In case you’re interested, here’s more about Koh Samui, including Thai schools and the beach party/fire show we went to in Chaweng.
The government schools here used to be run by Buddhist temples; thus they are call “Wat” Such-and-such, Wat being the word for temple. I think many of them still are, but Michael and I are both a little fuzzy on the details. The two we visited as teachers were Wat Santi and Wat Kiriwangkaram. The public schools have English camps during the school holidays, which is what we were teaching at. Neither school had air conditioning, which is the norm. The second school did not seem to have doors on the classrooms, which made it a little hard to police comings and goings. It did, however, have puppies. They appeared to be just the school dogs, belonging to no one in particular.
The children at the schools were mostly very respectful and loved having us there. At the first one we made origami boats, which one girl labeled “Titanic” on one side and “My heart will go on” on the other. We also made origami cups, and one girl made yellow-paper McDonald’s french fries to go in hers. I thought this was genius.
After our “graduation party” at the Mynt Lounge, about half the class went to a beach party at the ARK Bar in Chaweng. Chaweng is much louder and wilder than Lamai. The party had a spectacular fire show. Here is a video someone took a few years ago, but honestly I haven’t watched the whole thing because I found the beginning kind of boring. (Also, I’m actually glad I’d never seen a video before I saw it in person because it made it that more exciting.)
In person this is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen: Guys swinging around balls of fire on strings and sticks, even throwing them to each other, without dropping them or burning themselves. Against the backdrop of the night sky and the ocean.
The *very* loud, English-language dance music was a bit much, especially for Michael. But I loved going out with the people from our class. I hope to see at least some of them again while we are here.