Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Beach Retreat

So much going on right now, or at least it feels busy. Thursday and Friday we had off for professional development days. Thursday morning we had meetings and then in the afternoon I was able to grade some of my workbooks finally. They are the one thing I get behind in grading. Then we left thursday afternoon for a compound in Pattaya to have a staff retreat along with the Thai teachers. I'll admit it was a little stressful because my division was in charge of it and since I'm one of the leaders Esther (our administrator) kind of put me in charge of the whole thing. So we had to plan a menu, make room assignments and plan ALL of the activities. Stressful no? We actually ended up getting to Pattaya later than we thought on thursday night so the activities we had planned go pushed back/cancelled and we just settled in. After we put our stuff down we all headed down to the beach which is just across the street from the compound. Some jumped in the water and then we played Limbo on the beach. It was fun.
Friday morning we did my activity first. It was just a get to know you activity since as an entire staff, Thai and Farang we know names and faces but no much else about eachother so we had to say what we went to college for, if we had any kids (this was mostly for the thai staff), two things we like to do and where we were from in America, Thailand (as well as China and Sri Lanka). I had some maps on the wall and everyone wrote their names on a sticker and then went up and put the sticker over where they were from. When that was done we split into two teams and played a game where a sheet was held up in the middle and one person from each team would stand on each side. The first person to say the others name would win. It was actually a lot of fun. I think the Thai staff liked it.

After lunch had had made sure we had a good chunk of free time, more than 6 hours actually. Instead of staying on the beach right in front of the compund which was much nastier and garbage filled than I remembered (we found a bag of needles), we decided to go to an island off the coast. Most of the farang staff, the Chinese teacher and a couple Thai staff headed to the Pattaya pier. We were able to charter a boat (for the expensive price of $5 each) to take us out to the island. The ride out was quite eventful. We took many pictures and fell many times as the boat rocked and rolled. Finalle we got to a "private" beach in a little cove. WE couldn't actually pull all the way up to the beach. The boat had to anchor pretty far out and then we could swim in. We all swam in and spent a little time there playing keep away and ultimate frisbee, but the best part was jumping off the boat. We would stand up on the railing between 15 and 20 feet above the water and then jump off. I'll admit, it was scarey, but SO much fun. Some of the others were doing flips and even back flips off. I didn't have the guts for that. I knew it would have ended in a belly flop of some sort, a back dive for me would have for sure since I always over rotate them. The most I could bring myself to do was a dive and it hurt so badly that I decided just to jump from then on. We could have spent hours there honestly but eventually we had to head back. After dinner we played BUNKO (So much fun!) and did a watermelon relay (so messy). After that was over some of us joined in on a game of Sardines. Overall I think it was a good retreat. People seemed to have liked it :)

Then, here's a video I took while we were in a Taxi coming home from Mamma Mia! a couple weeks ago. It had rained so hard that there was several feet of water on the ground in some places.

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