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November 26th 2007
Published: November 28th 2007
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...Malie in form......Malie in form......Malie in form...

...take a close look at the lower left of the picture...the only difference is her hair color!!!
I sat at the stop light this morning on my motocyc…and I realized something.

My daughter is a brave kid.

On her first day of school in a different country and in a different language, she stood on stage in front of more than 1000 students and introduced herself.

Today was her first real full day of school. I drove her and Jhang on the motocyc at 7:30 to the school, Ban Yan Yao School which serves Kindergarten through Mayatom Three (grade 9). It is the biggest school in Takua Pa.

Marrin dressed in her Prayatom Cee (elementary four) uniform, but clearly not Thai, was inundated by a hundred students as we sat waiting for the morning call to assembly. The kids just stared. Marrin was okay at first but the crowd kept pressing closer…there is clearly not the same inhibition about staring at a person here as in the west…

I had to break the strain by chatting with the kids. I would ask them their name in Thai and they would immediately giggle and disappear deeper into the crowd; a good way to thin the audience if anything.

Eventually Khru Suda came and rescued us,, sending us to meet the director of the school (Principal). He immediately offered me a job teaching English and beginner French….a fully paid position with benefits….

I had to decline …for the moment anyway. But promised to let him know when I was back again and for how long. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do it, but later I think. Besides Miles needs to be in school as well for it to work and he is NOT ready to manage in the strict classroom.

Marrin had a few moments of doubt but I think once they get going with routine she will be fine. There are two older children that speak English that have been “assigned” to her to be her big buddy’s…they will help her at lunch and guide her through the free times. She is free to quit when ever she wants to but she is determined to go to school here.

Yay, Marrin!

Her subject of study will be English class, Science Lab, Mathmatics and Socials which will include a good dose of rote learning on Thai ways and culture I imagine. Give the girl a year here and she will speak and act like a Thai child…her skin is so brown from the sun already she looks Thai but for her lioness eyes.

Miles now has me to himself for his schooling. I’m not sure he is too pleased with it, but he is contentedly doing his addition behind me as I type…there is no one to annoy instead of studying.

Malie’s school day begins at 8am with assembly in the courtyard. 1000 students lined in rows and in uniform is a cool sight. The kindergarten kids have striped vests over the standard uniform and stand out against the blue and white or tan and white of the rest.

After the King’s anthem, the national anthem, a Buddhist prayer and good mornings followed by a reminder of school rules, the kids file off to their classes in the three story open air school wings.

Malie and I agreed to meet after school at a nearby coffee shop. With buses (song teaw’s) and hundreds of parents on motocyc’s, I am not brave enough to wade through them to find her. It’s easier to have her walk a few meters out of the melee and stand under a sign.

I got there a bit early to see how she had done and try to sneek a peek when she didn’t know I was looking. I certainly shouldn’t have worried about her all day…she was just fine.

She lined up with all her friends and marched out in line just like the others. I have a cool daughter!

Additional photos below
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28th November 2007

8th December 2007

Yea good for you Marrin. Yes you do have a cool daughter. I'm soooo! proud.
10th December 2007

Go Marrin, Go!
Oh WOW! That is pretty much the coolest thing ever! Marrin looks so happy and fits in so well with her friends. A big hug to everyone from me!!! Much love, Britt:)

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