Since I arrived in Bangkok last Monday, I’ve been able to talk with Pia everyday. Even though I haven’t been able to completely figure out the whole Thai telecom thing just quite yet, thankfully Viber exists. I was able to teach Pia how to use it on my Dad’s phone before I left, and she likes using the stickers as much as I do, so Viber works well for us. I talk to her in the morning before I go to work, and in the evening as soon as I get home. We’ve mainly been talking about how her days have been, what I’ve been doing, and what’s going on with the people at home. Talking with her really does help make me feel like I’m still at home.
Pia’s summer break just started, and a couple of days ago she was complaining about how she didn’t have anything to do. I remembered that she mentioned once that she kept a diary, so I suggested she write in it everyday. I told her that maybe I could give her something topics to write about everyday, and she could write while I was at work and then she could tell me what she wrote in the evening once I came home. This didn’t go down too well, because it was like I was giving her homework, and hello, who wants to do homework during the summer break? My suggestion led to Pia discovering the Angry Violet sticker, and whenever she sends me that, it’s like the Viber equivalent of her punching me in the belly.
After much thinking, I also remembered that Pia has always talked about wanting to travel with me. When I told her that I was going to move to Thailand, she wanted to move with me too. I replied that if she wanted to do that, she would need to learn how to speak English better, because most people in Thailand don’t know how to speak Filipino or Tagalog. To help her learn English, aside from me and people at home speaking with her in English, I asked her to look for the Epol Apple videos on YouTube. She could watch the videos while I was work, and we could talk about what she learned when I got home. Since she’s on YouTube a lot anyway, she liked this suggestion more than my first one.
Earlier this evening, Pia told me that she had already watched 12 of the videos. I was pleasantly surprised that she had already seen that many, and I asked her what she had learned. She then repeated some of the English sentences she had heard as well as what they meant. She sang some of the English songs that they sang in the videos, and when I asked her what the words meant she knew all the answers. Then I started asking her some simple, random questions in English, and though she had to think about the answers a bit, she was for the most part able to answer them. She liked it when I asked her the random questions, and wanted me to ask her more. We spent most of today talking in English.
I’m very, very proud of Pia. To be clear though, I’m not only proud because she can speak English better now, though of course that’s amazing. I’m proud because she could have just watched a random entertainment video on YouTube, but she chose to watch Epol Apple so she could learn something. I’m proud because she was happy with herself that she had learned something new. I’m also proud because even whenever I corrected her when she made a mistake, she didn’t get flustered and just made the correction. I’m completely beaming with pride right now.