Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holidays in Laos

So I have been bad about writing in general. There is so much going on sometimes I feel like I don't even have time to take it all in. By the end of the day I just want to crawl into bed and there is always more work to be done, this is all part of being a teacher who is not allowed to have a schedule because of society demands in a foreign country confused or feeling helpless 90% of the time.

WHen I say helpless I mean being ripped off because I am a foreigner all the time or not knowing the culturally appropriate thing to do till it is too late. I am coming to accept this and starting to figure out decent prices and not buy things if they are more than that.

The other day I was on a tuk-tuk and at first I got angry because I understood what they were saying and they told me a higher price than they were paying. You see they told me 5,000 kipp and there were 4 of us the total was 15,000 kipp. I can understand way more than I can speak so at first I was angry and then a few minutes later my father drew me back. I took a look around and listened more, the lady sitting next to me had a sick child and the other two were paying for her to go to the hospital because she could not afford it. It always costs at least between 3-5,000 a person and the more people the less it costs. How selfish was I being I can afford to spend less than a dollar.

OFten when I look around I am either left saddened or angry. There is so much hurt but I expected this. I think the worst things I have seen or have happened have been on the bus that is part of why I want my own transportation.
That and a lot of my friends live on the other side of town. It is a 45 minute bus ride one way and 1 1/2 hour bike ride. I live with two people but they are often not home so it is me and a big house all alone, so fun!

Now for why I really wrote this you see I taught on Christmas day and spent a great deal of it with people I don't know. Then this week Monday classes were cancelled I find out oh Monday morning, not uncommon here. WHy? Because my students are lazy and had a party where they didn't invite me.How rude! They have all their classes together so this has happened before and I waited 15 minutes and no one showed up.

So tommorrow I have no class unoffically. Apparently New Years is now the 2nd in Laos. Why? The university decided to offically close then in celebration. They want a 4 day weekend. Hahah..Whatever....Welcome to my world...eventually nothing will phase me but these holidays I think I hate them being away from home. Eventually it will be better but starting off it is so hard and lonely. I am thankful to all of those back home who helped to make it a little brighter and even in the midst of things it is good to know I am not forgotten. Thanks again and Happy New Years!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Living in Laos and My House

So I couldn't sleep, I live on the second floor and I had posted some pictures of Hanoi, Vietnam on facebook but those are from two months ago and in an attempt to keep from waking my roomate up, even the faintest footsteps can be loud well I had to make a few I decided to post pictures of my house for you all. Hope it is not too overwhelming :)

The upstairs shower some of the stairs

Upstairs hallway My doorway yeah I know The upstairs deck leads to the
it is see through working on that bathroom

bathroom/shower more bathroom my bed yeah I don't have bedding yet it
is all borrowed

more bed it doesn't match but you cannot tell here it doesn't closet and desk
seem to matter unfortunately either

My desk fan and door window and cabinet The kitchen

more kitchen it is huge! Laundry/downstairs/shower Bathroom or as they say toilet
lots of multipurpose stuff in Asia

The outside- Front entrance The carport Door to kitchen

more downstairs laundry/bath/etc one of my roomates rooms dining/entry way

living room our balcony our entry way

storage room and my door looking off our balcony into
Well, that is most of our house I did not show the upstairs closet or one of my roomates doors but you get the idea hope you enjoy or as my students would say "Are you enjoy?"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh this is the life for me

Wow, so I have already been in Lao over a month. I have my up and downs and I am definately still adjusting to things such as our road every now and then becoming a river and even once falling in trying to get somewhere. Sometimes having to raise my skirt to walk through and other days being okay. I am learning so much about myself, my father and others. Sometimes I wonder how much I am actually processing.

Perhaps my favorite thing that I would like to share is that this week all my afternoon classes were cancelled because the man with the key to that building is out of town. Go figure!Apparently things like this happen often. I waited 30 minutes before being told this. Then the next day my poor students found another classroom and waited for me and today no students showed up so I have only had one set of students twice so far. Hahah.

The Lao phrase" Bo pen nyang " It means never mind or at least that is how I translate it or no problem kind of a cross between the two like no worries. I am trying to learn not to complain but just go with it. We'll see.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

To be or not to be

So this language stuff has been really difficult for me and I feel like I am always lost and without even some of the basic necessities sometimes but it is good. I learn to trust him more and more.
A funny story from the other night. Our language school teaches both English and Lao so the other night they had a coffee house where the two groups mingled to work on their skills. It was great fun. I got to talk to so many students and some of them will even be potential students and Dong Dok where I will be teaching and I see them every day b/c they are in the class across the hall we were just too shy to talk to one another.
Anyways an English student comes up to me after we have been taking picture and points to my stomach and goes what is that? Then she tries to make a little pouch with her pants. Now Lao people joke a lot so I am not sure if she was serious or not but her nickname is innocent so she then goes on and says I eat and eat and nothing happens. By this time I am just dying laughing and she goes on and on. THey are a hoot. They have no problem with asking certain things. I am boggled by so many things but hey life is all about learning.
Then they proceed to tell me they are shy. I mean come on? What do they mean by shy? I guess I understand b/c I am the same way it is just so funny to me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So I have been here almost three weeks and a lot has happened but one thing I have learned is no matter how slowly you want to move or where you are there will always be westerners trying to rush things.
I am currently in language school and since coming to Lao I have managed to buy a bike, lose the tire on the second day, fall down the stairs, bruise my legs and bottom, hit my head on the cupboard, run into a nail sticking out of my bed, been asked if I eat too much and passed a test with a satisfactory score in Lao and still not been completely shocked. That is a summary. I am currently learning basic conversation and have really nice teachers and pronounciation which I stink at. I really want to be able to talk to people in their heart language but I get so nervous. One on one if I know them I can do it but otherwise I just get so nervous. If I just was not so worried or nervous about messing up i would do fine. I am glad I remember to laugh a lot as dad said or else I wouldn't have made it this far.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blogger never fails

Wow, well today I finished three weeks of classes and then lost it a little but now I am okay. I guess that is to be expected I just wish I had done it a little differently and I don't have a really good excuse. Granted, I have had a headache for the past two days but I probably would have done it anyways. Three weeks with no alone time or privacy can do it to you. I keep thinking of the book 5 minutes peace. My roommate is a sweetie but everyone needs alone time sometimes and growing up I always escaped to my room. Don't know what to do when I can't do that. Even when you live in a house you can still do that.

In the sorority house I lived with the same girl for 2 and a half years and it worked out pretty well but we both had our escape places. She was a night owl and I was a morning person. I escaped to the basement and studied and I don't know where she went but she didn't usually stay up late at night in our room and if she did she was quiet.
I have to start writing lesson plans and I teach alone on Monday not sure how I am going to write one alone if I can't be 100% alone. Guess I'll figure something out. The other ones we team teach so I don't know if that is better or worse haven't made up my mind I am still a bit nervous.

So today after class I just had to get away. I walked to the park. I was there ummm...4 hours reading and talking to foriegners who handed me their babies asked me to tutor them and oh what not..oh yeah the common questions how much do you weigh in kilos? and are you single or married? I am still in the process of understanding their customs sometimes? I was also confused b/c a friend told me you had to pay to get in bt you didn't so I ended up paying some lady who scammed me for 2 dong to weigh me and measure me b/c I thought how much you weighed depended upon how much you had to pay to get in? I was so confused!

On top of this my day gets better. Those of you who know me know I have the best sense of direction. Coming home I got a bit turned around so a foreigner offered me a ride. At first I was hesitatant but then he said free so I thought sure why not. Well on his motorbike he pulls over in the middle of the road and asks to see the map and wants to know where I am staying I am frantically looking for the card which I am terrified I didn't pack b/c I don't think he knows where he is going and I finally find it he moves my arms tighter around him. He tells me he speaks "small English. " I kindly correct him "Oh very little English" Then he pulls over again in the middle of the road to look at the map. I am a little nervous. He stops the motorbike leaving me stranded with his bike in the middle of the road and goes back to get some glasses which I don't even think are his. By now I know where I am. We are at the other end of the street on the opposite side from where I began but I walk home. He trys to convince me to take his helmet but I am too weirded out at this point. Thankfully I made it home.

I wanted to check my e-mail and facebook but neither would work, sometimes the internet doesn't even work, but blogger would! Yeah...I would like to say that it is ok for everyone to lose it sometimes but it is not...I gotta get that temper under control at least it was this week and not long as I finish my test before Sunday I should be good to go...We'll just have to see that and I am almost out of clothes..not that I have that many anymore.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jowzers and Photocopy Stores

Well, so I did not write immediately I apologize. Class has kept me pretty busy. That and adjusting mentally and physically yes I did say physically. So I ate these Chinese things Friday called Jowzers. I think that is how they are spelled? They were pretty amazing, so I ate a ton and it made me so sick. It wasn't until yesterday that my stomach finally began to recover four days later. Someone who has been overseas for sometime told me to get used to it that their stomach is upset like that at least once a month for a whole week so I thought well great! The food was kind of like ravolli but not I don't even know how to describe it. I have been pretty adventourous I even used the tap water for tea but I boiled it twice. I figure I am going to be over here for awhile I mine as well get used to it.
Oh and funny story I got to explore a lot of Hanoi a couple of days ago looking for a photo shop that happened to be a lot closer than I thought. Suprise! Me wander, never. Two hours of exploration and 27 photocopy stores later I finally printed some pictures off. I learned a lot that day but I might save some of that advice for later.

Friday, August 1, 2008

1st Birthday of the Asia Year

Wow I don't even know where to begin. Yesterday was someone on team Laos b-day and we went out to Pho 24. He turned 33. We afterwards went out for ice cream and when it started to rain another guy so graciously bought us raincoats. It was crazy everyone was taking pictures. Never in one week have I done or been so many places. It was fun though. It is crazy to think how I have become like a family with those in the organization I will be working with. You share so many things and this is only the beginning.
For those of you who know me best you know I love order and thrive on certain types of it. I have lots of oddities. My closest friend is striving to break me of too much structure but I think a little is okay.He is teaching me a balance. I have decided to keep a journal that is a list of random things for my newsletter and some for my blog just for the heck of it.
1. Bathtubs are really high in our hotel. You must have to climb on the toilet or something if your Asian to get in and then you have to sit in them and take a shower because there is no drain plug.
2. The U.S. dollar has dropped 27% in Vietnam over the past year
3.If you touch the bathtub handle to pull yourself up or while taking a bath/shower you will burn yourself.
4. Most hotels are gov't owned but not all.( Ours is)
5. If a building is yellow and green it is probably a gov't building

Thats all for now...

Sunday, July 27, 2008


These are from yesterday one of my favorite things was probably that we ate at a restuarant called little Hanoi and bellow it it said recommended by lonely planet. I'll try and get a picture of it later I was just too tired! Hahah where do they come up with these things?
(Suzy, Kathryn, I and Maren prepare for our intense foot message!)

(We have dogs and cats for pets, here they have the most random pets. Yes, this is 2 deer and they are pets in a cement block, so sad! What is up with the Water Village people? hahah)


Well, I am spending a month here in Hanoi, I just finished a couple of days in Rancho Cucamonga and entered the world of SE Asia yesterday. It is a little overwhelming and slowly I am adjusting. I still have some jet lag but I also feel as though their is so much to process. Things that I never thought I would be afraid of I am. I got a foot massage today and little did I know that meant body. It was a little akward.Pictures to come...but it also burned my neck and legs and I didn't realize it until later. Hopefully they won't blister in the heat. I am heading to bed b/c I really need some good rest. Tomorrow we have another cultural training. They are good but to be quite honest a little overwhelming. I just need a little alone time and twelve hours with about 13-17 people can be overwhelming at times. However it is also really comforting b/c I am always safe and never completely alone. Wish me luck tomorrow!After all this is just the first real day and it is getting better and better. Once I am over jet lag I should be good. it is just a question of when?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello Hanoi!

Well, no one really writes on this so I hope that people eventually will figure out how to check it b/c my facebook on my computer doesn't work and as of Saturday it will be deactivated until my computer decides to quit acting up. By the way I am using my mothers. Anyways, Monday I leave for California for pre-training and then the 25th of July I am off to Hanoi at 1:50 am. Woo hoo aren't you jealous? I don't get there until 10:00am on the 26th, not sure if that is there time or our time then on the 27th -August 23rd I have training..Geese no break so if I fall behind on writing please understand. I am a bit overwhelmed and am in the process of packing for a year in Laos. Craziness isn't it?I am super nervous and scared but I know that my Father will be with me which helps. I ALSO LOVE HOW STRUCTURED THE ORGANIZATION IS AND CANNOT WAIT TO KEEP YOU ALL UPDATED. Whoever that you may be? Ta Ta for now!

Friday, July 11, 2008

10 Things I learned in Boston in no particular order

1. I still love the East Coast..oh so beautiful

2. Cambridge has a law of one bed per room..Hints at Harvard all dorms are single roomed.

3. I am a better liar than I have given myself credit for..either that or high schoolers are even more guillable than me! If that is possible?

4 Memorial chapel is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been in. It was built by the free masons. It has no religious symbols or notable ones, inspired JK Rowlings settings for her Harry Potter books and has Shakespeare in stain glass. Yup I am not lieing so neat!

5. I walk on the side of my feet and according to Jordan that is the mark of a true dancer. Oh yeah I'm odd.

6. I really could teach any age. High Schoolers think I am just as funny as 2 year olds do.

7. I maybe CPR certified but if it really came down to it I am not sure I could do it. Probably the biggest scare of my life.

8 My students thought I was so great they were going to send me to Greece to chaperone them. Not sure if I want to handle that one! Hahah

9. "Your outfit is not nice enough for my Dior fanny pack.Do you have anything else you could wear?" After searching through my stuff J says "Well, I guess that is okay."

10. Students will do anything to help out their friends..Hint climbing out there own window three stories up..over 5 windows to open someones door so that they don't get in trouble.

High Schoolers are a hoot! I will miss them but look forward to having my own classroom in Sept!

Monday, June 23, 2008


As you have probably noticed I am not the computer goo-ro I once was. Life has helped me to slide behind. Anyways, tomorrow $8,000 dollars is due in my account in order to leave in July. It doesn't look like that will happen. I have worked really hard but sometimes no matter what I do it just doesn't cut it. I guess we all feel that way. It's like climbing a tree. You climb and climb at a rapid pace and it seems you have a capricious amount of time before you get near the top. Then, the stem is too small you are faced with the task of either climbing down or risking a broken limb. You look down and see the task ahead is harder than the task behind you or you leap to another tree if your a squirrel. But we are not all squirrels so you begin to climb that tree again or another b/c the onlooking view is well worth the climb. That is how life is-some trees you climb you can see clearly, some trees are too tall or too small for the load you carry.. That is just the way it works. What I mean is that life is not often the way we want it but the way He wants it. If there is anything I have been learning from Him it is to always expect the unexpected, ask and you will recieve not just money but often people and glimpses of lives far more precious than any currency could buy, sometimes I'm overwhelmed with all the details that life contains-I'm learning to try and see the big picture instead of what my feeble brain can contain, so I will probably have six more months here to enjoy in my Father's marvels and lots of things to figure out b4 January, abut I know that this is his way of saying this tree is but a seedling and it has to grow a little more before I can climb it. I hope you understand or grasp a little bit of my speech if not I would be more than happy to attempt (keyword-attempt) to explain myself yet again...

Monday, May 19, 2008

A bab lah dah badlah

So the past two weeks have been crazy and I have never been that good at history. Life is so full of irony.(You will see what I mean in a minute.) I already started to type this once and my computer died so now I type something different. Several years ago I asked my father for a heart like David's and little did I think what else might come with that. I always wanted to follow after Him but I didn't think of what lay in store. Since then my eyes have been opened, not that they were not before, but really opened.
This weekend I went and saw WICKED and it was even more WONDERFUL than I could have imagined( despite the rest of the atrocities of the weekend). Anyways, I am not a daring person, but in the past couple of years have learned how to do more daring things. To be honest they don't come naturally,time is an important element that and a lot of talks with my Father!
So I was kind of down yesterday and I went to my friends house to pick up a reference she had filled out for me. Her son is 5 and I have been teaching him about manners. As I was leaving ,he told me I had to say the magic word to get out . He stood there with his little arms and his legs forming his body into an X, blocking my way, stretched across the door . In return, I politely said"Please." He said "Nope, say a bab lah dah badlah." I chuckled. He repeated "A bab lah dah badlah." It made me happy. I said it and he moved. You know what he was trying to say? Don't you? But why correct a child? He will learn soon enough..Besides I was too tired..
It made me think of 10 things I want to do before I die except I can only think of two. Is not that sad? Oh well...maybe in the future I can think of more..I'm sure there are more I just have to accomplish these first
1. Go Hang Gliding
2. Sky Dive
Maybe it is my mood. Lately all I have wanted to do is fly. Wonder what that means? Hehehe

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Busze Daizes

So I am a lil overwhelmed at all I have to get done but it is cool. One of my friends the other day was reminding me of the story of Abraham and how frustrated he must have felt with his Father and still He provided. I have known for sometime that this is what He wants for me so I know as long as I continue to trust Him He will provide. Doesn't mean it is not a struggle and won't be. Thankfully I keep thinking of the song You Said and am holding fast to the promises in it. Ultimately I have to remember He is good.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

June 15th

Well for the first two or three weeks I have been updating this very recently. I apologize that my posts are sporatic but I can only continue to tell you that they will be that way. I am hopefully leaving for Laos July 21st. All of my support has to be in by June 15th, that is $40,000. I am working my hardest and trusting the Father for the rest. Amazingly, even though I talk to many people, it is a really lonely process, but my Father has been emcouraging me through his Word. I will be working really hard all of May to get my support in and then we will see His plan. Hopefully though if I do not have all of it by then I will have a great deal b/c if I have to go back to working in July or August and continue to support raise it will be a really hard thing, but I trust in Him and that my Father knows what is best.
P.s.- I got my car back and so far it is okay! Horray!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blue's Blooper Blog

Well, yet another incident to add to my on-going chaotic life. Last night my car got stuck in water and my phone was dead and I hitched a ride home and then had it towed. I hope it works but realistically it might not. I guess that is just the Fathers way of saying maybe you'll get all the funds in or I really need you to trust me because you truly almost have nothing left. I have this way of thinking up all the possibilities of things I COULD have done differently and being upset with myself but that doesn't get me anywhere. I am trying my hardest to see the bright side and hey maybe inability to drive means less outings and more support raising. Doesn't sound fun but we'll see. I am truly learning a lot. However, dad gets home tonight and I am not looking forward to that lecture. I am too tired for the criticism or critique right now. I understand he means well though so I will listen and nod. I have thought up exactly what he is going to say or most of it so I won't be as intimidated when it happens. Ta ta for now!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Children and Support

Well, crazy day! It is amazing the damage a child can do in under 5 minutes. Today I got assignments for courses that I may not even end up taking until next summer if I do not get all my funds for serving overseas in by June 15th. I thought I would get my assignment for where in Laos I am going to be. Oh well that will come in due time. I have so much to do as usual but I am hanging in there. Sometimes I think it is a good thing that I am a planner and other times I dislike that about myself. I'm tired as usual and everything seems to be a little worse when your tired. Off to read and then lights out! Hopefully, we'll see.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


So I nanny for an 18 month old who I will call S and an 4 month old who I will call M. S never ceases to surprise me. I forget how often I under estimate children until I challenge them. His day is fairly consistent. We have a total of 2 15 minute reading sessions, 1-2 naps depending on attitude, 2-3 free play times while I feed Maggie, a 15-30 minute puzzle session at the end of the day, 2 15 minute note card sessions, 2-3 30 minute music times and one snack/ TV time for 30 minutes. Well, lately he has been sleeping less which also allows for either art or outside. This morning I was so excited to go outside that I almost forgot to put on his shoes! I don't know who was more excited him or me?Anyways, so far he has had a pretty good day. I love how much he laughs at me. I only hope my students overseas laugh half as much. He does some of the funniest things. Although it is rough and not always the funnest job,( I could use some real interaction with people) I will miss him. The way that S sits through three sets of note cards, does the sign for please to get his way, thinks bobo and boat are the same word and always points to his bottom when he sees a picture of a boat(hey he has the sounds down). He is finally starting to talk more but I only nanny for two more weeks and it is his laughter and gestures as well as well a lot of what he does. I don't attempt to understand him, I only attempt to provide a loving home environment. Well, M is crying! She must be awake and hungry while S just went down. Story of my life! Better go!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Laughter in Poetry

As some of you know I nanny. This and raising support to serve overseas wear on me sometimes. My mother growing up always read us poetry and these are two of the poems that come to mind when I get stressed to make me laugh.

"O what shall I do
O what shall I do
This book is 42 years overdue
I'd admit that it's mine
But I can't pay the fine
Should I turn it in
Or hide it again
O what shall I do
O what shall I do"


"There are too many kids in this tub
There's too many elbows to scrub
I just washed a behind
I'm sure it wasn't mine
Oh there are too many kids in this tub!"

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, I am too tired to write the story that I wanted to earlier and I realize what my mind already knew but is difficult for my heart to understand. That in todays culture or maybe just in life pieces that are so great to us will be lost, but maybe what we would have said is not that valuable. May what I say be of value and truth. Well, as of 9:26pm I end my 14 1/2 hour day with a movie "The Jane Austen Book Club."


Just for future reference, I ramble a lot. I feel that their is so much in my head, heart and soul and yet putting it into words from figures into images and telling it like my eyes see it is near to impossible my thoughts go faster than I can write or speak making it difficult to see the inner workings of the mind, which I believe is a struggle for most. I will do my best to help you understand but there are parts of me that I do not give. Part of that is personality and I will go ahead and tell you that I love personalities, theories, psychology and one of my main goals in life is to understand where people are coming from and share the love of my Father in my actions even more than words b/c words often come out as jibberish. So may jabbers bless your soul as they do mine and if not at least give you a laugh at the melancoly INFJ who seeks to understand and better the world through love.

New Begginings

So I do not know quite where to begin my blog. Last year I closed down everything like this when I was down in an attempt to simplify my life. Sadly, though as I start back up I realize all that I have lost. You see it is not like facebook where you deactivate your account and reactivate it a hundred times from being overwhelmed only to realize that all your information is still there and only newness has been added. I guess our things are truly characteristics of our life and part of my history is gone. I only hope that someone who had read a tid bit will remember my stories, joys, sorrows and poems. I begin again because life demands it, that is not to say that I may not shut it down abruptly sometime b/c that is just how I am. I wish that I was more grounded like an olive tree, that I was more indestructable but I am not. Well, in some ways I am, others I am not. I love to tell stories and wish that I was a lot funnier than I really am but I am not. We all have many wishes that we cannot give up on. Let me finish telling you about the olive tree and then I will begin to write many stories about me.
You see I once read, in a health magazine in the eleventh grade, on my way to London, about olives. It takes at least seven hundred years to kill an olive tree. If you chop it down all of the roots will grow another tree. A single olive will also grow a tree itself if it falls on the ground. It takes a long time to grow but is virtually indestructable. That is how I feel we are, or at least I am, you see, olives fall, branches break only to grow a new one. Life is full of destruction and reconstruction ever since the begging of the earth. Sometimes I feel that life has destroyed a part of me only to realize it has done quite the opposite.