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A Thai experience in Rowan's county

By  Nuttarada  Rittikesorn

 

 

18,114 Miles of My journal

 

Dates: 7/30 - 8/4

I departed
Thailand, near the end of July, in 2003. This was my first time to go abroad and of course it's the first time for me to get on an airplane. I was really excited and was looking forward to seeing how the opposite side of the world is and how different it could be from my homeland.

Finally I could see how wonderful it is when I arrived at San Francisco Airport. I couldn't believe myself that I was staying in the same world, where I live. It opened my eyes and seemed like I was dreaming!

When Meredith came to pick me up at the airport, I saw she was slimmer than last year when we met in Thailand. I hugged her tightly and cried….You made my dream come true!

We took the subway and went into the city, I felt like I was in a movie. I told her after we got off the train, I have seen that setting in Hollywood movies. I smiled to her and we held hands and walked together. I am sure we will have many stories to share tonight.

I stayed in San Francisco for four days. We went to many places that tourists like; such as market street , Union Square, Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Cable car Museum , Fisherman's Wharf , Pier’ 39 and my favorite, the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge is amazing and huge I just wonder how they made it! I think it's the symbol of San Francisco. I saw the San Francisco Skyline while I was on the bridge…it's so beautiful and it made me think about the San Francisco song! One thing I really love here in San Francisco is the Victorian houses they built on the hills. They are so very pretty.

We left San Francisco on Monday morning. I felt a little sad but I hope I can come back here again …maybe I fall in love in San Francisco!

Meredith and I took a flight to Charlotte, the capital city of North Carolina. Her dad came to pick us up at the airport... He is a big man but very kind. We drove to Spencer where they live. There are four persons in her family, her mom Kim, her dad Eric, her brother Nicholas and Meredith. They are very nice and warm people. I just love them!

 

 

Dates: 8/5 – 8/10

My first day in Spencer I went to visit her grand parents and we went shopping at Wall mart. I got a new pair of shoes. Then we prepared things that we will use in the presentation for American students and put them in a big box. I bought lots of things from
Thailand to show the students. I hope they will enjoy seeing them. On the next day, it was my first presentation to the students. We went to a high school in front of Meredith's house where her mom is the librarian. It's a high school class, I was very excited and nervous at first so I thought I should practice more for my presentation. After I finished my presentation I came back home and started to practice handling things I brought from Thailand. I did it better than this morning. I tried Turkey sandwich for lunch… hmm I think chicken is better!  Hah, hah!

At dinner Meredith took me to a restaurant and I met a group of woman. The group was called a women's circle. They are a group of women from the church  that usually get together. They are very nice and friendly. They also gave me some pocket money. After, the restaurant meeting we went to Gale’s house.  She was one of the women in the group. We had some homemade chocolate cake for desert. It was yummy! I showed them how to do a Thai dance. Today, I also met Meredith's friends and her boyfriend, Jonathan. They came to her house and fixed the VCD, so we could use it to show a CD of Thai dancing for the students tomorrow.

On Thursday I got up at seven o'clock, I was little tired and I had cereal for breakfast. The first school is West Middle school where Jonathan attended. I gave a presentation at the library. It was better than yesterday. I had more confidence. I showed them many things from Thailand, The handicrafts , Thai clothes, pictures and taught them how to do Thai dance and how the Thai Alphabets look like. I gave three presentations today. The students love to learn about Thailand very much They asked me many questions … I love them they are so cute and after the classes everyone had a piece of paper and came to ask me to write their name in Thai so they could show their parents when they go back home.

I love the questions they asked me like "Do you wear shoes in Thailand ?" "What do you eat ?" or "How spicy is your food really?" or "What does your house look like?"

And the question, Which language do the dogs in Thailand speak? We had a lot of fun to replying to their questions. Meredith had told me one girl, went back home and told her mom that she is ready to go to Thailand! But she is still eight years old! I am really happy to hear that!

After I finished the presentations Meredith took me to get a Snow ball.  It's almost like the Thai desert that mixes ice and coconut cream. Meredith told me she missed the Thai desert so much when she came back to the USA.  She found the Snow ball and it made her so happy! That's why she took me here to try one.

On Friday, Meredith and Jonathan took me to three schools; Wood leaf, Cleve land , and Mt.Ulla I got a pizza for lunch and we went back to Jonathan house. He has some horses and his house has a field for them. I took some picture with a horse too. In the evening we went to Meredith's grandparents house. Her grand mother cooked spaghetti for us and several of her neighbors came to enjoy with us.

On Saturday, I got up late at eight o'clock, we went to an amusement park with Jonathan and his sister Devon. We had a lot of fun there. We came back to Jonathan's house and we had dinner. Meredith's parents came to enjoy with us.  Jenna, and Kelly came too. We went back home about 11 o'clock. Eric had changed the Flag in front of his house, and I saw the Thai flag instead of the North Carolina flag.

Today, on Sunday, we just went to the Dan Nicholas Park. They had religious activities for the Christians. They sang the songs and had a show on the stage for the kids, then we had lunch together … After that we played golf in a mini field in the park.

We came back home and took a nap. At night time the electric power was off in the house, so we had nothing to do.  So, they took me to the cinema to see a movie. I didn't understand it at all but it was cool to see the English movie in the theater and no sub titles. It was my first time to see a movie in America.

 

Dates: 8/11 – 8/10
 

We started to visit the schools again on Monday – Friday. Today, Monday, we went to North Rowan Middle school and on Tuesday at Southeast Middle school The writer from the local newspaper came to see my presentation. They wrote an article about me in the newspaper and thanks to the Salisbury Post! We had to make a new schedule for the schools that would like me to come to talk with their students after they saw articles in the newspaper.

My presentation in the Southeast Middle school was a lot of fun.  The students and the teachers came to participate with me to do a Thai dance.

I got many books from the students to take back to the Thai students. I also had pen pal letters for my students that they are waiting for me to go back quickly.

In the evening we went to the church to see the people play hand ball.   I like them so much. They were cool.   Then we went to play bowling with Meredith’s friends.   After bowling we got donuts at Krispy Kreme!

Wednesday, we went to Bostian Elementary school and China Grove school.   I got to try Bar-B-Q and Hushpuppies. When we came back home  Meredith taught me how to make Brownies.   We had a birthday party for Eric, I gave him a Thai sarong made from Thai silk.

My hobby is now collecting visitors stickers from the school that I went to. We have a plan to go to Washington, DC- tomorrow.

 

Dates: 8/14 – 8/17

Meredith, Jonathan, Jenna, Kelly and I  left  Spencer about twelve o’clock.

Jonathan drove for us and we stayed in Virginia and took a metro to DC.

The first day in DC we went to the Smithsonian Museums;  Air and Space Museum , the Capitol , the Washington Monument , the Supreme Court and the White House and many important people memorials. We went eat Thai food at the Thaiphoon restaurant I had taught Jenna and Kelly some Thai words.

I had a good time in DC I have learned so much about America here. DC is a big city and so clean. You can learn all about American History here from many museums. It is a great city for education -I think.

The last day in DC we went to the national cemetery when we drove back we passed the Pentagon Building I remember the building from the 9/11 attack. We arrived back in Spencer at six.

Tomorrow, Jonathan and Kelly will go back to school. We said goodbye and we hope we will meet each other again.

Today, I saw the newspaper article written about me. That was so great and Kim bought some newspapers for me to take back home for my family and friends

  

Dates: 8/18 – 8/24

I was getting fat from the big plates with every meal here and the ice cream taste is so good. I was a little worried about it.

I went to give a presentation in a nursing home on Monday evening and Tuesday we went to Handford Dole Elementary school.

In the morning we had more than 500 students come to the presentation and we had to use the meeting hall instead of the classroom. I think maybe all of the students came to my presentation. That is the most students I ever had in my presentations.

On Wednesday, I had six presentations at Knox middle school I also gave the folders of pictures from Thailand and the VCD Thai dance for the teachers. This week, is also, the last week I have to go to school.

I had a big presentation for people at the church in the evening. I was very excited but it was good and everybody was happy That made me very happy too.

On Friday I had two more schools. The first school we gave the presentation in the Gym and the next we had at the library…also in evening I had another presentation in another nursing home.

Meredith and her family took me to see a football game. There is a Thai restaurant near by the football field. I was so happy to see Thai people there.

On the way back we stopped to have donuts and hot chocolate. Oh, SO GOOD! 

On the weekend I spent time in Spencer I went to the train museum and went to meet people who raised some money for my trip. I gave them some gifts from Thailand.

On Sunday we went to Meredith's school at Chapel Hill. She took some things to her dorm.  Tomorrow she will go back to school.

 

Dates: 8/25 – 9/1
 

Monday and Tuesday I have to go to another school to give more presentations. Meredith went back to school and her dad will take me to the schools instead of her.  He helped me with the student's questions. Sometime, I didn't understand what the kids said. He took me to visit the local newspaper office and buy some more copies of the article about me. We took a tour in Spencer. He was a good tour guide.  He told me all about Spenser's history of the past. I like to hear stories like that.

I went to Chapel Hill with Jerry on Wednesday. I gave him a souvenir from Thailand. It is a little boat that has a doll of a merchant selling fruit in the floating market. He loved it so much. I stayed with Meredith at the dorm.

On Thursday I had a chance to come to the Public speaking classroom at her college. I can understand most of what the teachers taught. I think my English has improved.

I walked around her college and saw how the school works. Then we went to Mexican restaurant and saw a baseball game.

I had a presentation again at Meredith mom's friend school. So this is really my last presentation.  Then we went to shopping at the big mall. I got souvenir for my family and friends. We had a lot of fun together- Margaret, Meredith and me.

The last Saturday I went to a football game again but there are more people than the last game and I could see how American people are crazy about football. It was fun. Then we went back Spencer again

The last Sunday I went to a friend's house to give them some gifts from Thailand. They had a party for me at Meredith's grandparent’s house.

My last day in Spencer, I was so sad. Meredith and her mom took me to the airport. We promised we will meet each other again and I cried all the way back to Thailand. It was a great memorial I had a wonderful trip in USA.

During my time in USA I gave 40 presentations, 24 at schools. More than 2,000 American students learned about the culture of Thailand. The students enjoyed seeing the big box full of crafts, clothes, and pictures from Thailand.  I had 150 pen pal letters to take back to my students with many more questions.

I would like to say I really appreciated everyone that gave me a chance to come to America; my most sincere thanks go out to you for caring and sharing to my Thai students.

Sincerely

Miss Tan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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