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  • vanheerdenf68 6:46 pm on July 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Choices Choices 

    With all that was happening in my life, the only place for me to find peace was and still is at the feet of my Father, Jesus Christ. I felt rejected and used. I needed guidance and at that stage I felt to just go back to South Africa. But I didn’t had enough money for a ticket back home. I need to do a Visa run AGAIN.

    After a few days of soul searching and praying, I decided to make contact again with an agent someone recommended. With In days they organized a job for me in Bangkok. I ask for a contract, the answer was ” we don’t do contracts” . I let it be because I was really so blessed to have a new opportunity and privilege to teach young kids.

    I decided to stay ….. I will not quite.

    5 June 2019 , my journey in Bangkok started.

  • vanheerdenf68 3:09 pm on July 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The most beautiful canvas: Krabi 

    With my hole life in my suitcase, I got on the bus to Krabi. This was by far the longest bus trip for me. The next day at about 13:00 , I reach my destination. I feed my eyes , nature is different in Krabi. The weather is somewhat cooler than in Hat Yai. The meter taxi took me to my new accommodation. After a nice shower and settling in, I take a walk to the river. Never in my life I thought I will see that part of Thailand. I let the new agent know that my trip went well. He promised to meet me the next day. Again i am on a total emotional high. New beginnings once again. But with all the excitement, there is something inside me that warns me against any expectations. Due to the public holidays , I had time on my hands to visit Ao nong beach, see some of the ilands from far. It was amazing. Really just like in the pictures I saw on the internet.

    My first day at school was awesome. Soon the children start interacting with me more than I ever experienced so far on my journey. I really hope to get the contract as promised to teach at that school. Weeks gone by and about 2 weeks before month end, life tought me a new lesson. I was informed that i am to old for the schools image. And get this, woman are not allowed to teach EP. Funny I did not ask to teach that. It was the schedule the school gave me to teach incl Maths. I loved EP.

    The shock did not end there. I never met the agent and on payday I was not even payed a thirt of my salary. I contact the agent and he told me ” take it or leave it”. I felt num…….where to from here…..

  • vanheerdenf68 5:39 am on July 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Challenge…..I am still standing and will not quite. 

    With my arm in a sling and not useless, I continue my journey in Hat Yai and Sai Buri. At night I cry myself to sleep. Not because of self pity, because of severe pain. With no medical cover, I had and still have to endure the pain and the fact that I can’t use it even to open a bottle of water. My finances will not cover more x-rays nor an operation.

    My Visa run to Malaysia on request of the owner of the agency was unnecessary. Because I did a Visa run to Cambodia just a month before. But I didn’t argue.

    My time in Hat Yai come to a end. With my arm in the sling and a pillow to rest it on, I am heading for my new Destination…..Krabi

  • vanheerdenf68 5:17 am on July 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Combination of rain and a slippery road with a scooter 

    Hat Yai o Hat Yai, this place I will never forget. Early one Wednesday morning on my way to school , I had a encounter that was unexpected and very painful. It start raining and I lost control over my scooter when I turned right. I fell on the pavement with my right shoulder. Out of nowhere someone strangers open umbrellas to cover me. It was really pouring. I remember that some lady hold a little bottle under my nose and told me to inhale. My right arm was next to my head. I could move my fingers but not my arm. The severe pain stop me from even trying to bring my arm closer to my body. I was taken to the provincial hospital in a ambulance. Believe me, not comfortable at all. Not one of the paramedic ‘ s speak or understand English. They try to pull me over onto the hospital bed at the ER. Not on my left arm, but on my right arm. I think they could hear me scream up to 7th floor. They sent me for x-rays. With me in pain, and dr’s and nurses not understanding, I start crying. Luckily the owner of the agency I worked at, arrived at the hospital. They informed her that my shoulder dislocated and I have a fracture. They decided that for now the operation is not necessary. They pull my arm back into position, put my arm in a sling , with 14 pain tablets the dr discharged me. Next morning I had to report for duty.

    I told the hospital that I am covered and give my traveling insurance to the owner of the agency to explain to them. The dr informed me that my policy is cancelled. I was shocked. I paid for 365 days. I mail Genetic insurance, they told me that the policy I bought was for persons 70+. And I didn’t read the small print. It stated that I need to be back in south Africa every 90 days. 3 months after the incident , I only receive a letter stating everything the lady emailed me.

  • vanheerdenf68 2:06 am on July 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Hat Yai summer camps 

    I truly enjoy the summer camps in Hat Yai. Even the one in Sai Buri .

    My first day I had the privilege of teaching 3 -5 year old learners. For some, it was the first time to attend school never mind summer camp. Every morning starts with tears. Tears of children. They didn’t want to be without mum,dad and sometimes grandma and grandpa. They cling to them like magnets. This is one thing I can’t handle. Children crying, I will start crying with them.

    The days were long, and sometimes to long. Children fell asleep under and on there tables. I would carefully pic them up, put them on a mattress out of harms way so they can sleep peacefully. They are still babies.

    The next few weeks the learners 5 – 10 year old, entertain me . Most of the time I didn’t understand a word they was saying. But that didn’t stop them from telling me a story with excitement.

    I see all these children and I feel so privileged to be a part of there journey. They might not remember me in the years to come, but believe me, in my hart they be. So much love I never experienced in my life.

    I met the most awesome teachers in Hat Yai. All have a passion for children and teaching.

    With my time in Hat Yai soon to be ending , I learn and explore, gain experience, and so I get answers to my questions. With everything I know, …. will i quit…? My answer is the following. Success don’t come easy. I have come this far. I can still make a difference in people’s lives. Quit is not part of my life. I will teach in Thailand for as long as i can.

  • vanheerdenf68 11:03 am on July 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Culture shock and the truth about teaching in Thailand 

    Safely in Hat Yai. The agency seems to be on top of there game. When I was told that I will experience a culture shock, I thought to myself….mmm interesting but I don’t think so. Well…I was wrong. My shock didn’t come from Thai people, but from fellow South Africa people. Opinionated, rude, vulgar, abusive, and a few other words I prefer not to mention. Why do people change like that when they enter a new journey in there life? I am a changed person yes, but not like that. Don’t expect to find me in bars, clubs or hangouts where buzz is all present. I want to be your friend just as I am . I don’t need alchohol to be the reason you want me to be your friend. I believe in helping people, not use them for your entertainment to make you feel good.

    The truth about teaching in Thailand:

    Yes you need a BA degree to obtain a works permit to teach legally in Thailand.

    Your TESOL/TEFL Alone will not help you. Yes, in Thailand they can make things happen. FAKE degrees is available and can be costly. It is your choice to take the risk. My choice is to inroll for my TESOL BA degree at Siam Technology in Bangkok.

    Linda Hanekom, is one of the few South African people that truly deserve my respect. You are more than welcome to mail her if you want to teach in Thailand. She will help you and just verify all I said about TESOL/Tefl. You can obtain the correct information and certificate and she will help with placement at a school. Her mail address is :
    She is truly respectable and honest to all her clients.

    Do I have any regrets? No, my journey is far from over.

  • vanheerdenf68 8:25 am on July 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Choices I had to make 

    My month end on February 28th 2019. What must I do?? I don’t have money to take a trip nor to explore Thailand. I need to find work or quit my journey and go back to South Africa. I pray ” Father please tell me wat you want me to do”. Early the next morning someone recommended me to a new agent in Hat Yai. They was looking for teachers to do summer camps from March to April. I was relieved. After the new agent accepted my application, I informed the current agent about my decision . Later that day I received a call from the company who sold me to the current ( soon to be ex agent). They threaten to make my life hell if I use a agent not linked to there company. This is the very short version of the talk I had with them.

    I made my decision and I will stick to it. I am not a quitter. This choice was a very costly trip. 2 Flights and I didn’t mind, this is my future. To quit will only benefit the people who think I will not continue with my journey. Believe me , if I still had someone or something back home, my choices would be defirent. I need to do this for me and for me only. The only way I will keep going and growing is with Jesus Christ, He is my strength and my salvation. With all this things happening in my life I almost forgot about my first Visa run to Cambodia ( will tell you more later).

  • vanheerdenf68 7:17 am on July 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The untold truth 

    With my TESOL certificate in my hand and still a lot of questions, my journey started as a TESOL teacher. My first placement was a nightmare to begin with. First , I didn’t know that I have been sold to a agency to place me. Second, the cost involved after the training was never mentioned. Thirdly, extention on your Visa is no problem but……Visa run is a different story , specifically with a South African passport.

    My first placement was at a school in Prathai. Omw, it was a shocker, my accommodation was ok. Although I didn’t have hot water , I worked with what I got and try do stay thankful and positive. I soon realized that to invest in a fan , is the best thing I could do. To use the aircon in your room is very expensive. My first day at school was not at all what I expected. They gave me a month contract because , here in Thailand the school semester’s end end of February. A nother opstical in the way. No pay for March and April. My agency ” forget” to mention this in the first place. My first week with teenagers went smoothly. But … some teachers had a problem with my outfit to school. My outfit is : long black skirt with a top. I was informed that my skirt is to long. They prefer the skirt shorter. No trousers, slacks was allowed unless it was camp day ( agency come to school and entertain learners with activities). I hate the place and to be challenged by dogs on my way to school and back, was not my idea for fun. One Friday afternoon, that same dogs attacked me and ripped my laptop bag in pieces. I had to use my laptop in self devence. I hit the charging dogs with it when they try to bite me. I did report the incident……..deaf ears was on duty.

  • vanheerdenf68 5:29 am on July 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Hua Hin: Let the training begin. 

    To sit in a class of +- 35 students can be challenging. All from different parts of the world. All have different reasons for there journey. Most of them only want to explore and experience thai culture for 6 months to a year. TESOL was also a good option for them.

    On the first day we get to meet the Director and the senior crew members.

    Then the introduction to the TESOL program . I am was so excited to begin. Some of the study materials is not new to me. I have raised 2 kids of my own. And teach some along the way. Every single day I learn and discover something new. After the day in class ended, I start exploring Hua Hin. My first stop was at the street market , I need to buy dinner. The smells of some of the places is horrible. Fish I don’t buy (will tell you later why). Chicken and pork with noodles or rice. I play it safe and go for the pork and rice. The lady seving me was so friendly. I find that eggs is also a must have with almost everything on the menu. I don’t like nor eat eggs . Quickly I had to learn to say ” no eggs” . Believe me some of the eggs look so rubbery, I think if you had to bounce it, it most surtenly will. Luckily fruit like pineapple, watermelon and melon’s, you can buy for 20 B. Always fresh.

    Some days the Thai teacher try to teach us the basic Thai language. Believe me that on it self is was and still is a challenge. Thank heaven for the translator app on my phone.

    One of the directors explained why the greeting in Thai is important. And you always need to way. Don’t know if this is spelled correctly. And you may not look them in the eye when you bow your head with your hands together like you are praying. Later I found that not all Thai people are into that anymore. You need to use the words : Pee and the person’s name if they are younger than you and Khun and the person’s name when they are older than you. Don’t make the mistake to think every smile you get for doing just that, is a friendly smile. Some Thai people will smile at you and throw you with a brick with a smile. I found that they don’t like forangs ( this is wat they called any expat). Specially if you come from the Africa continent.

    The days are filled with assignments and info to prepare us for the journey ahead.

    During the last 3 weeks of the trainings I was admitted to San Pollo hospital. With all the new food I ate something that made me sick. Food poisoning is not something I ever foreseen happening to me. Well, this is definitely the worst experience so far.

    Back to class the same day the dr discharged me from hospital. It is question and answers time. This is were my questions create upset . Upset in myself and I believe in other students as well .

    My question was the following ” you advertise that with a TESOL certificate you don’t need a degree to teach. There answer was ” you don’t need a degree to teach”.

  • vanheerdenf68 2:51 am on July 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Monks 

    Woman are not allowed to touch monks. If they get on a bus or taxi or enter places where you stand in ques to be served. They get preference. Monks have a daily routine, walking to collect money and food offerings. They are not allowed to touch any of that. I learned that all they don’t have rules that will be seen as laws for every monk. Every area have there own set of rules. Don’t expect a monk to greet you, they rather walk on and ignore you. It is your choice to give them any offerings.

    Orientation is done and dusted. Now it is time to pack my bags, get on the bus and enjoy the trip to Hua Hin.

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