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Showing posts from October, 2012

Quick life update


It seems like forever since I've blogged.  I took more of a no-news-is-good-news approach for the last few weeks.  School is busy as ever and this week is only 3 days long.  The Filipino's celebrate All Saints Day so we have a long weekend, which I will be thankful for.  It's been 10 weeks since I arrived and I'm still amazed at how fast time goes.

I'm very well taken care of here.  Transportation has seemed a bit more stressful lately but not bad enough to convince me I need a car just yet.  Although, that's something I'm beginning to at least consider.  However, God has provided for me in some pretty amazing ways this week.  Tuesday night I had to stay behind and work with a worship team after hours.  I knew I wouldn't have a ride unless one of the kids happened to live near my subdivision, so I planned to just ask someone to take me out of the Valley (which is where Faith is located) to a main intersection so I could get on public transportati…

The Same in Every Country

As I've settled into a new normal here in Manila, there are some things that will always seem very different to my Minnesotan eyes.  I've wrestled with initial culture shock and the honeymoon of newness that came with transition, and now I'm dwelling in a place of moderate understanding and peace with all the change.  On days I get overwhelmed with everything that's unfamiliar, I've learned to find things that are familiar, even if they're not identical to what I know.  There are some things that I think really are the same in every country and every culture.

Laughter:  It's a human communication that breaks the ice every time.  Laugh with someone you know, laugh with someone you don't -- laughter is a commonality.

Smiles:  From kids to students to parents and adults, people smile.  It conveys hope, acceptance, and creates a connection between people -- even total strangers.

Temper-tantrums:  Kids will be kids, need I say more?  One of the most hilariou…

Grace Upon Grace

My trip to Palawan this past week in pictures looks like something out of a magazine: nice hotel, good group of friends, great beach, and amazing memories.  The week was a reminder of the beauty that exists outside of the polluted metropolis I currently call home as well as the beauty inside the metropolis.  Let me explain…
The Wednesday before we were set to leave for break, I wasn’t sure if I was going to come along.  Financially I had to figure out how to switch some numbers around, the flight schedule was ambiguous, and I didn’t even know which hotel we were staying in.  Wednesday afternoon I decided to just figure it out, regardless of what the outcome was.  I got the name of the hotel from a friend, called 4 times to finally complete the conversation, and was able to book the LAST available room in the entire resort for all 4 nights.  It was grace.  What’s more?  The room “just happened” to be right next to the rest of the group AND another person decided to join our group whic…

Palawan = Paradise

This blog comes to you form the island of Palawan, another island in the chain of 7,000 that make up the Philippines.  It's October Break at Faith Academy, so many students flew home to see their parents or took trips to other places because it's the end of the first quarter.  Some of the single teachers and staff decided to use the week to explore more of the  Philippines.  I debated for a while whether I wanted to come along because the group's reservations were made much earlier and at much lower rates.  As of Wednesday afternoon, I figured it was within my budget to make the trip, even if I was booking last-minute.  We have a group of 9 people and it's a lot of fun to just hang out this week.
Palawan is the type of place that most Americans would consider a tropical paradise -- the kind of scenery that people will pay $8-10,000 for a week on beaches like these.  (I'm playing less than $300... Definite perk of living in the tropics!)  I'll post a few pictur…