My after 11 bowls of noodles which my mom kept ordering

Me in traditional Chinese dress with my friend

Me and my host family with my Dads Chinese freinds who came and made us authentic Chinese food

A football tournament we had on the last day of school


February 27, 2024

Exams Are Done!

Wow! Is the only word I can think of to describe my time so far. It has been incredible and it is crazy that I will be changing to my 3rd host in a few days time. Time seems to move so fast while being here.

I have just finished my final exam which means my school is finished until I have to come home. I am happy because that means I am going to be able to do a lot of traveling but also a bit sad as I won’t be able to see my friends everyday anymore.

Thailand has also made me grow quite a lot after being here, both lengthwise and a bit around my hips. I have grown about 2 inches since coming here and now weigh about 155 lbs. The problem is the food, which is so good I just can’t stop eating it. My host mom also will just keep giving me food even if I don’t ask for it which I’m not mad about, but it’s definitely not helping.

A new huge mall opened up in my city and it has been packed the last few weeks. Thai people love malls. In Bangkok there are so many huge and beautiful malls and almost all cities have at least 2-3 very large malls typically with 3-4 floors.

The weather is starting to get warmer again which I can’t say I’m too excited for. The temperature the last few months has stayed between 80-90 and I’ve been able to get used to it but I don’t know how I will handle the new surge that’s coming. I am told the temperature typically rests between 105-110 degrees fahrenheit during midsummer which is going to make it hard to be outside. They do have many ways to combat the heat here, my favorite one being a special type of powder you put on that almost stings your body and helps to make the heat a little bit more manageable.

My Thai is definitely improving and I had my first full dream in Thai about 3 weeks ago. I was very happy when this happened because It means I am developing fluency in the language. I am getting a lot better with keeping up with conversation between large groups of people and even able to interject and make my own jokes. My family and friends communicate exclusively in Thai with me now and I am very proud of how far I have come. A lot of success these last few months are because of my current host family who speak very little English which forces me to speak Thai 24/7. This has especially helped with my grammar and sentence structure which helps to make me sound more like a native.

My reading is still slow mainly because of the vowels and how many different combinations they have. I can read menus and childrens books slowly and usually be able to understand. What I struggle with the most is writing. This is because of the tones and all of the tone rules they have for writing. Incorrectly writing one character can completely change the meaning of the word, which forces you to have to memorize most of the words.

We recently celebrated the Chinese New year which was a lot of fun. The city I live in, NakhonSawan, has very many Chinese people and is known to have the best and most authentic celebration for Chinese New Year. It lasted 2 weeks with a festival every day. It was amazing to see the way they celebrate and to try all the authentic Chinese foods. This year was the year of the dragon so there were many Dragon Dances and even one at my school. My favorite part was getting to put on Chinese dress and walking with the parade on the actual day of Chinese New year.

I will soon go on 2 big trips with Rotary to the North and South of Thailand which I am very excited for.