Oh how I miss the changing leaves back home right now.
Halfway through October and it doesn't seem like Autumn. There have been a few cooler days where I've actually been cold, and then the next day is as hot as ever (reminds me of the inconsistencies of Colorado weather :)).
Today is my first day of a week-long October break! Finally, a week to catch up on rest and halt the business of my life (although those that know me, know that I struggle with this). This also means time to process through the first quarter of the school year and think on what's ahead.
I celebrated my 25th! A day full of excitement and energy from my students who managed to "surprise" me multiple times. My birthday was too important for them to spend the day learning...:) A wonderful group of ladies joined me for a birthday dinner at my favorite Indian food restaurant. I am constantly amazed by the people God has placed in my life.
Birthday weekend getaway, my roommates whisked me off to stay in a cabin in Doi Inthanon National Park. Doi Inthanon is the tallest point/mountain in Thailand at a whopping 2,565 m or 8,415 ft above sea-level, definitely not a Colorado 14er but same idea :) I enjoyed tons of nature, waterfalls, terraced gardens lit up at night and a cloud forest. We enjoyed some peaceful moments on our covered porch while it poured.
Elementary staff conference. I was asked to speak on student engagement strategies in front of the entire elementary staff. The overall, conference was helpful in learning about teaching methods, strategies and curriculum from so many others on staff. It's been a good year so far, of collaborating with others and growing professionally together.
I started pottery class at school. again. Excited for some new projects this year and the joy that creating something brings me.
I took a little time off from Thai and will start again soon. The language learning is slow moving, there are days I do well, although followed by a lesson or two that's not as easy. The life of language learners...:)
I recently bought a ukulele and have been attempting to play it. I've realized I need to make more time for music every day. It's a big part of who I am that I've neglected over the year.
My MAIN purpose in being here in Chiang Mai is to teach my wonderful 4th graders. We made it through our first quarter of the school year together. I've had to learn to let go of last year's group, but I am truly enjoying what this new group has to offer and getting to know each kid on an academic, social and spiritual level. We made it through report cards and conferences-pressing onward!
I've had to adjust to teaching new curriculum and different subjects than last year and learning how to work with another 4th grade team teacher. So far, it's been a great start!
Diakonia, children's ministry club year 2 has begun. We started our year packing all our 21 kids into songthaews and going to a local Thai school and teaching introductory English and then playing games, frisbee and soccer. We have many ministry opportunities built in between now and the end of the year! I have to say that Diakonia is one of my most favorite parts of teaching here!!!
Another thing that I've been doing this year is spending one morning each weekend walking around the botanical gardens 10 minutes from my home. Each time I go, I discover another beautiful thing in the park. More opportunities for photography...:)
Speaking of which, I've been taking a lot of pictures...probably not nat geo worthy...but it's another fun outlet for me. I hope to capture more of the detail in the world around me and in my life here in Chiang Mai.
Last weekend I traveled to Phang Nga province in southern Thailand, to visit my friend Sophie who teaches with a non-profit NGO Foundation of Education and Development (FED). see the following blog post to learn more about the people and organization that is on my heart.
October break and then back to teaching until the end of December.
Praise: 1. Finishing quarter 1 2. Successful speaking engagements, report cards and conferences, by God's grace. 3. Feeling better health wise after a month long cold, cough
Prayer: 1. Contentment for where God has me and wisdom for some decisions I need to make.