The end of the beginning

I am officially done with pre-service training. Right now I am avoiding packing, by writing this blog post. Tomorrow I will move into the hotel, then after that is swearing in—which is a big deal. I am both and nervous in moving into my official site. I will no longer be able to use the excuse “if I mess up, it won’t matter too much because I will be leaving soon.”
Overall, pre-service training has been a very positive experience…as you can probably tell from my previous blog posts. I made a lot of new friends, both Thai and American. I got try new things, such as putting on an English camp, visiting umpteen-hundred wats, to just learning a new and difficult language. Now, I would not be human if I didn’t have challenges along this experience. There were times that I thought “what am I doing here” and times I did not click with people. One of the most difficult things was getting used to the idea of giving gifts. Now, by nature I am not a gift giving person. (Ask my Mom about the time I was asked to help pay for the angel window ornament.) Now Thais are the opposite. They give gifts for everything. It is this whole thing called “Greng Jai” which means you are a good hearted person by offering things without expecting anything in return. OK, good idea, but when the “giving” translates into gifts, not time or helping, I am at a lost. In America, I can usually gage how much I should give or spend based on what the other person is giving or plans to give. Here in Thailand, they are so generous, I feel there is no amount I can give that will equal out. Hopefully, over the next two years, I can figure out the answer to that question.

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