I think I should post a little bit about where I'm going to be living for a year. It looks to be an exciting place to live!
Chanthaburi (Thai - จันทบุรี) is one of the many provinces in Thailand. It is in the eastern part of Thailand, bordering Cambodia and the shore to the Gulf of Thailand. It is about 330 km east of Thailand's capital - Bangkok.
The name Chanthaburi comes from two words in Sanskrit translated literally to City of the Moon (awesome!!). It was once occupied by French colonists beginning in 1893 but that only lasted until 1905. Nonetheless, there did bring some architectural influence into some areas of the province. Chanthaburi is also home to many Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants.
Chanthaburi's southern part is on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand but there are some mountainous areas in the hinterlands.
Chanthaburi is famous for its abundance of gemstones (specifically rubies and sapphires) and tropical fruits. There are big markets for both (and my 1st host family owns a gem business!).
Chanthaburi is also known for its scenic waterfalls and rich forests - not to mention some of the beautiful beaches.
Within Chanthaburi, there are 10 big districts, I will be living in the 1st district - Muang Chantaburi which basically means Chantaburi City. That's right, I'm going to be living in Chantaburi, Chanthaburi...
I'll be going to Benchamarachuthit School (say that 5 times fast). I've talked to a couple of people who go to that school and they've said I'll love it but they've never told me why. *shrug* I found their website (yeah, they have one) and it's all in Thai so I can't really read it just yet.
I fly out August 3rd so I'll probably post a couple times more before I leave but once I get there, there will be a lot more interesting things to talk about :)