1001 Reasons for the White Elephant Country 

If you repeat it, maybe I will remember how I only chose the country of origin of teaching with origin. Without consideration. Although in some parts only the instincts play. 

In fact being a teaching volunteer in Thailand is something that can be said to be a gift without being directly aware. In a country that really is like the twin brothers of my own country, with plot stories like fairy tales. Not smooth and straight into a happy ending, but accompanied by tears and various feelings that burst. 

Travel in Thailand begins with a story like a hill climb, full of patience on the way to get the best view. 24 hours in a place that feels strange with various humans gathering together, and Thursday, exactly the second day of the eighth month of the year, the actual journey is actually begins. 

I felt from knowing nothing. Basic teaching is very valuable even though like Pluto which is juxtaposed with the big sun makes my eyes more wide open. 44 letters that are so different from what I usually write and read appear in front of me. Full of the tensions and at the same time the curiosity to know more deeply. 

The first four days, I was met with some amazing people with thirst for life challenges that were as big as I felt. France, Spain, Hungary, Belgium, and of course Indonesia is trying things we have never done in our lives. Challenging and vice versa, giving and vice versa. Everything is like walking on a street that we don't know where the tip is but we keep passing it. Studying the various things we need to know about this White Elephant Country, chatting with the surrounding community without feeling any boundaries, sharing laughter with children in elementary school, making friends, more closely with nature, getting to know various things including the differences around us, until all must separate from their own missions.

The poeple from related schools pick me up. I was placed in an area called Sadao which is only a few kilometers from the border between Thailand and Malaysia. An area with Malay culture and thick Islamic surroundings. 

Sangkhom Islam Wittaya

A religious-based school at the school level from kindergarten to high school. Even though I was only in this school for a week, I learned so many things about the issue of differences about the environment both on the majority or minority. But in fact in Thailand, everything goes hand in hand without offending one another. 24/7 fun with greetings and laughter shared by the residents of the school, even though communication is not as smooth as expected, but still warmly embracing each other.

I met some great people in this right. Five teachers who are also from Indonesia who teach kindergarten and elementary school students who welcome us with outstretched arms and stories at each release time, young teachers who teach junior and senior high school students who always try to chat with us although we are both trying hard to understand each with the language barrier that exists, even students who always exchange jokes make days never boring. Similarly, every moment, such as a sports day with various competitions held and also parades and preparations that are so inviting fatigue, but relief. But each meeting must have a separation. 

Two weeks right in a country that brings the same feeling as home, 3 kindergartens await with all the wide laughter emblazoned and adorable, funny behavior. From here there are many things that I learned about the fundamental differences in culture, although I feel that initially both Indonesia and Thailand are almost the same and maybe most will be just like visiting the city next door, in fact it isn't. Both are equally developing, including in the field of education. But both Thailand and Indonesia have their own characteristics that cannot be disputed, may depend on each other's history, or how the paths that taken by each country, but the management of education in Thailand is so good and there are so many things that can be emulated and applied in Indonesia too. Behind this, helping teachers in kindergarten is also one of the things that makes me more familiar with Thai culture, including its language, because in the process teaching of English that I do to children who are still so young, I also learned the basic languages that they learned.

Until September comes and two out of five working days must move to high school. Siriwanwari Middle School, a school where I see a broader view of Thai society on something. 

Teaching basic science such as physics is not an easy thing to apply even with mother language, especially with language that are still difficult for students to understand, such as English. But with openness and how great passion and hospitality, everything becomes fun like there are no restrictions, such as differences in Indonesian, English, or Thai but become a smile and laughter. They tell stories, share exciting experiences even though dizzy looting because the brain must spin hard translating word by word, but the responses and everything become one of the things that seem to melt everything. 

If I repeat it, maybe I will remember how I only choose the country to teach randomly. But maybe if I repeat this two months memories, I can write a thousand and one reasons why Thailand is so valuable as the country destination. 

Kindness. Laughter. An interesting culture and way of life to learn. The beauty of nature that captivates the heart. All of it just like a complete package to be 1001 reasons to experience this peaceful country. Whatever your religion. Whatever your belief is. Whatever your sexuality is. Whatever your language is. Whatever your tribe and race. You are you. And Thailand accepts you as you are.

Nadya Damayanti, Indonesian