Showing posts with label masters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masters. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2014

You Know You're Starting a New Online Class When...

You feel that familiar ache in the back of your neck from staring at your laptop screen at the wrong angle for too long…

You realize that after 8 months of a new computer, you’re only now figuring out where the “word count” option is on Word…

You’re excited the place you’re renting has numerous, mostly-empty 1-subject college-ruled notebooks left behind by prior missionary families so you don’t have to go buy one…

You start scouting out the closest coffee shops for places to escape your dining room table during coursework… (and suddenly remember the insane cost of an apple cider drink at said locations)…

You remember just how much you hate getting a new email address and learning a new online set-up for a different university…

You remember how many more videos you watched during your last online-course semester for much-needed breaks in-between studying. (Tim Hawkins was a favourite last time, and Kids Change Things was created then too…)

Your supply of orange juice and V-8 Fusions decrease at dramatic rates (ok, this might just be me)…

Your collection of instrumental, non-lyrical music is pulled out like an old friend to enhance the study environment after months tucked away…

You start making lists for your blog posts after having not posted anything for two months… ;)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Catching Up

It’s a little strange to realize my last blog post was made while I was still in Tanzania. Since then, I finished selling and packing all my things in Musoma, made my way through Nairobi, said goodbye to some dear friends, laid over with a friend in Italy, got stuck in London overnight, and eventually made it “home” to Kalamazoo. I got to connect with a dear friend who I taught with in Dar (now in Minnesota), meet my niece and spend time with my brother’s family, connect with friends new and old from around the world, move up to a place I’m staying in Zeeland, MI through December, and try to take a deep breath as I continue to acclimate to the world of America.

WAY too many people and places are missing from this picture...
these are just the ones I could find quickly :(

I feel that I'm not only continually catching up with people around me these days, but also catching up on all that has changed while I was gone - and the big and little ways that I changed along the way, too. I'm catching up with what's new in Holland, MI since I was a student here 8 years ago, catching up with how to cook from scratch when you can't just go buy 2 kilos of tomatoes, 3 carrots, one onion, and a fresh pineapple at the local market, and catching my breath a bit after "running hard" in serving for a long time without a lot of good breaks along the way.

This still feels way more normal to me than Meijer or Family Fare...

It's been interesting this time around to realize just how difficult the transition back has been for me. I don’t remember it being this difficult last furlough in a lot of ways. Perhaps I’m just more tired, emotionally and physically, after living in a place that I loved, but was often far from easy. Perhaps I've gotten so used to life in Tanzania that it became second nature, and the switch to the American system of, well, everything is just that much more difficult. Or perhaps actually selling everything and leaving East Africa/moving to the US this time has been more wearying than just leaving my stuff there to go back to. Whatever the reason, I’ve been pretty worn out, but ever-thankful for friends in the States and in Musoma for their continued prayers and support, and to family for “getting” that this whole reverse-culture shock thing is actually very real – and normal. And I’m thankful for a God who remains the same no matter what continent or country I find myself in.

The things that made the cut to come back to the States-
so glad it all arrived with me! At Chicago O'Hare
So today, as I begin my new online class, I think of a previous fall season 3 years ago where I was taking on a much-heavier load. I’m not sure I’m excited to jump back into student-mode again, but I’m thankful for the chance to renew my Michigan teaching license and to learn more about children’s literature. I’m thankful for the amazing ways God has provided, sustained, and encouraged me through His Body in community and through faithful friends and churches in the States over the past five years, and as I pray about what’s next, I’m growing in my ability to trust Him even in the midst of unknowns. And most importantly, I know that I’m not alone in the midst of any of this – thanks to incredible people surrounding me and an even more incredible God who will never let me go.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thoughts from Summer

In case you haven't caught on yet, I use writing as a way to process life... faith... whatever happens to be happening around me. Not to say I haven't had anything to process the past couple of months - I just haven't had a chance to post it!

This summer I wrote a series of "journals" as I transitioned and traveled, took classes, saw old friends and made new, and came back to Musoma exhaustedly trying to finish my masters courses. They're unpolished, unedited, and admittedly way too long... but I thought the chronology as I transitioned time zones, continents, cultures, and oh so many other things provided a bit of perspective of my summer 2013.

24 June 2013 - Nairobi, nearing the airport...

Things that still amaze me when I leave East Africa:
  • The concept of drinking out of the faucet – I balk every time and have to tell myself it’s ok…
  • Not super-washing and super-drying every piece of fruit and veggies…
  • Eating salad.  Every meal.  Every day. 
  • Cereal!!!
  • Strawberries.
  • Cold weather.  (I seriously should have packed more warm clothes!!!)
  • English. Church. Sunsets at 10pm, instead of the usual equatorial 6:30…

27 June 2013 Transitioning to Germany

It never ceases to amaze me… this trouble with transition.

I tend to think, somehow, that I should be good at this by now.  But then, I move someplace else (maybe moving isn’t quite right – but after this past year, I consider anything over a couple of weeks a move), and hit that moment when I hate everything and can’t figure out what’s wrong with me… then realize that yep, I’m normal.  And that this too shall pass, though perhaps not quite soon enough.

Another continent, another country, another culture.  As much as I love traveling (and I do, honest!) and realize the amazing opportunities that God is letting me live out, sometimes I wish for… consistency.  Normalcy.  Non-change-ability.  And then I remember.  That Book that I follow, that good God I lean on not enough but more and more every day… He never promised consistency.  Or comfort.  Or security, or sameness.  EVER. 

But after sitting through another day of class on the exposition of Romans?  I remember that He DOES promise me the seal of adoption.  Freedom from fear, love that knows no bounds.  Inheritance, glorious inheritance with a deposit of His Spirit in my life in the meantime.  And for this, I am grateful.

Because I’m certain that having a house in one place wouldn’t promise me an eternal inheritance.  And it certainly wouldn’t guarantee adding to the number of those who have this knowledge and faith and belief in East Africa through the Word of God in their language either. 

And so yes, I wish I knew every language on earth.  I wish the Tower of Babel never happened, and that I could sit down and have real conversations with people I meet.  I wish that I wasn’t “alone” on this journey, that transition didn’t always mean all new faces, that I would learn to trust more and worry less.  I wish a lot of things.

But more than that, I wish for the time when no one would need to tell his neighbor about the Lord, because they would already know.  When every tear was caught, every word held close to a heart that cared, and that we’d GET this and understand it and live it and be it.

I wish…

I wish for the life I have.

28 June 2013 More thoughts on Germany during class (ahem!)

That moment when…
  • You realize there are a certain set of words you should know in every language.  Even before “please” and “thank you” come a more critical set of vocabulary: “toilette,” “dame,” and “mann.”
  • You remember why introducing the world to stropwaffles is a very good thing. 
  • You pull a tank top out of your suitcase, and your housemate rightly comments, “Wait, that used to be WHITE?”  Oh, Tanzania.  Apparently my clothes don’t look quite as good as I thought when compared to the outside world!
  • Amazing joy collides with sadness in hearing my niece has been safely born – half a world away.
  • You wonder why you decided taking classes was a good idea on top of everything else!
  • You meet up with people who think having guards at a school is normal, and say things like, “Of course you'd never stop and stay in the case of a car accident..."

14 July 2013 Finishing classes in Germany and getting ready to travel to London to visit friends and study

How to know you’ve been living in international environments:
  • You realize the reason you can’t find a shampoo that works well is that you need a different kind depending on what continent you’re living on – and have valid proof of this from the past three years.
  • You get excited for things like being able to open your mouth in the shower and breath normally.
  • You stock up on cadburry chocolate whenever you have a chance, and ask someone to drive you to a neighboring German town where they sell little bags of chocolate chips.  (The driver wanted some too!)
  • You get REALLY excited when you realize you’re actually in a country where you can read the signs – in your own language.  It feels a bit spoiling!
  • You have sim (cell phone) cards for multiple locations and are glad whatsapp works for all of them.
  • You have every phone number entered into your cell with country codes added so they’ll work no matter where you’re on earth you’re calling from.
  • You stay at someone’s house with no top sheet and nod, realizing that’s pretty normal “in this area…”
  • You think it’s weird that you can throw away all trash into the same bin in London, and look for the gelbesack to put your containers into…
  • You hear someone mention that they can tell if someone’s from Italy or France based on the way they dress.  And you start wondering… where would someone say I’m from based on clothing??
  • You think things like, “I’ll already be on the continent… I may as well layover in…”
  • You know what amazing products are cheap in various parts of the world, and seriously think it’d be worth going to said places to get the cheap prices – and visit the people you know there, of course!
  • You get weirded out by drinking tap water, and consistently remind yourself that if the fruits and vegetables still have water on them after washing, they’re still safe to eat. 
  • You find yourself moving from a question on how you dry your clothes in Tanzania to a description of mango flies…
  • You realize that discussions of health-related issues are way more natural and normal around the dinner table – even with people you’ve met recently – then perhaps they should be!
  • You regularly carry self-test kits and meds for malaria and other common East African diseases whenever you travel.
  • You plan to get extras of meds when in Nairobi (10 hours from home) because 1. They’re cheap, and 2. They’re better quality (and more available!) than in Tanzania
  • You lament at your keyboard’s lack of British Pounds and Euros key options for working out travel budgets.
  • You have your picture file sorted by continent, then country, then city…
  • You are constantly using your currency converter, and are adept at calculating at least three country currencies in your head.
  • You’re adept at using both British and American English terms in your classes interchangeably… and after using a British term (which is most natural), you quickly add the translated version for your lone American student…
  • You give your students an example of the importance of standard measurements: “When I was living in Tanzania, and my brother was in America, and he was getting married in Colombia… I could send my measurements to America AND Colombia and they were the same on all three continents!” 

21 July 2013 Church in Bristol
Worshipping today in a church in England with an Australian pastor and new friends from around the world made me feel at home.  I wouldn’t often say that new situations feel comfortable, but this one certainly did.  I could worship, be myself, not think about how I was coming across or how a message was going to be perceived culturally.  It was in English.  I was a guest.  And oh, did I realize how much I missed just being in God’s presence letting my heart cry out to Him!

1 August 2013 Leaving London

I sit looking around a room I’ve called home for the past three weeks in London, at bags I still need to pack and weigh and hope they make the cut…
     at the latest cable (wire) I finally got that still doesn’t let me skype on my computer properly…
     at the two pair of sunglasses I finally purchased today after a hard search, in two sunglasses cases so hopefully this time they’ll survive in the Land of Tanz…
     at the LTPro (London transport) app on my phone I won’t need after tomorrow early…

and I remember what it means to have everything change.  again.

     Tonight is the last time in a long while I’ll take a shower and breathe through my mouth, willingly allowing drops of water to enter my body without fear of infection.

     Tonight I eat my last Subway sandwich and cookie (white chocolate macadamia nut, of course!)

     Tonight I stare outside one last time at the light filtering through the window at 9pm.

By tomorrow evening, I’ll be in Nairobi, on my way to Musomaland.  I’ll slowly switch out of my western clothes, my western mindset, my western way…

I’ve learned a lot along the way. 
   Things like – how much influence Britain really has on the Land of Tanz. 
   Things like – American credit cards – even new ones – don’t have chips in them that allow them to work at most British shops.  (Credit card discrimination, my friend announced, and I tend to agree…)
  • I’ve learned that British lemonade has fizz.  Every time. 
  • where Ziplock bags and  surge protector/adapters can be purchased (key items on any missionary’s shopping list!)
  • That it really does get sunny and hot in London.  Sometimes. 
  • To relish every shower where I can leave my mouth open.
  • To relish every consistent shower.
  • To relish premade foods.
  • To relish the times I get in the places where I am… and to look forward to the next thing while softly mourning what’s done and gone...

4 August 2013 (in the Mayfield Guesthouse in Nairobi, Kenya)

Affects of Transition:
  • Dreaming you can convert between F and C quickly without a second thought.
  • Waking up completely confused where you are
  • Speaking the wrong language in the wrong country – always.
  • Putting every new phone number into your phone using the country code, so it’s viable no matter what country or continent you want to use your phone from
  • Meeting people you love from the country you just came from as they head back there from where you’re going… randomly in a guest house…
  • Being thrilled when people get whatsapp so you can keep in personal touch (not FB) with them – for free.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The New Norm

(Backdrop: Written a week ago on a notepad app on my phone while sitting on a train from Charlbury to Essex after staying with a dear, though sick friend I know from the Land of Tanz... thus illustrating the "New Norm" concept to a T...)

I haven't had a lot of chance to blog recently, and on the other hand, I haven't made time. The funny thing is, blogging has always been a way for me to process what's going on in my life. Some things get shared, others don't. But a big part of my processing is transitions, which I seem to do a lot of in my life these days.

On the other hand, transitions these days are becoming the new norm. I've found a system where I tend to need 3 days in a new place to feel more fully like myself, and then, while I'm still learning things... At least I'm not so much in a blur. And for that I'm thankful. Day 1 is disorientation, day 2 I start to notice everything I hate and wish I wasn't there, and day 3 I start to even out, feel like myself, and enjoy everything and everyone. I'd love to get the process down to 3 hrs instead of days, but at least it's not 3 months!

With transitions being normal, and having the chance to go back to many places where I've been before... It's all a bit ... Normal. Not usual, or easy per se, but the differences between places and the unusualness of my experiences no longer seem noteworthy. And that's the problem. Because my normal... Doesn't seem normal to most. And my usual is not so boring to read about, probably. But it's easy to think so from my end or forget there's anything new to mention.

In the past few weeks I've been BACK in Nairobi, BACK in Kandern, BACK with old friends from 2 yrs ago, BACK in masters classes with professors I've had before. BACK in a town I know.  I've met more people and learned new things and stayed in a new place, discovered the extent of my clothing wornness and remembered that half the things on my Amazon wishlist order are actually available in many stores... but many things seem normal.

Now I'm in England, visiting friends and trying hard to focus on writing a couple of papers to finish off the classes I started in March. I'm realizing that the new royal baby (wait, she was pregnant??) is a bigger deal in the States than it is in England. I'm realizing just how much history is all around me. I'm learning how to read timetables for the underground and have had great teachers to help me learn things along the way. I've started saying things like pram and push-chair (stroller), and referring to a child's actions as "cheeky." I thought I was pretty well-versed in British-English, but I'm ever-so-much-more aware of my lack of understanding, my lack of vocabulary, my weird accent (though supposedly I don't have much of one?!). I could identity an Aussie from a Kiwi, but I couldn't tell you the difference between someone from Scotland or Ireland. I need help putting a postcode into the computer (which part, exactly, is the address??) and though I feel like I'm pretty well-traveled, I'm also feeling a bit lost. But I've been thankful to have some great teachers, understanding hosts, and a couple of weeks in the same place to at least figure things out a wee bit!

I'm growing. Learning. Expanding. Changing. I have a reference point for so many books I've read by British authors and no longer feel like I'm going to end up in Narnia when I get on a train. I'm stretching. Processing a lot. And somehow, I'm not getting a lot of paper-writing done along the way!?!

But I am thankful. Thankful for good friends, new and old. Thankful for the chance to see new places, have my horizons (and thus, my ability to teach and share and guide children) expanded. Become even more global in my understanding and realize once again how limited each of our perspectives really are. And somehow, face yet another set of transitions that will bring me back "home" to the Land of Tanz!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Life in Countdowns

A lot has been happening lately in life, at school, and everywhere else.  I'm thankful for God's grace and help in abundance, but some days are definitely easier than others!  Lately, in an effort to continue to look on the bright side while I've been sick, when life is crazy and the hats to wear are many, I’ve started realizing that countdowns are helping me to focus on the happy little things along the way and make it through to the next "exciting" landmark!

So, here is my life in countdowns, with an explanation of why they rank countdown-status.  :)

-4 DAYS since I got my hair cut! 
With wazungu (white people) being the serious minority here in Musomaland, there aren’t a lot any options for hair stylists who are able or willing to cut our hair.  So when one comes to visit from America, under the guise of wanting to visit her best friend that lives here… we flock from miles kilometers around!  Can’t tell you how much we ALL looked forward to this day… so I'll let someone else tell you instead!
 11 DAYS till we move!
Yes, I know our new house will have it’s own set of frustrations and inconveniences.  But seeing as I don’t know what these are yet, and that I do know my current situation, I’m free to dream!  Looking forward to no more bat poop on the floor and on my bed every evening… a (hopefully) better shower… no more driving on the pot-hole-ridden road between our house and the school… and being a whole lot closer to town and fabulous people!
23 DAYS (inc weekends) till Lake Victoria Learning Center gets out!
Not that I don’t love teaching… don’t get me wrong.  And I LOVE teaching these fabulous kiddos!  But it’s been a crazy year of multiple transitions, and I’m feeling ready to start fresh once again…
31 DAYS till I fly to Germany!
I’m sure I’ll be in culture shock again.  But at least this time I have an idea of what I’m headed into.  I’ll have just packed up all my things.  But at least this time I’ll know where I’m coming back to.  And I actually know my roommates, and can look forward to swimming, walking around and blending in, hot showers, and a great little ice cream place where you can mix the most fun flavors ever!
41ish DAYS till I become an aunt! 
Ok, can’t say much about this that’s not already obvious – I’m pretty excited and wish I could be in Florida to meet my new niece right away instead of sitting in masters classes for sure!
53 DAYS until I get to London! 
Yes, I’ll be doing all my post-coursework Masters assignments, so it won’t be vaca per se.  But I’m REALLY looking forward to visiting a dear friend or two… and I’m excited for a bit of refreshment time, whatever that looks like! 
(I could really use some good recommendations of what to do in London and the surrounding areas, if you have ideas, since my previous times in London have numbered hours between cross-continental flights!)
And… that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.  I’d say that’s pretty good for now.  Sometime after all this I’ll make my way back to Nairobi, take a bus to Musoma, start getting ready for the upcoming semester… and start helping to teach a whole new crop of MKs! 

Taking it one day at a time... and joyfully counting down along the way! :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Days of School

7 September 2011

Lately, I’ve been seeing a LOT of back to school photos on Facebook. 

First came NC…
Then came the pictures from HOPAC and Dar...
A few misplaced Tanzanites on furlough in Minnesota...
the first day of school in a new country has GOT to be tough!  Be praying for these guys!

Even MI has gotten into the game!

So, since I was feeling a little left out (I miss teaching already!!!), I decided to get my own back to school photo commemorating my first day of online grad classes this fall.
Are you jealous?  Look again!

I’d say, despite the flexibility in location (and wardrobe!), I have a LOT of reading to do (and online lectures to watch) before Christmas…

But at least I’ve warmed up a bit since I first got back.  This was my first week back in the States, finishing my post-course work by writing a 10 page paper on Educational Theorists, and freezing in the air conditioner.  (Granted, it was hot*… everyone else was in short shorts and tank tops while I had on jeans and a fleece outside!)
Happy School Days!!!

*Hot, of course, being a relative term...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

SO, what's next?

14 August 2011

I've been hearing that question frequently lately, and thought this might be a good time to answer it.  Contrary to popular thought, I really am NOT lying around doing nothing as everyone else gets ready to go back to school.  After a couple of weeks away with my family, I'm readjusting and transitioning back to American culture again.  AND I actually have a few things on my plate to keep me busy these next 8 months while I'm in the States!  Here's the line-up...

August.  Finishing grad course work.  Contacting churches and individuals to get connected and starting to raise partners in prayer and finances for going back to the Land of Tanz.  Which means, if you have a church, small group, missions committee, or friend, (or yourself!) who would be interested in learning more or being a part of my team, this would be the time to contact me and set that up!!!

Sept - Dec.  I'll be taking three grad courses, all online, while living with my parents in Kzoo.  This is important for keeping my teaching license with Michigan current so I can keep teaching.  I'll also be continuing to support-raise in preparation for hopefully going back to Tanzania in March. 

Jan-Feb.  Finishing support raising, I hope and pray!  Continuing to spend time with family and friends.

Somewhere in here... heading to NC a couple of times, and any place else people are hoping to meet with me!

March.  Hopefully, if I have 100% support by then... Heading to Tanzania!

March - May. Language school in Iringa, Tanzania for three months.

June - July.  Get settled into where I'll be living, in Musoma Tanzania, gathering needed supplies for my living situation, going to our missions conference.

August.  Get ready and start teaching some great kiddos who need a teacher!

Please pray for perseverance... and for rest.  For hope... and not doubt.  For wisdom in how to schedule my time... and for good connections with churches and people everywhere.  For good times with old friends and family... and for connections and fellowship with my new community in and around West Michigan.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Transition Tena (again)

July 12, 2011  <--(yep, this is a bit out of order... I forgot to post this last week!)

I’m in my last week of school at Black Forest Academy (Germany) through PBU… and it is going by fast!  I’ve completed three masters courses in the past three weeks, each in one week.  Needless to say, each has been very challenging in its own way.  I definitely “hit a wall” last week and wasn’t sure I would make it through to the end.  But here I am, still going   one    day    at a time, with grace being extended from people all around me to make it through   one   more   moment   each   day.
It’s crazy.  I feel like I’ve finally got my feet on the ground.  I can successfully drive a stick-shift car, fast, on the right side of the road.  I know how to get groceries.  I’ve found my way around the little towns where I learn and live.  I know where to get ice cream :), how to buy berries from unmanned stalls on the street, and which juice tastes best.  I’ve gotten to know my sweet housemate and we’ve gotten into a routine.  I know how to work the laundry machine and know not to do it on Sundays.  I mostly remember that I'm in Europe, and have successfully learned how to spell "Kazakhstan."  I’ve almost gotten a vague concept of how recycling works here.  (Gelbe S├Ącke, what?!)  

Of course, it would really help if all the instructions weren't in German!!!  It looks pretty clear on this diagram... but don't be fooled.  I spent many a minute standing in front of bins after lunch wondering what to do with each piece I had left!  Mostly I just gave up and threw them in... something.  Who knows if it was right.
I’m not so overwhelmed now when I see people wearing shorts, and am almost past thinking I should cover my legs when I go into stores “downtown” wearing pants.  I’m making connections with amazing teachers in international schools from around the world and with great neighbors who live in the apartments around me.  And now, I’m leaving.  In less than a week.  

I wonder if I’ll ever get used to a life of transition?

I was talking with my roommate today (who is from S. Carolina but lives and teaches in Seoul, S. Korea) about everything that has happened since we arrived.  I’ll have to catch you all up on the, uh, “adventures” we’ve been through on my blog when I get to the States and have a bit more time!  But car troubles, budgeting, walking for miles, everything breaking and going wrong, emotional transitions and embarrassing moments were definitely all a part of the initiation process to Germany.  And through it all, God has been faithfully showing up in little and big… weird and crazy… insane and mundane ways.  Every day.

my sweet housemate, Katie, and I

dinner and movie night with new friends
ice cream after celebrating the "graduation" of two of our classmates... they're finished after this year!
I’ve also really appreciated getting input and new ideas for teaching after not having much “outside” instruction the past two years.  And I’ve LOVED getting to know people who think missional, purposeful life is normal – who aren’t weirded out when I get overwhelmed in the grocery store – who have been on furlough before – who get it when the little things (like a hot shower, or a “beautiful” cloudy rainy day) are exciting - who understand what the ups and downs of transition are and happily listen to me process things out loud because they’ve been there before.  It’s almost like God knew what He was doing when He put me here for school!  (Crazy how that works!)

Looking forward to seeing you... or keeping in contact... soon!  Thanks for your prayers and support! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Other Side of the Desk

2 July 2011

After a hurried leaving of Tanzania 2 hours after my last day of school, I shipped out (ok, flew) to Zurich, got on a train, and arrived in Basel, Switzerland.  After a confusing pick-up, I safely arrived in a little town named Kandern, which is the home of Black Forest Academy (an international school in Germany).  It is here that Philadelphia Biblical University Cairn University (they changed their name) has an overseas campus for international teachers interested in getting their masters in one-week intensive classes over the summer… people like me!
On the train in Switzerland
It’s been quite a change.  One day, I was teaching and explaining mathematical concepts.  Two days later (literally), I was sitting on the other side of the desk, taking notes on teaching methods from a powerpoint presentation and a very creative professor.  One week I was walking around the classroom, the next I was stretching my legs from constant sitting every chance I got.  One day I was creating the assignments, and the next week I was turning them in.
My housemate Katie and I working on our personal Theories of Learning from a Biblical Worldview... we spend a lot of time working at our computers each night!

It’s been fun. (Well, mostly.  Except maybe for the brain-overload bit! :)

Game Night after our first exam...
The first week, they took us back to Basel to go exploring a bit.  With only four people in our first class (so much fun!), it was easy to arrange transport across the border... only about a thirty minute drive.  Our prof (in the orange shirt below) even treated us all to ice cream!
My first McD's sighting in almost two years!
Basel. is. Beautiful!
Need I say more?  You should plan to come visit in two years so we can travel... :)

Since then, things have been busy.  I’ve just completed my second grad class – and second week of classes.  Two down, two to go.  My brain is full, to say the least.  I can now tell you my personal theory of education and how to apply this in my classroom… and have learned a LOT about teaching from a Biblical perspective.  It’s been wonderful to have outside input from amazing teachers after being “on my own” (without teacher-training) for the past couple of years.  I’ve also met amazing people who teach – and come from – places all over the world.  It’s been a huge treat for me to be around people who think that teaching overseas and learning new languages and dealing with cultural differences is normal – who can relate to culture shock upon hitting a grocery store in Germany – and who have lots of advice for a newbie going on furlough!

Keep praying for me these next couple of weeks to keep going strong... and to arrive in the States ready to finish post-course projects before my brother's wedding.  Pray too for good rest, the ability to take in information I need to quickly and well, and not to belabor projects as I'm prone to doing.  One day at a time!