By Alena Nöckler; November 2022
InterCultural and Language project, RPK24 Phayao Thailand
Picture: Rajaphajanughok 24 school, Phayao
I have been in Thailand for over three months now and Christmas is not far away. It will be the first time in my life that I will spend the holidays without my family. The thought of it has been weighing down my mood a bit lately, if I'm being honest.
To take my mind off things and distract myself a bit, I've been keeping myself busy with lesson planning and learning Thai. It is still a bit unusual to stand in front of a whole class that barely understands you, but there are also more and more moments of laughing together, which is very nice.
In addition, my fellow volunteers and I have recently been taking intensive Thai courses, in which we repeat a lot, but also learn a lot of new things. Especially in terms of pronunciation, the courses are very useful. I also enjoy learning and writing the Thai script. It almost reminds me of first grade, but our teachers often encourage and praise us, which motivates you to do your best.
Due to the upcoming Christmas season, my roommate and I also started to make our room cozy. From home came a package with Christmas gnomes and an Advent calendar. We also started to plait Christmas stars and hang them on our ceiling. It's not like in Germany, but it makes the homesickness more bearable. I am also confident that the melancholy will fade away as soon as Christmas is over.
Even before I started my volunteer service, I knew that it would not be easy to be separated from my family and my home for so long. However, the many new experiences and making new contacts provide a balance. As long as you don't get bored, you won't miss home at all.
Have a great holiday!