Friday, January 30, 2009

A Typical Day at the Mirror Foundation

There are currently 20 volunteers working at Mirror (mostly all farang - foreigners, or to put it more accurately: "whiteys"). This large group makes for lots of free time (less work than we may have expected) as the work has to be divided between all 20 of us. We all have the weekends offto wander around Thailand together, which makes for a much less isolated travel experience
(this weekend we are heading to Bangkok to renew Jamie's passport - woops!)
Each day is roughly the same...
7:00-8:00 Wake up time, Anna attempts her morning cold shower.

8:00-9:00 Breakfast, which like all meals, is spicy, savory and served with white rice (but usually quite delicious. This is followed by Morning Meeting with all of the Mirror staff (all in Thai) and then the volunteer meeting, where the work is divided between the 20 of us.

9:00-12:00 Sometimes we teach, such as ICT (speaking English with the Thai IT workers for an hour or so), Top Kids (after school English classes with kids who speak English good. hehe), teaching the special needs classes, or teaching at the big school in town. Other times we create lesson plans (On Monday, we wrote our first lesson plan for two 5th grade classes and taught on Tuesday afternoon: our first really rewarding teaching experience so far. The children had surprisingly advanced English skills and were very excited to participate. They seemed to take education more seriously than kids at home, or at least respect the teachers much more.)

12:00 Lunch and ice cream from the ice cream man. Yay!

12:00-6:00 Afternoon teaching (if we have classes to teach) or lesson plan preparations in the office. Before dinner, Jamie attempts to play soccer with boys from the local village (who all started calling him Beckham, until they saw him play) and then sprints off to take a cold bucket shower (this is exactly what it sounds like: dumping buckets of icy cold water over himself).

6:00 Dinner

7:00-10:00 We usually hang out with other volunteers and Thai interns (young Thai university students who work at Mirror for 3 months at a time). A couple of nights we have had bonfires with the Thai interns, who bring out all kinds of Thai food to share (spicy papaya salad, sweet coconut sticky rice, etc.) and lots of Thai beer.

10:00 We head to bed (we rarely stay up past 10:00) .

On Wednesday night we had a huge going away party for many of the Thai interns. Each group of workers at Mirror (the volunteers, the interns, the student teachers) had to do a performance for everyone (will post ours soon) following our feast of a dinner.

It's a lot of fun here and we've decided to stay an extra week. Check back again, because we plan on adding more to this post in the next couple of weeks...

Volunteer dance performance (based on a popular Thai music video)

Jamie's bathroom (shower is the pink bucket)

We hand wash our laundry!

Jamie's stone bed


Everybody at the office

008 (an intern) playing guitar at bonfire

Anna's house (along with 30 other girls)

Goodbye party


Our wonderful cook


  1. The bathroom actually reminds me of how I used to bathe 15 years ago.

    - Eugenia -

  2. Beckham, eh? Are the kids good soccer players? Do they laugh at you? Any interest in Ultimate?

    Hoping the passport renewal went ok. Sorry we weren't home to answer questions -- at Sugar Bowl (for Superbowl weekend again). It's fun to get the rundown on a typical day and it seems like a great group of people. Glad you're staying the extra week -- seemed like it was going to be done before you even got the routine down.

  3. are you getting any good at soccer, or do the kids just point and laugh?

  4. whoops, that one up there was Caleb

  5. No, I'm not getting any better, but the kids are really nice and let me play any ways. And unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in ultimate...

    It's really nice to hear from you guys. Thanks for commenting. Let's talk soon