Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I saw a sea turtle!

This last weekend was cool because it was our staff retreat. We spent Friday night at this little monastery-like called the Maturana House of Prayer, nuns even live there. It was really low-key and relaxing, and it also was a really bonding and spiritually uplifting experience (cheesy moment sorry, but it's true :) ) Saturday night we had a baby shower for two families in our church and afterward I went to the theater for the first time here and a bunch of us saw the Nanny Diaries, which was kind of cheesy but still good. Sunday was the best day ever, I went diving for the first time here! It was so cool! We saw tons of beautiful fish and coral and crabs and shells and even a sea turtle! I got actually fairly close to it! I was really excited the whole time as you can tell by the exclaimation marks!!!! After diving, Missy, Eva, Amy and I went to the house of some of our diving friends and it was absolutely beautiful! It had an amazing view and a pool and a beautiful design. They also had a new puppy! Speaking of animals, I found a home for the orange kitten. It was sad to give him away but I am really glad he found a good home. I feel sorry for the other one, he's all alone now with no prospects so far...

This week so far has been a little tough, but what's good is that I think I'm getting a 'second wind' with my job. I've never regretted taking it, but I was feeling a little overwhelmed and burned out for a while. I'm making more of an effort to be positive no matter what and I am finding myself really enjoying my kids more.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about all my friends and family, I think about you guys a lot! Thanks for the messages and of course the prayers!

Saipanism of the Day: zories-flip flops

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

working hard and playing hard

I've been writing this over the course of a few days so it might sound kind of weird but here it goes...

Yikes it’s been awhile…I didn’t write my usual last time Tuesday blog because I had to use the internet for other things. I need to start writing them ahead of time so that it is faster Last week was cool because I finally got my package from home with my ukulele, my scuba stuff, books, and all sorts of random stuff in it. Yay! I ended up doing special music for Sabbath school again but this time I played the uke and sang. It was a lot better than the first time! On Sabbath afternoon, we went out in groups of 3 or 4 and went door to door inviting people to our church’s upcoming evangelistic meetings and also just visiting them and getting to know them. I was super scared-we were basically just supposed to go up to some person we saw on their porch or something and strike up a conversation (that eventually would lead into an invitation to our meetings) while making a good impression of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But it actually went really well. I was with Eva and Veronyka and we visited two families. The first family had a bunch of kids and they were really friendly and welcoming. The second family we talked to was out in their front yard with their machetes picking coconuts and cracking them open. When we walked up, they gave us each a fresh coconut to drink. It was really cool! I was really blessed by the whole experience-the people were really open and welcoming, and they were actually willing to talk about Jesus and church. I don’t know if they will come to the meetings or not but honestly I don’t really think that is the most important thing. After we finished visiting people, the staff had sundown worship on the beach and then we went out to dinner. On Sunday Missy took Amy, Eva and I to PIC which is kind of like a tiny little water park. It was awesome-it was like a mini-vacation! This week was kind of hard because I was sick for half of it but I had to go to work anyway because someone else got sick first and we can’t run the preschool if we lose more than 1 staff member. We still have the kittens-I hope we find them a home soon! They are getting so big and they are still so cute. At the preschool we have it worked out that each Friday someone gets off of work early and today was my day! I went to Wing Beach with Eva and Veronyka.

On Sabbath Eva and I ended up being recruited to do the scripture and the offering call like 5 minutes before church so that was exciting. It was potluck Sabbath which is always awesome (I made blueberry muffins). After church I got to talk to my daddy and my sister which was really nice. Then Eva, Missy, Amy, Judith, Veronyka, Peterson, and I went to Ladder Beach. It is a beautiful little beach with a cool little cave and stuff. After that, Missy, Mai, Veronyka, Eva, Judith and I went to the crepe place with Derek and Myla, this young couple from church. I had a chocolate/banana crepe and it was AMAZING! Mmmmmm. Sunday was such an awesome day. Eva and I woke up early and hiked down to Forbidden Island. I think that it is one of my favorite places on the island. There are lots of little tide pools and a few bigger pools and there are always lots of beautiful fish to see. I guess it’s actually pretty dangerous though-I hear that lots of people have died there. But we are always super careful (probably even more than we need to be but I’d rather have it that way). Anyway, it’s a nice challenging hike (but not too long) and a beautiful place so it was awesome. Then Missy, Amy, Eva, Bev, Mai, Judith and I went to a spa for the rest of the day. It was amazing, especially after a crazy week. It was so awesome that I almost feel guilty. I’m supposed to be out in the mission field toughing it out. I know that just because I have access to some ‘luxurious’ things doesn’t mean that I’m not a missionary but still it feels kind of like cheating in a way. But I have to say it was pretty awesome!

Don't worry, I'm still definately being challenged at work. Let's face it, trying to keep 14 4-year-olds under control and maybe even teach them something all day is quite simply a lot of work. The hardest part is to stay calm and be consistent. Sometimes I am tempted to just pretend I don't notice when a rule is broken because I just get sick of it but I know that if I do that they will just walk all over me. It is hard though, because it seems to me like the other teachers sometimes let things go 'undisciplined' or discipline inconsistently. I know that it is impossible to be completely and totally fair and consistent but I am trying. I am trying to have more boundaries and procedures in my classroom with clear consequences if they are broken. It takes a lot of work obviously but hopefully when the kids get used to the systems it will be easier. I know the whole thing that I just said is something that probably all teachers know but it's just one of those things.

This weekend is our staff retreat so we don't have school on Friday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Absolutely Adore Weekends!

Yay for weekends, especially long ones! We didn't have school on Monday so it was a long and glorious weekend after a long week. It rained almost every day last week so my kids couldn't go outside for recess. They were going crazy (actually they were driving US crazy)! Eva and I finally decided that we could not live with three cats any longer so we moved them out of the apartment and into the back room of the preschool. Sadly, the littlest one (we named him Foxy) died yesterday. He just wasn't growing like the other two and he stopped eating and stuff. I tried to force feed him for a while but I decided to just let him go because he was in a lot of pain and it was too much work. Oh well, we still have two and they are super cute (still a lot of work though). We are trying to find homes for them. I hope we can find them soon because I feel bad that we hardly have time to take care of their basic needs let alone spend time with them. Oh well that's what I get for being such a sucker for animals :)

The best part of this week/weekend was that our new teacher Judith arrived. We took her on an island tour on Sabbath and on Sunday I went running with her, Jessica and Mai. After that we picked up trash with a group of people which was actually pretty fun. The rest of the weekend was kind of full of cat work but also I managed to get some snorkeling in. Eva and I discovered this sunken tank-thing pretty close to our apartment and it was full of fish. We saw this huge parrotfish-looking thing, it was about as big around as a volleyball and the length ofs my lower leg, it was beautiful! Last night we ate dinner and watched a movie at the compound. It was kind of a goodbye party for Larene, who was the preschool director last year and was teaching 5-8th grade until Judith got here. She's going back to the Phillipines tomorrow :( We'll miss her! Also, Missy, who was here last year and was in the States for the summer, arrived this morning at 1:30. I really like both her and Judith, actually everyone here is pretty much awesome, it will be a fun year!