbye to Jana, a farang friend who worked as an assistant teacher here at Yasothon Pittayakom School. She is off to travel independently for a month, and then she will be reunited with her family in Germany! So we went to "Coffee Bar," the cutesy cafe near her house (where the owner speaks English with a real English accent! She lived in the UK for a while) with all five of us (Me, Silvia, Jana, Marine, and Natasha), to wish her good luck in the next few months and have a last little moment together.
I've also had to say farewell to somebody else. I am going to be really mysterious and annoying here and tell you much, but it was a necessary goodbye for me, and I know that it will be for the better. I don't have regrets, and my life continues moving as always-- trudging forward, through the bad and the good, not necessarily with a specific goal besides trying to find some peace of mind, clarity, and happiness in this life. As of now, I think I have found that. I am finally happy with myself.
On another note, did you know that they eat more French Fries in Belgium than in France?! That's a mind-blowing realization, folks. The two Belgian girls here are making this Thai exchange far from normal and predictable, and I have been consuming lots of French Fries and waffles. Who would have thought that I would come to Thailand and speak primarily French with my farang friends? I am certainly not complaining... my French skills are returning, and I am even hoping to mix my slight American accent with a Belgian one so as to confuse the heck out of my French host family when I talk to them next. But aside from that, I can safely assume that there will be even more French Fries in the future... for a Belgian boy named Maxime will be joining us here in Yasothon at the end of January. I am certainly excited. More French Fries, and more French speaking...
But don't worry, my Thai isn't left by the way-side with this crazy mix of languages. I have been improving pretty steadily, and I can hold simple conversations with just about anybody, as long as they don't start to speak to me in the North Eastern dialect. Hmmm.
I am not sure if AFS would approve of my situation here, consistently having five farang at one school-- but as much as my exchange is not necessarily conventional, I can proudly say that I am happy as it is, and I wouldn't want to change it. In all truthfulness, I am not an "exchange purist." I think that you should make your exchange into what you want it to be in order to make yourself happy, so long as you still make an effort to connect with the people of your host country as well. And that I do...
The last thing I want to mention is that I made a (really crappy) video!
It may not be the most accurate portrayal of daily life, but it will show you some of the interesting stuff I have been up to... and put a picture to some of the places I mentioned in my last blog post!
The link is not herrrr... but here I will try again: