Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Murder, we write.

Where do we begin.....
And he be not just ANY moiderer. He is a girl slaying, intestinal eating, police evading kind of a murderer.
We now realise we may have alarmed the elders amongst us (sarah powell hits the big 5-2 this year after all....HI MUMMY... never looked better..)
So we will proceed with our little story telling...
Here we sit, trembling in our flip flops not knowing when, but knowing EXACTLY how, we will meet our bloody, gruesome end. It's rather exciting really.
OTHER NEWS on our long, exhausting agenda... let us once more begin at the beginning (of last week. DER.)

Friday of Yorn (23rd)
We woke up, rats a squeaking, pupils a spitting, rice a waiting. OH HARK! what is this we hear?!
It is the definate and unmistakable sound of a childs scream. We weren't quite sure how to react... turn up the ol' ipod....? assume, with glee, that lessons have been cancelled due to a death amongst pupils...? (that's not funny. people are dying through intestinal ravaging as we type)
MORE SLAUGHTER. but, regrettably, not of children. it was of some pigs. that was nice.... although we didn't even get any fucking pork for dinner. what the....'ell?
OH and on this friday of yornish pig death, we had another cinematic experience akin to the friday of double yorn... this time we got Quantum of Solace. In our humble opinions, it was a decent action movie but we spasmed over the one single shot of London, rain and council estates falling heavy and standing tall and were oh-so proud (we really were...actually...sarcasm aside) to show off our city to the kiddies who seemed LESS that impressed. it was sad.
OH AND BEFORE WE FORGET... Rosa woke up with rrrrrrather iffy movement of the old bowelies (sphinxy wasn't being kind mummy/tommy - rosa) which ended up on my (olive-groves) foot mid plunge.
------Interjection from the culprit: REALLY, it was both of our faults the loo got blocked whilst simultaneously being NEITHER of our faults as we are not responsible for what goes IN our bowelies and therefore not responsible of what comes OUT our bowelies. I do know one thing however, the smell could have killed an army of Spartans, LOVE ROSA.
-------Interjection from the plunger: (olivia) I had to PLUNGE the loo/hole/cesssssssspit? sessspit?seespit?ceasepit? whatever...whilst rosa enjoyed her leisurely morning run. GOD KNOWS why i agreed to that! LOVE LIVI.

The weekend.... probably still of yorn. (Note to self/selfs: find out what 'yorn' means.)
We, once more, spent the weekend bikeless which really isn't Rosa's fault at all. We hasten to add it's mainly teacher Boris's fault for being such a monumentally scheizer motorcylin' teacher...... let's rewind a little shall we....
It was a boiling hot jungly afternoon.... perhaps around the hour of lunch... although upon consideration we're pretty sure it was around the hour of 4.35pm when 'the lesson' commenced.

The ingredients were as follows:
One Rosa-sized Rosa
One silly assed French croissant under the name Boris
One blue, rather dusty though undoubtedly sexy motorcyle
One TIGHTROPE of a road flanked on either side by a sharp ditch into a rice field
One heaped tablespoon of dirt
Several grams of intrigued on-lookers
Handful of rice field

And here you have a disaster in the making. So yeah.... in Boris's words... "She. Is. Not. Ready."

SO, the motorbikeless weekend. Dans le weekend (we're brushing up on our francais, oh mais oui, le poop de shoop) we chillaxified our bahoottoms off on saturday at school (oh christ almighty, jesus be our witness, WE WERE BORED) before hitchin' a ride into PARTY CENTRAL of mae hong son.
We had shower number one of the week. It was pretty special. Then we headed for a drinkypoos (Olivia had a gin&tonic. Rosa had a martini bianco. Cos that's how we roll) and some non-ricey food for dinner!!!!!!
We manged at the aforementioned restaurant je m'appelle Salween? whence we also watched Aston Villa vs Chelsea. It was like a little slice of footballing heaven... the greeness of the freshly watered turf.....mmmmmmmm delectable.
We also met up with Emmett and Janis/OttoTheFinn at the restaurant and had some nice old bantaaaaar. Towards the end of the eve we also had the delight of some company of the Yorkshire kind (Olivia- oh mommy you wouldn't have been proud of your roots....HE.WAS.INSANE. infact....HE may be the murderer. I wouldnt be surprised.) (Rosa- apparently yorkshire is in England. I mean... what on earth?)
To cut a boring story shorter...a few angered awkward silences later we scarpered... he didn't take kindly to any 'dyslexia: the disease of the middle classes' jokes so subtly interjected into conversation by... us. OOPSSSSIES.

Vendredi? Samedi...... DIMANCHE (of yorn....obviarsely)
We went to a naming ceremony of a baby which was a month old. And NO before you get all annoying and ask: we can't tell you the name. It's a secret. (We have absoluuuuutely no idea what it was. But we think it was a girl.) The baby was a niece of a girl in Class 1. Her name is Angeline.
NEXT we went to a 'national park' saw some shitty animals living in shittier conditions. It was a bit....shitty.
This was rather swiftly followed by a trip to the wateryfall where we swam, had some larks, got bitten. Mainly the 'got bitten' part. BASTARDS. Yeah.... that was about it.....

Check out the photos lovepuppies.

(OH but we did change Boris's facebook language to pirate which wasn't nearly as funny as we'd hoped. Shame that.)

Lots of sweaty, constipated love and riced-up cuddles,
Rosa and Livi
(xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx - those are from olivia. Rosa HATES YOU ALL.)

BUSINESS DECISION - PHOTOS TO GO ON FLICKR.... link to be posted shortly....

Friday, 20 February 2009

Joint Effort.

This is just a quickie to tell you all that the last post/s were a joint effort from both ME AND ROSA!

so F.YOU mom and dad!

that is all.

much loving,

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Nai Soi.... middlings?

The week (9th - 13th)
Monday was a big holiday in thighland and there was a local partay in Nai Soi which we attended with the students and other teachers which was lots of fun but also FREAKING scary. Most people there had never seen a white person so we were stared at/photographed/evilled/smiled at.... the works....for the whole night. There were endless stands of food (some of it not so lovely looking) and a stage where it appeared a dancing/singing talent competition was taking place amongst the local youth. Some very odd (and rather revealing) outfit choices were made and there was some very camp male dancers. This was ver ver funny and we had a grand old time!
The week was spent teaching and chillaxing ASIDE from our leeeeetle hospital trip on tuesday. Another to add to Olivia's worldly collection of hospital experiences.... we managed to navigate our way around and everything was swiftly sorted! We then needed to be taken back to school so spent the afternoon with at the local juvenile court where Emmett (aka 'teacher helmet') was teaching for the afternoon. We stayed with him and had a barbeque with the local criminals who have an undying love of karaoke and, seemingly, westlife.
On Friday night Emmett also set up a small cinema in one of the classrooms where the remaining students and us lovely teachers (and Otto the Finn, who is actually a big, galumpfing Swede really called Yannis) watched Slumdog Millionaire and got fed banana pancakes. We dig.
Le Weekend
Hit up some shnooker with Boris, some student and beer. (OH AND OLIVIA fell to the disease of the stomach first). Rosa was very good at aiding her and her vomit at 1am.
We also went swimming (fully clothed) in the waterfall near by which was fun aaaaand we'll show you pictures.
There's lots of other random things.... we haven't even nearly started covering everything. Most notably the ridiculous and endlessly entertaining existence of Teacher Bob. Really.... he says the strangest things.
WE PROMISE TO BLOG MORE REGULARLY FROM NOW ON, but feel you are satisfactorily up to date!!
Lots and lots of love to you all,
Livi and Rosa
p.p.s FOODWISE, we get all our food brought up to the teacher table outside our room... verhery convenient... 3 times a day. BUT WE SWEAR TO GOD WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH MORE RICE WE CAN TAKE. death by rice. poirot would have an easy time working that out. Although, something that seems to be eating tasty food is the ARSE-RATTING MOSQUITOS which are killing us slowly but surely.
Very slowly.
Very surely.
Words can't cover our hatred.....THE BRUTES.

Nai Soi beginnings

Thursday 5th February
We started teaching!!! We had two lessons each - conveniently in the afternoon! So we slept.... looooads. They have school 'activities' on thursday afternoons which consists of all the students being dragged out into the 3 o'clock heat and made to do aerobics. Which, of coooourse, we joined in on!! it was insane!! The music was so loud on these massive speakers... I don't think aerobics (you know, given my vast experience) will be the same ever again....
Having thought about it, we alsoA believe this was the day of our very first shower since leaving our North London homes. Which is a bit....smelly. And when we say shower we really mean a bucket of cold water over our heads. a pleasant experience we think you will all agree.
The weekend
We met up with Beryl and Steve again and went to a small town just outside of the main refugee camp called Section 19 (ominous no?) where we all had a little group of students to talk to. Oivia had a great time chatting to kids who could speak some English. I had a somewhat different and more depressing experience with about 10 boys none who spoke a word. It was horrible. We also decided that normal rice is pointless, sticky rice is the only way to go!!! We had to stand and pose with students for about a hundred billion photos-us both being pale with fair hair meant we were a popular attraction and they asked us lots of questions about Engerland and couldn't grasp the concept of snow.... which only rubbed it in that we'd missed the best snow EVER. Ugh.
In other news, a boy from school took me (rosalie) to aerobics in the local town (Nai Soi) which was also bizarre and as we walked there he talked about his life (he's from burma and lost both his parents when he was a baby) and the class was in an alley and the teacher got two mahoosive speakers (sarah powell height i.e. 5ft2 AND A HALF) and pumped thai dance music. I have now come to the painful conclusion that they play a grand total of TWO songs on repeat. Every sodding time. But it's fun to see the local women out in their t-shirts and cycling shorts. We also sat around and chatted with the students into the night - one of them sung us burmese songs on his guitar and they were really beautiful (though some do sound a tad like he's dying a slow and painful death).
Olive (who sits beside me as I type for she is an delinquent) adopted a hideous little dog, now called Whiskey (it's not hideous it's just flea-ridden - olive). Teacher Bar Bar named him (Boris) as there was whiskey being drunk.

OH and I (being rosa) did my bestest to watch the spurs vs arsenal game via internet streaming. I got the broad picture and thought the Lilywhites did themselves proud, if only Pav, if only. I also celebrated the return of the mighty Keano. It was SPECIAL. I'm not sure olivia was quite as moved.

Mae Hong Son to Nai Soi

2nd February
Again after a grand total of 3 (max) hours sleep we headed off bright and early to visit various Karenni villages where the refugees have relocated. Before we could go anywhere we had to pay a visit to the local governor man to sort out all our passports and sign some very dodgy forms and give finger prints! allowing us to visit the camps without being SLAUGHTERED. They also kept asking us what our names meant, olivia was an olive, rosa was a rose.... we then asked the lady officials name. Her name was 'Oi'. We found self restraint very difficult.
And then, off we plopped...
Onto the serious stuff - there are 3 different tribes; Kayaw (who have massive holes in their ears), Karen (who wear big broze rings up their necks) and the Kayan (who wear rings round their knees. it looks most odd.) It was very hot and hence, we were very hot. First up was Huay Pu Keng and we got to go on a little, very unstable looking, boat across a river to get there - this is where we're going to teach next.
We also visited another small village on the way back where a refugee lady (Malo) who had taken off her neck rings was setting up another village. The difference with her village is that it's not aimed at tourists which is very unusual - her philosophy is that people work for what they have and we spent a few hours helping her around her museum, labelling fish-catchers and bamboo capes for the rainy season.
We didn't get back to KSDP until about 5ish, hoping, PRAYING, to be able to go to sleep but alas no. We went out to dinner with Beryl and Steve at our faaaavorite restaurant here owned by a nice Karenni refugee with an eyeless dog. They do sweet potato chips so we were won over instantly (and they have baked beans AND they are practically the only place that makes bread. we love them.)

3rd February
WORST.NIGHT.EVER. No exaggeration. It was horrid. We shudder at the memory. We slept on/off for about 2 hours and then could not get back to sleep from 1am (olive read the whole twilight book in one night) only to have to get up at 9am. Again. We tried to remedy this by going on a 8am diet coke run (caffeine don't ya know) and got some very bizarre looks from people on their way to work...
We visited Stephanie Lee's grave in the morrow which was a bit overwhelming and then took a peek into Ban Nai Soi CLC (OUR SCHOOOL!!! we're there RIGHT NOW.)
After being herded around the WHOLE of the Karenni camps by a rather excitable Beryl we were pooped and just wanted to chillax for a while so we ESCAPED and went for a wonder of our own around the town of Mae Hong Son. After sampling the wholewheat spinach bagels of Mae Hong Son we found ourselves in the one bar- Crossroads. It was rockin'.
OH YEAH and brad and angelina were in town. Pretttttttty, pretttttttty cool.

4th February
Finally all the touring was over and we got to settle down at school and learn how everything works....
We have our own little room next to the french volunteer (Boris aka Bob, Bar Bar, ass-face, pretty-ass-face, gay, croissant... you get the general abusive idea) and a shared porch where all the teachers (us lovely ladies, boris, emmett and his girlfriend kozue) hang and work and eat our meals. The students always come up and say hi and chat to us to improve their anglais.
On our very first day we had to jump in the deep end and teach a lesson (on body parts...) to the lowest level class. At this school, there are 3 classes that are based on ability, not age and they have lessons every hour between 9am and 4pm (lunch between 12 and 1).
Some of (most) the students are older than us... they don't let us forget it.... in class 3 there is a 34 year old. But we like her. It feels a bit odd telling her what to do.... But we kinda like it! All the students refer to us as 'teacher' although we're trying really hard to get them to stop and just call us by our names.
In Thighland the education system is only available to those with a Thai ID Card and nearly all of the Burmese refugees have been refused these...for obvious reasons, ie.they aren't Thai! Anyway....schooling in Thighland is very strict- the students dont speak unless asked a question. they themselves are not allowed to ask questions and especially in English lessons it's pretty much just copying things off the board-BORING!
At our school this isnt the case.. its relaxed and very very fun. We are teaching the Burmese refugee children who arent allowed to be educated fully in Thai schools.

London to Mae Hong Son

Hey..... readers, friends, followers, fans, wives, daughters, presidents, aliens et al.
It's olive and rosemary all the way from SWELTERING thailand....burma....BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE.
As you all know, we left on the 30th and WOWZAH has our lives been MENTAL.
So we'll begin at the beginning and end at... now. (which hopefully isn't the end of our lives)

30th January
We got on a plane, watched sisterhood of the travelling pants 2, cried at plane letters (SOME more than others OLIVIA) and didn't sleep a wink (SOME slept a bit OLIVIA). Got to Bangcock the next day at 4ish in the afternoon and had an hour or two before the next plane to chiang mai.

31st-1st February
When we got there we went to our hostel (minicost, 17poonds for the both of us....oh yeaaaah)
Chiang Mai looked cool (we saw a Boots and several Starbucks!) although crossing the road was tricky.... one particular road took us appppproximately half an hour to cross. It was embarassing. And we were severely jet lagged and managed about an hours sleep that night, thank goodness they had English movies. It was 101 Dalmations. The movie.
And it does also seem to be the home of the 'buy a thai bride' which was incredibly disturbing.
And we plan to go back soon!

1st February
We managed our only sleeping between the hours of 7am to 11am and then got up to catch our final flight to our home - Mae Hong Son where we were greeted by Beryl and Steve 35 minutes after taking off. We spent the evening exploring the town and the night market, got some chicken, ate some fish and spent our first night in the KSDP headquarters where we have a little house and keep most of our stooff. we say house...we mean a room. and a bathroom. and it's not really ours....it's the cockroaches. (I SLEPT WITH ONE OF THE BASTARDS buuuut I KILLED IT TOO. it's still there. i'm not bloody touching it. and apparently olivia's being a big baby and not touching it either - rosa)
There is a lady called Bridget who lives at the headquarters permanently and she teaches in the refugee camps and around and about, there are also two refugees who live there (Macey and Sharpeh) so we hang abouts with them when we're there.