It’s hard to believe that I left Vientiane only two weeks ago. I enjoyed our housesitting venture; the early mornings, watching the sunrise, and set along the Mekong.
It was a successful stay. The animals were lovely and I even rescued Mira when she was tangled in the reeds in the swamp. Good times. We did some work, visited temples and enjoyed the cafes, restaurants and bakeries of the Paris of South East Asia.
We ventured out of the city too, visiting a nearby reservoir and a waterfall further away. The waterfall was the best spot, very peaceful, lots of jungle walks and swimming for everybody (even if Barry and I did have to do a bit of demonstration as encouragement).
I had a job waiting for me though so I said goodbye to the house, the dogs, the cats, the birds, the tuk tuk and all the rest (including Barry who stayed behind for a few more days before jetting off to Bangkok) and flew out to start my new teaching job in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I missed walking the dogs the next morning and whenever I saw a stick suitable for throwing I had to stop myself from picking it up to save for later.
A lot has happened since I arrived but part of the reason that it feels like a month is the long hours I’ve been keeping. Most of my school days start at 6am so I’m travelling to work in the dark. My classes are spread out over the day and I finally clock off at 8pm, and travel home in the dark (sound familiar, Scotland?).
It’s also been a bit of a learning curve for me, as far as the teaching goes. I have two groups of young learners but the rest of my hours are teaching adults. You don’t get to sing songs to them or play ‘Go Fish’ in order to practice asking for stuff. The grammar is more sophisticated, as are their questions! So I’ve been spending a lot of my breaks learning the whys of the English language before getting grilled by my classes. Now that I’ve gotten through a full week of classes it doesn’t seem so bad but I did wonder what I was putting myself through and why. I belong on the beach, unemployed!
My first pay check in three or four months is coming up though so I’m sure I’ll be happy to have a job come the end of January. The first round of school holidays is looming too. We get three days off at the end of January for Chinese New Year (gotta love Asian countries and extended celebrations).
Aside from the teaching, I’ve moved into an enormous apartment with another newly arrived teacher. We’ve got enormous bedrooms and bathrooms, a huge kitchen, dining and living area, a balcony and a roof terrace for lazy in the hammock. I even have a bed so big that you wouldn’t head butt folk in your sleep (although I’m the only one in it). The apartment almost next door to a resort with a swimming pool and is about a 10-15 bike ride from school, along a river that runs through town. Which brings me to my most exciting acquisition to date – the greenest ladies shopper bicycle you’ve ever seen, a bargain at $41. I love it.
I’ve neglected most of my other projects for the last two weeks but hope to pick it up again (first conditional and future tenses allowing). Grrr. Cupcake has made a few more sales and I’m working on a new one – Grrr. Slices. Very handy for those without an oven! Stay tuned and, if you want some samples of my recipe experiments, come visit me in Cambodia!