Friday, December 9, 2011

November has come and gone!

 My sweet friend, Ruth, took me on a trip to Oudong Mountain with her family.

 Ruth's precious little boy - Raphael.

 Thirat and Ruth

 The view from the top of the mountain.

 A very old Buddha being reconstructed on the mountain.

 Made another visit to Thmey orphanage.  I was thrilled to see Reaksa (older girl on the right).  She is studying at a university now so she is no longer living at the orphanage.

I woke up one morning to metal clanging and walked out on the balcony to find this tent being set up right in front of my house.  I realized that only one of two things could be occurring...either a wedding or a funeral.  (black and white are the colors for a funeral - pink and yellow are the colors for a wedding)  Sadly, in this case it was a funeral.  The initial mourning lasts for a day or two and then a week later a remembrance ceremony is held where friends and family gather under the tent to remember their loved one.   

 The tent was literally right in front of my house.

 Hogi enjoying the kimbap his mom sent in for "Health and Fitness" week.

 Stephen made a cute face with his kimbap.

My students made my birthday special by making me a big card and singing Happy Birthday to me. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

School Days Continued

My students with origami birds that were made by students in Australia for National Peace Day.

Snack Time

 I am always interested in the snacks my students bring.  
 Stephen brought seaweed!

A Taste of Fall
My class made pumpkins as an art activity.  It may not feel or look like fall outside (as I update this blog it is 90 degrees), but I felt the need to give my classroom a "fall" appearance. 
My students were innovative with their pumpkins and turned them into turbans!

Headed to do some errands on my bike one Saturday afternoon and passed cattle hauling lots of pottery.

 I am very excited about the class set of Bibles my class just received!
The New Testament in Khmer and English

  Khmer and English 

I have not seen any signs of Christmas, but around the Independence Monument there were lots of lights around the made me think of all the decorations that are probably already up back in the U.S. (I am pretty sure this area was lit up for the King's birthday...not Christmas...regardless of the was a pretty sight!)

I recently asked one of my Korean student's mom if she could teach me how to make kimbap.  She informed me that she would, but that there was a technique to making it.  A few days later she showed up at my classroom door with a whole box of kimbap...she said she had made too much for her family, but I am pretty sure she made it just for me.  It was delicious!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

School Days

 Waiting in the hallway to head outside for recess.

 Happy Class :)

The boys playing their favorite game...SOCCER!!  I might add I have to remind them not to play "too rough"!  They get rather aggressive. 

 Reading Groups
I am so thankful our school has a license to A-Z reading.  It gives me access to lots of leveled readers that I can download and print.

 Lokru Savda (my assistant) overseeing the group that is making spelling words.  

This student (Hogi) has really impressed me with his determination and diligence in learning.  He is Korean but he speaks in English rather fluently, and he is learning Khmer!  He will be trilingual in no time.  Now if only I could pick up on a foreign language as easily as he does! :)

Three Months Down...
The past 3 months have gone by so quickly.  I'm not quite sure where the time has gone!?!  I definitely feel more acclimated to life here which is good.  I am still working on taking each day as it comes and trying to live in the present, but I find some days I do a much better job with living that out than others.  Big thanks again to those who are praying for me and thinking of me.  I appreciate it way more than I could ever adequately express! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Central Market and Lunch with Louise

Lots of Fresh Crabs

More Seafood

Fresh Vegetables

I am definitely going to shop at the market more often.  I got this basket of veggies (3 cucumbers, a green pepper, 2 carrots and a zucchini) for 8,500 riels if I remember correctly.  That is just a little over $2.00!  (4,000 riels = $1.00)

I thought this made for a funny photo.  :)

Fresh Fruit

I noticed this lady had black cherries...out of curiosity I asked how much they were.  My jaw dropped when she typed 18 in the calculator.  

Dragon Fruit - The texture reminds me of a kiwi and although they are not my favorite tropical fruit here I think they taste pretty yummy.

Louise posing for a picture as she buys a new bag.

Louise was craving an Indian dish so we stopped for lunch and had dosas (they are similar to crepes).

Louise insisted that this was the artist's way of taking a photo. :)

View behind me as I was riding home from the market in the tuk tuk.  Notice the rickshaw on the left.

Beautiful Day

This is Thouen who is an excellent tuk tuk driver.  

Friday, September 16, 2011

Finally an Update!

 My students painting a picture of one of the four seasons.

Jessica (one of my housemates) and I enjoying an iced coffee along with a brownie and muffin at a place called  The iced coffees here are AMAZING!!  The creamy liquid at the bottom is sweetened condensed milk! :)  Delicious!

 On our way home from Daughters we got caught in the rain and bought some ponchos.

 It never ceases to amaze me all the things a Cambodian can haul on their bike or moto.  I don't know if you can get the complete idea here or not, but the guy on the left is hauling all kinds of brooms, baskets, etc. 

 I have found a bookstore = one very excited teacher!!!  I have only been to Boston Books once but am so glad it is here in Phnom Penh.  I will definitely be visiting often.  It is a used book store with a very good selection.  These are all chapter books which are kind of advanced for most of my students; however, I do have a few that are ready for beginning chapter books. 

 Big smile for my purchases The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - Because of Winn Dixie - The Mouse and the Motorcycle - a few beginner's chapter books and my all time favorite - Charlotte's Web.  I thought one of these would make a good read aloud.  Oh the big smile is also for the very fun chair on the patio of Boston Books. :)

Jessica and Louise - I have really enjoyed getting two know these girls. :)
 After Boston Books I enjoyed a healthy meal at Vego with some of my fellow teachers/friends.  Vego has AMAZING salads and wraps.  I have missed salads so much over the past 2 months.  I have tried to follow the advice..."if you can't peel it or cook it...don't eat it."  I haven't gone to the trouble of thoroughly cleaning the lettuce like you need to in order to get off all the pesticides and whatever else might be on it so this was a big treat.  

My class started having swimming class this week at my school's sister school - Logos.  My kids as you can imagine LOVED swimming.  (above picture - Vutha and Sothun)

I know it took me almost a month to give an update. :(  I will certainly try to be better about posting more frequently!  I'm pondering what else to many thoughts are running through my mind...where to start?  I think of things daily that I think may interest those reading this but then of course I sit down to verbalize it and can't remember that "thing" I thought you may want to know. :)  I think I will make a list below of just some random thoughts that may give you a bit more perspective on some things that have happened over the past month.  

1.  I had my students write a letter to their parents for their parents to read at Open House.  I had a huge smile on my face when I walked around the room and noticed that several students were putting Bible as their favorite part of Grade 3. 

2.  Many of you know I like to run (or jog I should say).  Well I have slowly gotten back in a routine of doing just that.  Running here is a bit different for multiple reasons.  There are many dogs roaming around and obviously it is best to keep a distance from them as many of them carry rabies.  I was told not long ago that I may want to carry a rock with me so in case one tried to run after me...I guess I would be ready with ammunition. :)  Well it is a bit annoying to carry a rock so I hadn't been doing that until Jessica and I went for a run and some dogs came after us. (We both carried a rock the remainder of our run.)  I'm not generally scared of dogs, but I don't particularly like shots and if you get bit by a dog here and haven't had a rabies shot I think you have to get like 5 shots.  Needless to say I don't want that to happen. :)  Oh the other interesting part of running here is just never knowing what you may observe or run past.  I usually see cattle hauling a big load of pottery every evening.  I'm guessing they are bringing it in from the provinces....definitely don't see that on my runs in NC.

3.  I have learned to deal with some unwanted visitors in my house here.  This past month my housemates and I unfortunately had the privilege of taking care of some RATS!  Four have been captured and killed...hoping and praying no more decide to visit. :)  

4.  I had to laugh when I was helping one of my students correct a mistake and his reply was..."my bad."  LOL  I'm not sure how he picked up that slang, but it made me laugh that he used it in the right context. 

So my list was random I know...but it was all that came to my mind at the moment.  I want to say a huge thanks to all my friends and family at home who are keeping me in your thoughts and prayers!  It has been such a blessing to me to have such an incredible support network.  God has definitely been faithful in helping me through each step of this journey.  I am thankful for the comfort, strength, grace, and wisdom He provides daily.