*It’s been so long since I last posted an update, that I’m not even sure where to start. The absence of details about my life in the past weeks is not due to an absence of activity. Matter of fact, so much has happened recently, that it may be hard to fully capture all of my experiences and reactions to recent occurrences. *
Let me start with Winter Festival.
Winter Festival was my first real glimpse at how events are organized at PCC. As if this school were a University, students are responsible for and run events on campus, down to the very last details. It is quite impressive when you think about all of the details that go into these events, such as food, equipment, costumes, musical performances, clean-up, schedules, and then realize that 800 teenagers are in charge. I put together a short video (2 minutes) of some of the pictures I took before dark that evening. The pictures show a large grass field, which is where the event was held on campus –in the background is one of the two male dormitories (PCC is a boarding school). For Winter Festival, the students organized a parade, a modeling show, a beauty pageant, a mascot competition, and a song and dance competition. What I found exceptional was that some male students dressed up as females for the modeling show and not one person seemed offended by the situation; not one person had anything negative to say, or even so much as a scowl on their face.
In fact, the picture you see in the video that reads “Ready for the runway,” is a student of mine in M.4/1 (10th grade). His name is Soju (which means gecko in Thai) and he is a very dedicated student, energetic for class, and kind. The point is, sexuality is not bashed here in Thailand, it is not hated or even disliked, and students have the freedom to simply be themselves. I have actually confirmed this concept with three other Fulbright ETAs who account for similarities in their schools throughout central and northern Thailand. Each grade (there are six at PCC) M1-M6 also organized food booths and sold Thai desserts, sticky rice, and an arrangement of fried meats, eggs, hotdogs, etc –notice the sign of the group that sold ice cream at the end of the video.