This and That

So, did you miss me?

For some reason, when life gets tough, the not-so-tough stop blogging, writing prayer letters, and communicating in general while we curl up in a ball for a while. Or maybe it’s just the introverts among us. Probably that was too sweeping a generalization. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, I’m back and dipping my toes in the water again, so bear with me until I get my momentum back. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of photos when my laptop was stolen during the middle-of-the-night burglary of my home last December, but I have some that were still on my camera or else taken since then, so here’s an update on a few things that have been happening around here.

In November the Compassion projects in the area got together for a Sports Day.

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Each team had their own cheering section. The ones in pink are our kids from  Huay Krating.

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This is the group from Mae Ramat. Sadly, this project will be closing in June.

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Just before Christmas, the churches in the Mae Sot area got together for a parade to celebrate Christmas and the King’s birthday.

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Brace yourself for this next one, folks.

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Yes, that’s me in a blue hula skirt—very Christmas-y, I know.

I think that’s enough excitement for one day’s blogging. I hope to be back soon with more unless the procrastination monster overcomes me again.

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Things just get better and better

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When I first started teaching English in the Compassion child development program a few months ago, we met in this little bamboo building. When I say bamboo, I’m not kidding—the floors, walls and house posts were all made of bamboo. Not the roof, though. That was made of leaves.

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The little bamboo structure served its purpose well.

English was taught.

Fun was had.

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It had its problems however.

The roof leaked when it rained and there were big holes in the floor, so we had to be careful where we stepped and try not to drop things on the floor which would end up on the ground. And of course, any activity involving jumping was out of the question.

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So I was happy when after absolutely zero complaining on my part, it was decided to move the Saturday classes into a nice wooden house in the village until they can build a new building for the program.

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Have you ever thought of a solid floor under your feet as a luxury?

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English is still taught.

Fun is still had.

Change is good.

Things just get better and better.

Flexibility is my middle name

Compassion Project Te Roh Kee, Tak Province, Thailand

If you’re going to teach English in another country, you can do without a lot of things. Electricity for example, or textbooks, or chairs. One thing that is indispensable though, is flexibility.

This morning I started teaching English to children in a Karen village in  an education program for kids sponsored by Compassion, International. The Compassion program is run by one of our local churches. I wasn’t expecting much in terms of facilities, and wasn’t sure how many kids would be there, so I made my lesson plan with a lot of options built in.

It’s a good thing I did, because when I got there, there were over 40 kids stuffed into a small one-room bamboo structure built in the traditional style with a leaf roof, bamboo walls, and a floor also made of split bamboo. Whenever I dropped anything on the floor, it invariably fell through the gaps in the slats and onto the ground whereupon the program director kindly fetched it for me. Embarrassing.

I had to scrap one of the songs I was going to use since the floor probably would not have been able to survive  40 + kids jumping up and down. Next week I can modify the song and we can sing 1,2,3,4,5–Clap! instead of 1,2,3,4,5–Jump!

See the holes in the floor?

So proud of their work!

I might have better control over my class if I would put the camera away.

These kids are a hoot!

Aren’t you just a little bit jealous that I get to do this?