Saturday, January 9, 2010


Here is an update on the teaching side of things. We experience the joys and frustrations of being a foreign language teacher everyday. The mornings are our favorite, as we enter the school grounds on our bicycles and are greeted by hundreds of student screeching “good morning teacher Deb and Joe” or “shake hand” or better yet “rock, paper, scissors”. We equate our attraction with the students to that of a Liger (you know, a tiger and lion cross breed),they exist, but until you see one in person it never really seems real. Many of our students have never seen white people in person, therefore they feel the need to shake our hands to ensure we are not a figment of their imagination. Needless to say, we go through lots of hand sanitizer as most of the kids leave a pile of dirt or the bird bath they are playing to run over and touch us...Joy!

Our time in the classroom continues to be some of funniest experiences we have had, as well as, some of our most frustrating. We are now 8 weeks out from the last day of school and the “books” we were given to teach from have been completed. (“books” are the quasi form of curriculum we can follow, if we so choose). We are now on a constant hunt for worksheets, games and activities to do with the kids yet have no curriculum to base these searches on. I never thought I had it in me, but I have officially found my “scary” voice in attempts to get the students attention when their noise reaches that of a jet airplane. Although it isn't as scary as Joe's I think I do a pretty good job.

The kids continue to amaze us though as they practice their English skills with us outside the classroom. We often have visitors in our office looking to get a little one-on-one tutoring session in between classes. Often pointing to objects in the office in search of the English word, or asking to see pictures of our friends, family and city in the states. Our nightly run to the market for dinner usually results in a few students or kids from other schools saying hello and the really brave ones asking how we are.

This week there is an outside chance that we will be making a border run, not to Taco Bell, but to Laos for our passports to stay valid. Our work permits have not been cleared yet and in order to remain “legal” we need to get another 90 day stamp. So, teaching may take a backseat as we have to travel to two distant towns in hopes of receiving our work permits and then on to immigration to extend our 90 day stay....If not Laos here we come!

We are already in the beginning stages of planning for our travels through Southeast Asia in March and our month in Europe in April. The past three months have been filled with incredible experiences and memories to last us multiple lifetimes. We are blessed with another three months of travel and look forward to whatever awaits us!

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