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Showing posts from September, 2012

Rest and Cultural Fatigue

Yesterday I had the privilege of having my first ever parent-teacher conferences.  I had no idea what to expect, I just knew that it wasn't like what I'm used to in the States.  All the teachers for the High School were in one room and we just had tables set up with our names on them for parents to come visit us.  Out of my 50 students, I had 6 parents come visit, which was actually more than many people had.  As much as I enjoyed talking with te parents, there was one mom who really helped me out.

After we'd exchanged the usual pleasantries about her child and discussed her grades, she asked me questions I wouldn't think to ask the teacher.  She asked me how my transition into the country was going -- was I feeling settled, what has pleasantly surprised you, what has been disappointing or surprising?  She asked if I'd gotten over the cultural fatigue yet... I wasn't sure what she meant so I asked her to explain.  She said that there's a different type of f…

I'm 1/4 done!

This week marks the end of the first quarter.  The High School has 4 days of classes and then conferences and Middle School and Elementary only have three days plus conferences.  I cannot believe it's already the end of the quarter!  Time is such a funny thing!  The last two months have been an absolute blur!  People are already beginning to make serious plans for their Christmas breaks and I'm glad because at this rate, it feels like it'll be January before I consciously check the calendar again! AH!

Now, all of that could change of course.  There's a certain amount of comfort I have placed in the consistency of the teaching world: wake up, go to school, teach, eat, teach, go home, sleep, repeat.  Every day.  And then it's Saturday, just like that!  Next week will not be that way.  Faith Academy is gracious enough to give the students an entire week plus two days (a Friday and then a Monday) plus two weekends to breathe between each quarter.  Many of the students …

A Week in Review

This week has been one of the best weeks I've had in probably the last year or so.  Nothing outstanding or crazy or amazing happened, but that's sort of what made it great!

Last Sunday I went to church with a few other teachers from Faith Academy and went shopping at the Philippine equivalent of Sam's Club.  I bought great foods like alfredo, chicken breast, and saw several American brands I recognized, which is very encouraging!

My week in teaching was really good.  The creative worship class continues to challenge me and I am LOVING every minute of it.  We're teaching a unit on leadership right now and the kids are just eating it up.  We watched a video yesterday to study different types of musical leadership.  Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyGD3zH9Xvc -- FYI: the gentleman who sings in the last 30 seconds is Chinese, singing about God live in China in public.  The kids in our 7th period class said, "Wait -- is that for real?!  He could g…

Luxury!!

Today has got to be one of my favorite days so far in the Philippines.  I am currently typing this entry in the comfort of air conditioning (called "air con" here), on my own bed because WE HAVE INTERNET!!!  Miyeon and I went to the mall today to try our luck a 5th time with internet and we got it!  We actually only waited about 20 minutes.  We were so happy after we walked out of the store with 2 USB internet devices, we looked at each other and said, "Okay, where can we celebrate for supper?"  We went to a place called Max's which was just on the other side of the mall.  It was the most at-home I've felt in a restaurant yet: big comfy booths, the sound and smells of a mall, fried chicken, Mountain Dew, and a good friend -- seriously, so great.  We also went to the store and bought a few groceries.  I found Skittles and Baby Bell cheese: my life is complete.

On the way to the mall, we took a jeepnee to "the junction" of Ortigas to catch another j…

A Couple Little Things

Just a quick post to let you know that my first month of newsletters went out today.  If you did not receive one via email, either the email address I have for you is inaccurate and it bounced back to me or I do not have your email!  There's a way to send me a message or post a comment with your address on my blog (just scroll down) if you'd like to be on my monthly update list.  The blog will remain a primary source for day-to-day updates, but newsletters are some people's preference and have some different information.

In other news, tomorrow will conclude the first full 5-day week Faith Academy has seen since the beginning of August!  I know it's only one extra day, but I am ready for a weekend!  I've spent three afternoons this week attempting to get back on track with an exercise routine.  I ran around the tennis courts (50+ laps is a mile!) and it's the highlight of my day every time.  The tennis courts are built into a hill, like the rest of the campus, …

We're Not in Nebraska Anymore

Well, here it is -- my first blog with less than great news.  To be honest, this isn't the first time I've encountered issues in the Philippines, but I've finally figured out how to talk about it intelligently.  But first, some insight.

When I was preparing to arrive, I wasn't sure how my cell phone would work.  I intentionally bought a phone that would work on a global network... or so I thought.  It took a week to finally get to someone who could unlock my phone so that the SIM card would work.  (All smart phones come with SIM cards and it's supposed to be easy enough to buy a new SIM card and change it out with your American one to have a number in your new country.  My phone locked so that wasn't possible.)

Everything here related to technology (with very few exceptions) is prepaid.  Most people have basically the equivalent of a track phone and they just buy minutes or "load" as it's called here.  Once your load runs out, you can only receive…