2015-16-Abbey-Thailand

Abbey Schultz

Thailand

Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
School: Lincoln High School
Sponsor District : District 6940
Sponsor Club: Tallahassee Sunset, Florida
Host District: 3330
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Don Tum

 

My Bio


Sawadeeka! Hello! My name is Abbey Schultz. I'm 15 and currently a sophomore at Lincoln High School. I'm going to be spending the next year of my life in Thailand and I am very excited (and nervous) for this awesome experience. Lets just say the language is coming along well, but moving on, more about me.

I play volleyball for the Tallahassee Juniors Club and my favorite subjects are Chinese and AP Human Geography. I am also in Symphonic band and play the clarinet. I am an assistant volunteer for my sister's girl scouts and I'm a member of my school's Interact club. One of my special hobbies is cosplaying. Cosplay is when you dress up as your favorite character from either a book, show, or video game and go to conventions like Comic Con and have a blast.

As you can see from the country I'm going to, I love the Asian culture from their traditions to their food. My room is practically like walking into an Asian museum. I also love to read books like the Mortal Instruments Series. I have a little brother and little sister who drive me up the walls on many occasions and a cat who is the cutest little thing. I have been wanting to study abroad since I was in eighth grade, and I still can't believe this is actually happening to me. I'm so happy that I get to have this chance of a lifetime to go to Thailand thanks to my District 6940. I can't wait for what's to come during this adventure.

So you Think You Can Dance

So you Think You Can Dance

When One of Your Friends is a Ladyboy

When One of Your Friends is a Ladyboy

Exchange Students Having Fun

Exchange Students Having Fun

ELEPHANT

ELEPHANT

One Big Happy Family

One Big Happy Family

Braiding done by the Master of Braids

Braiding done by the Master of Braids

Friendship will never end and our love for each will not run out for you will be where you are and I will come back and visit.

Friendship will never end and our love for each will not run out for you will be where you are and I will come back and visit.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

First Time at KFC in Thailand

First Time at KFC in Thailand

Exercise with Friends

Exercise with Friends

Siam Square

Siam Square

Don Hoi Lod

Don Hoi Lod

Ping Pong Fun

Ping Pong Fun

My Crazy Friend

My Crazy Friend

Caving Around

Caving Around

Field Trip with Class

Field Trip with Class

Caving Around

Caving Around

Halloween with My Foriegn Exchange Buddies

Halloween with My Foriegn Exchange Buddies

Ladyboy Show

Ladyboy Show

Hardcore Mountain Hike = Worth It

Hardcore Mountain Hike = Worth It

Competition Time!!!

Competition Time!!!

Delicious

Delicious

Phuket

Phuket

Field Trip!! Economcally Speaking!!

Field Trip!! Economcally Speaking!!

JOURNALS: Abbey-Thailand 2015-16

  • Abbey, outbound to Thailand

    I have been in Thailand for about 3 months now. I can’t describe in one report how happy I am for getting selected to go to Thailand. The whole month of October was Midterm Break for Kongthong Wittaya School. I really thought not being able to see my friends for a whole month would be terribly boring, but that was an understatement!

    The first week of my break I got to go on a field trip with my class. We went to a little farm and learned about economics. When I first heard that we were going to learn about economics, I just thought whatever I’ll sit through a three hour lesson not understanding anything, but it turned out to be very fun since it was all about using empty water bottles. I learned I could make a water bottle into a toilet paper holder! The field trip was so much fun, everything was just really chill and fun a.k.a we learned nothing except how to be creative with empty water bottles.

    During the midterm break, I actually got to hang out with my tomboy friends a lot. I would go to school, and just play a whole bunch of sports with them. One time, I played sports with my friends for 12 hours. I was beat! I also got to go to a Tug-of-War tournament with my tomboy friends for 2 days which was awesome. Later on in the break, I got to go to Chiang Mai with my host family. You think we would go to see all the wonders that Chiang Mai holds, but every day we just went to different restaurants and cafes to eat.

    My host brother loves to eat! He is an EATING MACHINE, but don’t get me wrong when I say I enjoyed it very much as well! Each café and restaurant had its own theme either being very weird like IBerry Café or being very cute like the café’s with all the sweets and chocolate’s (ugh now I am hungry and I am typing this report at 8 in the morning in school). If you ever go to Chiang Mai, eat Khao Soi. It is known in this region of the north of Thailand to be very delicious and believe me i t is! Next, I got to go to Phuket with my foreign exchange friends!

    The first two days where like survival challenges from dragging, climbing, and plunging my way throughout a cave swarming with bats in the dark in a pair of sandals to having a 6 hour hike up a mountain where I had to climb up trillions of steep stairs to steep hills (lucky me I didn’t fall in the mud or get leeches wahahahahahaha).

    My friend Natsuko (from Japan) has never been in the woods, so when we were 5 hours done with our hiking journey, I asked her (while her foot was bleeding)… “So what do you think of being in the woods???” She is truly innocent when she said she liked it hahaha!

    After those two days of pure survival, we got to go see the beautiful islands of Phuket. Yes! They were extremely beautiful when I say the water was so clear and blue to the sands being pure white. I also got to see Leonardo Dacaprio Island which was beautiful in every way. I am happy to say I barely got sunburned because Phuket was very very very hot. In Phuket, we got to go see a Transgender Simon Star show which was so cool and hilarious. The women were so so beautiful even though they were actually men hahaha!

    While in Phuket, all the girls including me went crazy over these cheap bohemian looking pants. Every time we would see one we would go and buy one. They are just so comfortable and relaxing! By the time I got back from Phuket more fun was still in store!!!

    I got a package from my aunt filled with tons of candy, I got a lot of exercise in, I got to go swimming, and I got to hang out with my friends!! For the first time, I got to go see a 4D movie in Thailand, and it was fricking amazing. I went to see the Last Witch Hunter with my host family and Natsuko. If it snowed in the movie, it would snow on us; if there was fire in the movie, there would be smoke on us; if there was rain in the movie, there would be rain on us, etc. It was so so so awesome I recommend anyone coming to Thailand to go see an action movie in 4D!!!

    By the time I actually payed attention to the days going by, school started again! I was happy to see all my friends again, but I hated waking up early in the mornings all over again. Then Halloween came. I knew coming to Thailand, I probably wouldn’t be celebrating holidays from America, but I was totally wrong. My host family had a Halloween party it was spooktastic wahahaha! I got to invite my foreign exchange friends, dress up as a penguin, and eat a whole lot of chicken wings and candy! It was also my host mom’s birthday on Halloween, so I got to eat tons of cake too!!!

    So yeah! That has been my month. I am going to school having an awesome time when I am not falling asleep in class. 

    To see my home page and some photos click HERE

  • Abbey, outbound to Thailand

    Here are some things I have done so far: I got to go to Tiger Temple and pet a tiger. I got to go to Saiyoknoi Falls and walk across a bridge with a very beautiful view of the river. I also got to experience yoga in Thailand, and it was very difficult in the end. I also got to go to one of the biggest birthday parties I have ever been to in my life for one single Rotarian (If only I can have a birthday party like the one I went to). I got to go exercise at the beautiful Mahidol University with my second host family. I got to experience a retirement ceremony at school for one of my teachers. I got to take the English Exam at my school. I got to go to Ratchaburi, go inside an incredibly beautiful cave, and see tons of bats soar through the sky. I got to go to Mae Klong, Samut Songkhram, and Don Hoi Lod. I got to go on a field trip with my class to learn about economics which was surprisingly really fun. I got to teach little kids English and go to a mall Japanese themed. I also got to go to Siam in Bangkok which was a very amazing and a very indescribable experience.

    Sports/Friends: So pretty much every day I have been going to school to hang out with my friends (even though midterm break has started). Each day is different from spending so many hours to playing Ping-Pong to running and doing exercise. I also get to watch my friends play Tug-of-War which is very cool. I really wanted to play the sport at the beginning, but everyone made a big deal that my hands would hurt. Many Thais want to have white, pale skin, so since I’m white my hands will hurt, but that is just the culture. They say I can play now, but I am so embarrassed that I still have to think about it. Also, I get to play Muey Thai with my friends and volleyball which is fun. I also got to go eat out with my friends at my favorite restaurant, Steak Nathimp. I eat here literally all the time that the people who work there remember me.

    Literally hanging out with my friends has been the best part of my exchange so far. From playing pranks on each other to taking tons of photos yelling “Capture!!!”I remember the times my friends and I walked home throwing ice at each other to riding home at night with them in the back of a truck while they sing very loudly. My friends are crazy, but I love them. I also love going to the market every Wednesdays with my friends and buying Nam Dang Soda (very delicious). Something that I have noticed is that my friends have known each other for a long time because middle school and high school are connected here in Thailand, so they are always in the same classes. I have only met my friends in August and there is a little language barrier, but I am already so close to them and they accept me into their lives just like that. This makes me feel very special for having met such wonderful people. They take care of me and hang out with me and really include me in everything they are doing. It just makes me really happy that I have such awesome friends that I can count on for anything.

    Cultural Mistakes: For exchange students coming to Thailand, you are bound to make culture mistakes. You would be the greatest exchange student of all time in Thailand if you only made so little, but as for me I make culture mistakes constantly. I have waded while holding shoes in my hands towards teachers so many times that I have to apologize for forgetting. I almost shook hands with a monk and had to apologize for not knowing. I have kicked a coin, and had to apologize because it is respectful since the king is on it. I have worn improper clothing to a funeral, and many more things, but if you apologize and learn from your mistakes. People will understand because you didn’t know.

    Exchange is a learning process. No one said it would be perfect, but the key to not letting these culture mistakes ruin your exchange or make you feel bad ( because I am a sensitive person) is just to apologize and build off of them. Also some things that have gotten hard for me, and my get hard for future exchange students is the word “Farang”. Being different looking and everything really makes you stand out so a lot of the students who I don’t know at my school like to make fun of me by shouting “Farang” at me either walking past me or behind my back, and say other things as well. I don’t like it, but I learned to ignore it by talking with people about how I feel. I also got really good friends who stick up for me if they see it to.

    So for those students who you just don’t know but like to hurt your feelings. They are not important. Don’t let them ruin your exchange because people will stick up for you if you just take the effort to talk to someone. Now some people are going to try to be funny, but not in an insulting way, you just learn how to joke back and everyone becomes buddy buddy, but believe me some people just take it to far like this one guy kept yelling at me “Very good.”, “Your Beautiful”, “I love you” while I was playing volleyball with my friends. Believe me it was so embarrassing and I kept giving him weird looks, but he just thinks he’s being funny when in reality he is totally creeping me out. That fact alone makes me not really care because I found it funny that he was pretty much making a fool out of himself. Go with the flow, speak out if you're upset, and just don’t let the simple things get to you and you will have a blast on your exchange.

    I love Thailand and I am glad that I didn’t get any other country.

    To see my home page and some photos click HERE


  • Abbey, outbound to Thailand

    Intro: I don’t know how to begin this report because I have done so many amazing things so far in Thailand that it is indescribable. When I arrived in Thailand I got to go see the biggest temple in all of Thailand in Nakhon Pathom (my province), go to the ZOO to take a picture with an elephant, and celebrate a truly special holiday that I wish it became more important in America, Mother’s Day. Oh Yeah! I should probably start off saying my name is Abbey. I am from Florida in America. I am living in Thailand for ten months as an exchange student in Nakhon Pathom province in Don Tum.

    Daily Stuff: The house I am staying at is really cool and very big. I leave from my house and walk to school around 7:30a.m. Monday through Friday. It is very difficult for me to eat in the morning just because in America I was always too lazy to make myself breakfast before. It is even more difficult because I feel like I am eating dinner for breakfast like how some people eat pizza for breakfast. Blaaaahhhh!!! But I am getting use to it, and eating good amounts unlike the first week that I was in Thailand I ate very lightly. My host family was so worried because I ate very small amounts of food, but no they just eat a lot!!!!!

    School and Friends: I never thought I would fit in the shoes of a celebrity, but at my school I truly feel like a superstar. Everyday students say Hello to me, shake my hand, or want a picture with me. As you can see my school has never had an exchange student and almost all the students in my school has never seen a foreigner except on TV. One time this girl screamed my name, hugged me, and walked away. Then there are some students who try to make fun of me or call me a farang (white foreigner) even though they know my name, but I just ignore that silliness because it is too small to make a big deal out of it.

    Also at school, a lot of the students ask me if someone is handsome or beautiful. I tell the girls they are beautiful, but when it comes to guys I tell them I have no clue. Ok! There was this one time where I called a guy beautiful because in my mind he truly was. Also, everyone always wants me to sing a song even though I am really bad at it, but I just sing badly in the end to get it over with!!

    Oh my gosh!!! I love my classmates. I am really close to a lot of them and I like that I can be myself around them and have fun. My friends and I always stay after school playing volleyball, ping pong, or that sport that I forgot the name to, but it is this little ball that you try to keep up in the air, but you can only use your head and feet. One time I played it, I kicked the ball, and I ended up kicking myself in the face. Spectacular!

    Every Wednesday, after school I go to the market with my friends and buy sweets. I love to buy Nam Dang Soda! It is very delicious. Also, one time at school, I was sitting in my physics class and the teacher was looking at the boredom swirling all over my face (usually in classes that I don’t understand I study Thai writing) and he said I could draw on the walls. I got really confused like you want me to draw on the school walls even though I am not an artist, and he said yes, so I used my creativity and drew a bunch of really random things. I think I quoted from Finding Nemo, “Fish are friends not food,” on one of them. It was awesome!

    A lot of my friends at school are really overprotective when it comes to me, which shows they care so I don’t mind. My friends walk home with me every day and won’t let me walk alone during school. I always have to be guided. Also, they always buy me things even though I have money which makes me feel bad in the end. They also fan me if it looks like I am really hot from the sun, but I tell them I am ok. It is very HOT in Thailand though!!! My friends look after me a lot, but I love them!!!! Also, there is this one guy at my school. He is in the middle school part of my school, and he really really likes me. He is so adorable because he is so small and cute. One day he gave me this key chain with a little doll with Thailand written on it. Awwww He is just so adorable!!! Also, one of my friends at school braids my hair every day and she is amazing at it. She has mastered the sacred art of braiding!!!! My friend in America needs to become her disciple!!!!!

    Neat fact! When it rains in Thailand, it really rains hard. My school always ends up flooding. It is hilarious and cool at the same time, because all the students are soaking wet and dragging themselves through the flooded road to the school while my friends and I just stay in the buildings and play ping pong.

    Stuff: I had my first inbound orientation at Hua Hin (where I first used a squat toilet; it is not as bad as you think) which was really fun because I got to meet all the other exchange students from around the world along with very beautiful scenery. These past couple of days I went to a temple and saw monks, the Palace in Nakhon Pathom, and the Floating Market in Ampowa. The coolest part to Ampowa was seeing all the fireflies light up the trees. There were thousands of them. It looked like Christmas with a tinge of hot weather.

    Sport Day: My school had Sport Day these past three days which was so much fun. I finally got to play volleyball competitively which rocked and I got to play a game with the volleyball teachers against their students which was fun. I also got to dress up in a Thai traditional outfit and walk in a parade with the tallest pair of high heels I have ever worn in my life which was extremely painful, but still rocked since I got to dance at the front of the parade. I also got to see my friends do Chokaye (Tug of War) which apparently my school is known for.

    One of my friends is really really athletic!!! She competed in basketball, soccer, tug of war, volleyball, running, and who knows what else. She gave me one of her first place medals which I love her for, but my volleyball team got a second place medal, so I got a medal with my own endurance and strength. Ha! Also, Sport Day was so much fun that I just had to even it out with a really bad sunburn that is really painful, but hope fully it will go away soon!!!!

    My Understanding So Far: Something I am really grateful for in America is health insurance. Sometimes it is really sad to see others who are not in the best conditions. One time I went to the market with my host sister and it was really crowded, and there was this lady dragging herself on the ground to get to her destination. Also, when I went to the Floating Market, there was many blind people singing to get money. They have to work so hard every day to keep themselves going, and it just makes me really sad to see something like that, but it helps me to realize more things that I am grateful for and build maturity. Also there are many stray cats and dogs. I am an animal lover and when I see these dogs not in good conditions it also makes me really sad.

    Note For Future Outbounds: It is ok to make culture mistakes. Everyone will understand that you didn’t know. The only reason I am saying this is because one time I was at a temple and one of the monks was greeting me with my YEO. He was holding his hand out like he wanted me to shake it like the students at my school do, so I was about to shake his hand when my YEO quickly pulled me back. I was so confused and kept saying sorry in Thai and bowing over and over again, but apparently monks are not supposed to touch women. I was so scared I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but the monk understood that I didn’t know and was laughing at me. So it was all good. Hahaha!

    Finale: My time in Thailand has truly been amazing so far. I already can’t imagine leaving my friends when the time comes. Luckily I haven’t gotten homesick yet, and I hope it stays that way!!! I didn’t even tell you guys how I said a speech in Thai in front of 1,000 students at my school (Kongthong Wittaya) which no one understood! Hahahaha!!!!!

    To see my home page and photos click HERE

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