My main area of ministry at PSU, in Thailand, was in the engineering faculty. It was great having an engineering degree myself, because I immediately had something in common with the students. We talked about classes, what they were learning, and compared classes to the US and NZ.
The first Friday we were on campus, the Engineering English Club threw a party to welcome us! It was so sweet. We played games, ate a delicious dinner, and sang a few kiwi songs. My dinner: authentic pad thai, a local soup that was AMAZING, and licorice jelly drink (yup, you read that right...).
Some of the girls I met at dinner that I spent a lot of time with throughout the trip, Khing, Pat, Biew and Pat.
Since the students treated us to such a delicious meal, we thought we should share a true kiwi favorite, some Pineapple Lumps.
The desserts were all yellow! Thai desserts are so different from anything I've ever had. It's hard to explain, but the flavors are really unique. Very good, but really different! (in ever photo we are nicely glistening with sweat...)
After dinner we had a cooking competition. We had to recreate a popular Thai salad after tasting it. See that large mortar and pestal? Yup, that's what you crush everything in and mix in as well. I think we were semi-successful, but the students got a kick out of us mixing stuff together. We almost added wayyyyyyy too many chillies and fish oil. Definitely a few ingredients I've never even seen before. But it was really fun. Everyone enjoyed watching the "white girls", or foreigners, trying to cook traditional Thai food!
Twice each week, the six of us assigned to the Engineering department, taught English at the English Club. I've never actually taught English before, so it was actually really challenging to come up with lesson plans and material! But it was fun and helped to further our friendships with students we were meeting. We would spend our afternoons in the Engineering department hanging out with our friends, having spiritual conversations, talking about Jesus, or trying to meet and talk to new friends. All of this was done with the help of the Thai staff as our translators :)
At our last English Club lesson, they gave us gifts!