Teaching English: Photos of Omkoi, Thailand Posted

It has been over a year since I was in the mountains of northern Thailand, teaching English at the Omkoi Bible School and children’s home during the depths of rainy season. I savor every memory, even the challenging moments when I wondered just what I was doing trying to teach English when I didn’t know a lick of Thai. Some of the dearest friendships of my life formed there and my photos of this time are precious. I hope to return, this time with a basic grasp of Thai so I can be a better teacher.

Omkoi is a small town in Chiang Mai province surrounded by mountains and a satellite of villages that rely mostly on rice farming. I was there in rainy season, when the community plants a new crop of rice to take advantage of the rain and mist. The mountains are lush, the pace of life slower, and the people genuine in their friendship. It’s a Karen hilltribe community, one of Thailand’s largest hilltribe groups, and a significant portion of the population are Christian. This was the community I lived with and called my family for the summer, a vibrant, vivacious, and playful group that embraced me into the fold for a short time. I taught English to a small group of young adults studying at the Bible School for vocations in ministry, as well as organized English language games and songs with the 100+ kids staying at the children’s home where they live while going to school in town.

I’ve carefully selected my photos to share from this time – I have some beautiful photos I have decided not to share, for the simple reason they include my young minor aged students from the children’s home. For the photos of my young students I have chosen to share, I have either blocked out their faces or chosen shots showing the back of their heads and they are far enough away to be difficult to identify. I hope you understand.

To view my photo slideshow, just click on the link: Teaching in Omkoi

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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