I just can't believe how time flies. It's only 2 1/2 more days until I go to Bangkok to meet up with Bronson, Evelyn and Lisa, then on to Chiang Mai to visit the German Christian school, and then back here for them to meet some of my lovely friends in Khao Lak. So this is my LAST week of teaching at Step Ahead, which I can barely grasp. I've gotten my classroom in order and saved teaching files for whoever will come teach here next (we still don't know; still praying for more volunteers at Step Ahead!). But my room is an absolute mess and I haven't started packing for Bangkok, much less for Austria and home. But what have I been doing for the past few days? Well, I've been looking at old pictures from the past year here, I've been reading a really interesting book about Thai society and culture that really makes sense after living here, I've talked to my mom on Skype, I've had dinner with my friend Gaan several nights in a row, I've made no-bake cookies (but sadly, without peanut butter), I've played volleyball and swam out to the raft- which I'm glad to see that La Flora put back out to sea, since it had disappeared during the rainy season, I've learned a few new songs on the guitar, I've watched a Thai pop concert with Momay and Benz, and I've caught up with an old German student of mine who got married last month! And my plan for the next 3 days is to finish teaching my classes, visit my former students at the hotels and let them know about my good-bye party, prepare a sermon to teach at my church on my last Sunday, learn some Bavarian songs from Monika, and learn Thai boxing from my friend Ake at La Flora. Yes, Thai boxing. I'm so excited about it. I never really thought about doing it until I met a Norweigan girl this week who said she learned Thai boxing from Ake for 3 days and loved it. She said it's very good exercise and that she feels like she could really defend herself, if necessary, with what she learned. So when am I going to pack? Good question.
My emotions have been all over the place as I prepare to leave, from utter despair (sometimes I feel that way when I think about leaving Thailand) to absolute joy when I think about the people and places I'm going to see in Austria and at home. But it is going to be so hard to leave this place.