Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beach Trip

So, we just got back from a beach trip with the high schoolers we will be working with this school year. It is an annual trip taken every year as a "get to know you" event. It was really fun. There are about 48 students at MICA (name of the high school) and almost all of them attended. It was really fun getting to know the students, especially for me. I am teaching yearbook, which only has 3 students in the class and I am teaching 2 students math, so I have not had the opportunity to even meet a lot of the students. It has been a joy getting to know them. There are some really neat kids who truly love God and have amazing hearts! I am so excited to get to know them even more!
We left on Sunday afternoon and stayed until Tuesday afternoon. We played a lot of games, had sessions where different teachers spoke, had free time, and played volleyball! It was really fun. It reminded me of youth group retreats. The kids really love each other and seek to serve one another. Some of them have grown up going to school together and some have just joined the group. There are many Korean students that come to the school, which offers quite the challenge. Of course English is their second language and some of them really have a hard time conversing and understanding english, which makes building relationships with them very difficult.

When you spend time with any group of people, it is easy to recognize who the "leaders" are. It was really fun getting to know those students who have leadership gifts. I am the Student Council Advisor this year and I am so excited about the group of kids who have the potential of being on it. Nominations began today and our elections will be next Tuesday. I have a good idea of who is going to do what position and I am excited to work with a great group of leaders!
Well, no crazy stories this time. No injuries, accidents, or comical events this trip! But stay tuned, I'm sure something crazy will happen soon.
By the way, the last picture is of our raft making contest! The high schoolers made some pretty creative rafts!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Top Chef

So, remember in my last blog when I said I was going to make chicken alfredo that night? I was so excited to finally be able to cook my first meal in our new place and we were pretty excited to eat American food! Well, do I have quite the story for you. Rob and I had decided that we would buy some inexpensive pans, which we thought would last for at least 10 months. Boy were we wrong....

So, we have a gas stove at our new apartment but the landlord needs to get it hooked up for us (which is happening today!!!!) and in the mean time she bought us this electric single burner that we could use. Well, here I am trying to cook some chicken in our brand new frying pan on this little electric burner. I was letting it cook for a little bit and all of a sudden there was this loud popping sound. Then these sparks started flying from underneath the pan, and I mean flying. So, I ran screaming (I know, such a girly reaction) and left Rob to take care of the situation! So, he runs over, unplugs the burner and it finally stops. After it cooled down, we inspected the damage and here is what we saw:

Yeah, it takes a very talented chef to burn a hole through a frying pan! Who knew I was so talented!!! Wow, maybe we shouldn't have bought the cheap pots and pans! Well, I'm not sure who to blame it on, the pan or the cook. Probably a little bit of both. Well, needless to say, we have been eating out since the "burn a hole through the pan" incident. Hopefully we will get our stove hooked up soon so I can start cooking again.

Oh yeah, one more thing (I tell ya, everyday is a new adventure here. You never know what's going to happen). We got to school today only to find out that the school "pet" python got out of his cage and is no where to be seen. Yeah, talk about freaky. I am constantly looking and listen because I just know that this snake is going to show it's pretty little head in my office! Oh, another day, another adventure. I wonder what's going to happen tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Day of School

Remember the first day of school? How you were probably a little nervous, anxious, excited, and overwhelmed all at the same time? Yeah, well the feelings were about the same for me today, only I am a teacher, not a student. Today was our first day of school! We had quite the day. It was great getting to know some of the students, but quite overwhelming knowing that I am responsible for part of their education for the next school year. It didn't help that I have never taught before. I have to figure out grading, lessons, and tests. I am teaching a girl (her name is Bible) math and tutoring her in her other subjects . It's a one on one class which is quite nice. I am really excited about getting to know her! But having to remember some of the math is going to be a challenge. Having gone to Bible College, we really didn't have to take a math class, so it's been since high school, which I know was not that long ago, but when you haven't done something for 7 years, it's really quite hard to remember. I was also asked (yesterday) to teach the yearbook class. Luckily I was on yearbook staff in high school, but then again, that was 7 years ago too. Anyway, if you think about it I would appreciate your prayers.
On a more exciting note, Rob and I found a place to live. We have an apartment that is only 2 blocks from the school! Yeah! I have never lived so close to the place I work. I'll have to take pictures and post them. It is a great place but has a few little quirks that are quite interesting. Well, everything has been going great with our new place until we had to go shopping. Rob and I attempted to go to the grocery store by ourselves. That was quite the experience. Everything was just so different. From the bread to the fruits to the place where you put your grocery basket. We had quite the experience trying to figure things out. At one point I just got so overwhelmed that we just ended our trip and left. So, we came home with out much food. The next day, one of the missionaries took me grocery shopping at a place where most of the missionaries do their shopping and I had a much better experience! I was never happier to see Jiff peanut butter in my life. This grocery store actually had quite a few thing that I recognized!!! I was so happy! We even found barbecue sauce (and if you know Daspits that is quite important!) We won't starve now!!! Anyway, I know what grocery store I will be shopping at. Tonight's dinner: chicken broccoli alfredo with wheat pasta! Yeah! our first American meal since we got here! The food is good here, I think we just need a little taste of home! Anyway I better go. Love you all!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We're Here...

I can't believe it. We are here in Davao, Philippines. We arrived on Sunday August 5th at 9am Philippine time which would be 8pm on Saturday August 4th central time. We arrived with quite the culture shock. We ended up on a flight with another couple who are going to be teachers here as well. The principal of the school picked all of us up at the airport and thus began our crazy adventure. Even just driving down the street there where tons of motorcycles who don't understand staying in your own lane, tin roofs, people staring at the "white people," dirt roads, women walking with huge bundles of branches on their heads, open markets, cows and goats walking in the road, and much more. It was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever had. We felt like we were in a movie.
After our culture shocking car ride, we arrived at the guesthouse which is where we will be staying until we can find an apartment or house to rent. The guest house is on the campus of the elementary and high school. The campus is really beautiful! It's so green! There are plants trees and grass everywhere. I will have to take pictures and post them!
After getting settled into our rooms, we went over to the Principal's house for lunch, where we tried some of the local fruit!! I think I am going to really like trying so many new fruits! They're so different, but really good.
The rest of our day was filled with getting a tour of the school and neighborhood, and we even made it to a local mall! That was quite the experience! I have never felt so out of place. The mall was crowded, and everyone was staring at us! That's just one of the many things we are going to have to get use to. I knew it before we got here, but it is quite a different actuallyliving it. We will get stared at all the time.
We made it back to the guesthouse at about 6pm and we were exhausted. We fell asleep at about 7pm. I slept pretty good, but I did wake up at about 1:30am and could not get back to sleep for about an hour. My goal was to sleep until 5 am and I woke up at 5:15am! Not bad!
Well, I will keep trying to blog our experience here and will even try to take some pictures so you can get a little taste of what it's like here!