Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh Language

Just when I thought things were going to slow down I am teaching 19 hours this week but next week I have a breather and hopefully a house by then. We will see. Tonight I went and ate Kowpiak by myself for dinner(its one of many yummy noodle soups). Anyways it was pretty loud outside and the two girls next to me were talking I couldnt tell if it was Lao or English but I pretended I understood sort of a dangerous fun game where you are listening and counter -answering(is that a word?)It made me think of A Tale of Two Cities. I love that book! At one point two people are arguing with each other in different languages so the whole thing gets pretty misconstrude. I thought often that might happen here and what a funny thing language is!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Falling Apart

Ever feel like your inside a black hole falling, falling, falling waiting to hit the bottom. Well, I do. I think I am getting closer to the bottom but things are always harder before they get easier. A list of my life last week
1. No money
2. No phone
3. No internet still trying to think of what I will do. I really only need it for Skype but I like privacy when I talk to the parentals. Maybe I'll never really be able to pour out my heart and them theirs while still in Asia.
4. No house- rent is up October 25th
5. Trying to figure out what the future has in store. Knowing I am suppose to be in Laos for awhile but not knowing what that looks like.

This week-
1. I have a phone-finally!
2. I have enough money to get me by until my debit card comes
3. Still no internet
4. 2 pink house options
5. Still trying to figure out my life but I cannot do it alone. What is my purpose?

Please uplift my purpose, perserverance and housing. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quiet Whisper

So I went into the teacher's office today and found out that M is getting married christmas day. Christmas will never be the same here. I think holidays are the hardest. She is my closest teaching friend so I will go. Last year I had to teach. This year a wedding. They celebrate many holidays but this is one of the few that is not so important to them. I guess I have to give up trying to make things something they are not.

I am also really poor b/c I cannot find my debit card I have searched everywhere even gone previous places I have been to no avail. I hope to be able to find it somewhere in our house but we will see.

Today the teachers teased me again they poined to N who is pregnant and told me that I look the same as she does sometimes I can take it better than other days. It's been a rough three weeks but the Father is good.

I have been reading first kings and today I read one of my favorite verses He was not in wind or fire but a gentle whisper. I feel that way right now He is my calmer, redeemer and friend. Although fires may consume and winds blow all around me He is my quiet whisper that keeps me sane.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Well, a friend of mine told me I should update my blog. I have been here only about a week and a half and already things are crazy. Tonight I get a cord, then I have to organize my students gifts, go with someone to get sihns(Lao skirts), help someone move in for two weeks so yeah.

Anyways, back to the main subject. I gained a little weight this summer eating American food. Well, of course that is the first thing many Lao people have pointed out. I failed to think about my sihns so I put one on higher making it too short. Well, all the SP teachers who consider me family teased me, but then I had to go to the market with M. Thankfully, she covered for me. I love how no one else was allowed to tease me or say anything but all she said in Lao was dont say anything I got it mostly with just glares. Then we had a huge meal where I joined them after unsuccessfully trying to gain some hours. It was so fun. I learned to make jeo king. Its a ginger sauce. Although I am tired and still trying to work many things out I am thankful that already this year is so much better than last. Next week I start teaching 8 weeks and then a midterm. Lets see how that works out. Keep me in your thoughts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Labor Day!

Today I walked in Race for a child and walked about a 15 minute mile(total 5k). I am so out of shape..haha. My two goals were to make it in under 45 and to not be last. I made it in 44 minutes and may have been close but wasn't last. I was suprised at how many people I knew there. I now see what a social thing it is. I am trying to get back into shape before I hit Laos humidity. This summer we have had the best weather ever. Im going to miss such cool days. Today it was perfect for running. It was foggy and cool. I have to keep it up hopefully I'll get in a routine in Laos.

Im amazed and saddened at how many places are open today. Maybe it is because of the economy but still it is a holiday. People should be spending time with family and resting not working-geeze.

-Im trying to get everything packed. Something I stink at.

-Attempting to not worry and finish a few letters(mostly thank you notes)

-Making a zillion lists and wondering hmm..what am I actually going to get done? Im getting better at realistic goals but still sometimes my imagination and creativity get the best of me. Anyone else feel that way?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Razzle dazzle Frizzle frazzle

Ahhh..I leave in 9 days.. 9 days... Today I went to Sams to pick up a few things. I ate lunch/dinner there. Growing up we did this often. We ate the samples for a meal. I had corn, rawberrsteak, shrimp, hummus, guacamole, canned fruit, two samdwich squares one turkey and one sloppy joe, and frozen strawberries..oh yeah. It was delicious the most expensive thing was the $.71 water. I leave Wednesday and am stressing out so much to do and so little time. I want to thank everyone who has been so kind to me and visited with me since being home. I am sad that I did not get to visit with you all but hope that you know I do care and am thankful for your support. If you want to hear stories feel free to call me at 479-756-0754 before I leave Wednesday. Thanks again. Please be uplifting my travels and readjustment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Wow! It is crazy to think that in 11 days I head back to Laos which has become my new home. I miss my friends there so much but know that I will miss those in the states once I return.

One thing I have realized recently is that any sort of change makes me nervous. I thought it was only doing things for the first time but anytime I enter the unknown a wave of butterflies come passing through my stomach. I know the father will provide and my time home has been such a confirmation of that so then why do I still have fear in my heart? Because I am human and that is one of the many quirks that comes along with the way the Father made me.

So this week I have been raising funds to go back to Laos on and driving a lot to visit people in the Oklahoma area. Well, thankfully I haven't gotten too turned around yet. I went from Arkansas to Edmond(3 1/2 -4 hours)-stayed there two days, Edmond to Tulsa(1 1/2 hours towards Arkansas) and then Friday I go to Guthrie(1 1/2 hours back towards Norman and drive 4 hours home). I tell you all this for a reason.

As most of you know my sense of direction is slim. Today I took the wrong exit to Tulsa and got a little turned around. Of course on my attempt to turn back west I went further East. I then stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. One person told me turn left on this road and go till you cross the bridge then turn right after the McDonald's. Well, the other guy in the store said the same thing except turn left after the McDonald's.They also had told me there was another gas station next to the McDonald's. I had decided I would just ask there if I needed to well neither one of them were right. The exit was before the bridge and I saw my brothers apartment complex and made it with only about a 10 minute detour.

Sometimes life is like driving on an unfamiliar bypass and you don't know what exits you might take or where they will lead you but you do know that eventually they will connect. Someone once said "All roads lead to Rome" well, I think they should have said "All roads lead to the Father if seeking truth." We all want answers but I am surprisingly learning to be okay with the not having them. Its a life long battle. I may never like change but I have to accept it. Oddly, I think that the Father gave me no sense of direction so that in bigger matters I could be okay with not knowing the answer. I always used to worry about following Path A or B and now as my mother once taught me it doesn't matter in the end He will always bring us back onto the road of His will.

Some things to be thinking about

That my brother and I would have a good two days together

That I wouldnt accidently go to Joplin on my way home Friday(yes, it has happened before and and sadly more than once) b/c without getting lost I'll make it home at midnight having traveled a total of 9 1/2 hours in one day.(Stamina and safety)

That I could get everything together and be at peace it is out of my hands

For the rest of my support and visas when I get there( I guess mostly though to be at peace there are so many things I could write but someday I'll learn to relax.)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I am blessed

Right now I am at 15% of 100 for my support, but I believe he will provide. Some ways he has already provided are that 2 weeks ago someone paid for my lunch. I had very little money so I was extremely greatful. Then I was down to $5 and really needed gasoline for my car. Someone called asking me to babysit. I earned enough to get some gas. Then a friend paid for my dinner this weekend. I am down to $10 for a week and a half but believe He will provide. One of my Lao friends taught me a song that is actually an old American song it goes "The Father will make a way when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me, He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side....." You get the idea. I am thankful to all my friends and family for providing me with food and other necessities while home, but I am so ready to be back. "Foxes have holes and birds have nest but the son of man has no place to lay his head." I may never feel at home anywhere but I am thankful for the wonderful friends He has provided me with no matter where I live...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home at last

Well, after almost a year abroad I am home for three months. This weekend my mother, sister and brother in law were in town. I went to a wedding, shopping and hung out with C and Z. It was so crazy and I felt so bombarded by random people I know with questions I didn't know how to answer. I feel like in 4 days I spoke more English than I have all year. I wish I had more time to process b/c I am not even sure what I said to them. Then yesterday I went to the dentist. That was equally crazy. I am glad to finally just sit down and be. Everything is so different so it will take some time to get used to. As I kept racing against time I felt like I was still in a dream. Now that I finally had a little sleep it is starting to sink in. It seems like I have been gone forever but to some I just left yesterday. Just give me a little time. I've decided after running a marathon these past four days that I am doing nothing but cleaning, organizing and hopefully an on-line scrapbook. Granted my neighbor can fix my computer tomorrow. I look forward to chatting with you but if you want to hear the real story and not just me talking giberish give this little caterpillar some time in her cacoon to become a butterfly before you open my door. Thanks I look forward to chats in a week or two. You can call after Friday.

Things to adjust to:

1. My mother owns 4 computers and most people in Laos don't even own one or know how to use it.

2. What the heck is twitter and how does it work?

3. It took me 30 minutes to open the new dishwasher. Yes, still figuring it out.

4. My mom had a lot of house work done, no wallpaper on the staircase from green to yellow. Completely new kitchen including; microwave, sink, dishwasher, cabnet handles, lights, you get the idea, new bedspreads on my bed, and my older brothers bed, my sisters room that I live in painted one color. The list goes on- I still miss my old bedspread of 6 years who knows where it is now?

5. All my books gone, only a few t-shirts at home. Hints-why I went shopping I haven't bought new clothes almost all year.

6. Everything is just so big!

7. Wal-mart need I say more....

8. New stores in the mall

9. So clean and not dusty

10. Driving a car-so I almost forgot that you have to be in the left hand turn lane to turn left. I constantly remind myself to stop at stop signs and lights and that sometimes it is okay to drive above 35 miles per hour

11. Everything is so expensive! Thank goodness my mom left a lot of food in the house.

12. Cable-wow I forgot how to work it and had to be shown

13. The surround sound and 4 remote controls still don't understand?

14. Taking a bath and when taking a shower not having to put the toilet lid down so that the seat isn't wet.

15. Air conditioning-all the buildings are so cold

16. No flooded streets and not so dense air- I can breath

17. Trees- There are so many more trees in Arkansas than Vientiane. A little suprised but I love it or maybe it is just different kind of trees.

18.The tree on our backporch is gone

19. No squatty potties and soap and toilet paper in bathrooms!

20. Electricity-no dirty bucket showers or intense heat

21. I could go on for quite awhile but this is a good start.

I think the biggest adjustment might be interacting with people after having learned so many different cultural norms this past year. Remembering to be polite.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Massage versus Message

So I am grading some last papers for my year 4 students. THere final is Wednesday and Friday we have a party. I will be teaching year 1 until the day before I leave then I'll hand it off to another teacher. As you can see it is a busy time of year. Well, my students were writing suggestions for me. They had to write out a question from a phrase on a worksheet and answer it. Well, one of them was "Do you know where I can get a massage?" I got lots of "Sure you can get it from Lao Telecom/Tigo?" and "Sure, you can get it from the post office. " It took me awhile before I realized that massage=message in their minds. Oh sweet students I'll miss them and how much they have helped me to anticipate future cultural problems that never entered my mind.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I feel that I often gravel and complain on this blog, so today I want to talk about the fathers goodness. If there is one thing I have learned it is how powerful it is when people talk to the father. This year he has answered so many requests that I could not have done without others. In March I posted about loneliness and 3 hours later a friend called me and invited me over to play volleyball. Another friend often cheers me up when I am down because she has such a joyful heart. I have been blessed with two good Lao friends and 2 Americain friends. As the year comes to a close I am sad but look forward to next year. I will attempt to post some pictures though my computer is a little messed up. Can't wait to see you all this summer!

My Lao teacher and I. They are all so sweet. One of many funny billboards. One of
my favorite pictures- Donna, me, Kaitlyn and Lisa baking cookies.
My roommates at the Boat Racing Festival and Marie's birthday party one of my teacher friends childrem

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Workshop fun! it has been awhile since I posted. It is amazing to think I have survived 10 months overseas. The father has been good even though it has been tuff. The day I wrote my last post someone called me up and invited me out. It is so neat how little things can change your mood. I cannot post pictures because my computer is a little whacked out but I will tell you a few things.

First, I will be home at the end of June and am looking forward to processing all I have and am learning

Second, I will be returning in October

Thirdly, I cannot wait to hear about yalls year.

Fourth , my day at the workshop.

First, V shows me a tiny picture of a butt with a small part of a hand and says "Kat what is this?" I look at her and laugh and say "a butt." Then she says "No, a ring and points to a fraction of a ring in the corner. Then she continues to cut out the bottom in the shape with the butt crack showing. She hands it to me " I say your naughty" but the side facing me is a girl and her dad so she tells me "Your the one with a naughty mind!" Next, I jokingly moon her with the photo a few times. V tells me "I am naughtier than her." She is so funny and so enthusiastic about everything!

We were doing a lesson on Martin Luther King and his speech. How it made you feel? What are your dreams? Me " Do you know who Martin Luther King was?" V "Of course, he was a King!" Awh there innocence in all areas is so precious I love the Lao. Living here can be a love/hate relationship but the people make it worthwhile.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wow! These past few weeks have been crazy and now I feel sad. I will not lie I am lonely and I guess I say this out of desperation. I need something fun to do or look forward to or just someone to sit and watch a movie with me. I know I am supposed to be here and that He has a greater plan it is just so hard for me to see. I want the common comforts and a drive to motivate me but literally He is the only thing motivating me. I guess He is my drive and that will suffice but I miss my friends back home and just want a friend. Thanks for those who chat with me from time to time on Skype and those who write or e-mail. I wouldn't have made it this far without you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My internal battle

Shells released
From their cacoon
The hermit crab
Never ceased
Coming out so soon
The pain but a dab
A night with a full moon
The hidden beasts
The ground my slab
Full of kee foon( dust in Lao)
Around and about watch them feast
The golden retriever and the lab
Sinking amidst the heat in this avenged sand dune
The fingers all creased
As I watch the baboon
The teeth but a stab
And then released
How inoppurtune
The chemistry lab
And yet still sits the high priest
My life a monsoon
Oh what a drab
Thinking of whats deceased
Yet still I hear the tale of the harpoon
Knowing that greatness comes from the scab
Healing but the smallest and the least
Seeing the seeping color of maroon
The blood but a tab
Yet to be greased
In the painted typhoon
The world sits ready to backstab
My heart decreased to be increased
How do I weigh the meterlogical balloon?
As I enter the cab ready for the grab
I feel my heart the brewers yeast
These emotions becoming my signature tune
Yet I always move on with a little jab
Knowing this is the last but not the least
This world is this world and I am, yes, I am ,but part of a silly frigatoon
Entering the aintab
The southeast
I eat off the greased spoon
Knowing the beginning Ninth of Ab
We will all be released
Is all too close and yet so far from this loon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Madness

Dear Debbie,

So let me begin with last thursday it took me 2 and a 1/2 hours to catch a ride to get home from language school. Friday I was super excited to get a new bike! I got it during rush hour and it was too late for them to get an alarm put in so I have to do that sometime this week. It was also raining but I made it home safely. Anyways, since then a few things have happened.

First, on Friday I spent the night with a friend and put my bike inside her house. Coming home I toppled over but no damage done to the bike just one scratch. I am not good at getting into our gate, but the saddest part is that both of my roommates and their boyfriends were there and no one heard me yell "Help" I didn't want to burn my leg on the boiler. I managed to get out fine. Lately, I am home a lot by myself and even when I am not people don't hear my cries which leads me to the next thing that happened.

Secondly, yesterday, I had a Lao friend help me drive again and I learned how to better stop and start and how to turn better. I was nervous about these things so I wanted confidence and I got it. Well around 4:30am or 5:00am I hear my roommates bike going off. I run down the stairs to my roommate yelling at two men shimmying up a tree and jumping the fence. Then I go to check my bike the lock is broken(they had to break two gadgets to break the lock). Then I go inside to get the keys. They are gone I wake up my third roommate and it becomes a fiasco All our keys were stolen and two bike locks broken and one the seat lock broken. All of our house locks were changed today and we have to get our bikes fixed tomorrow.

Thirdly, I will get an alarm installed inside but the sad part is it is a $100 more dollars. I also have to take it in a tuk-tuk and ask for all this stuff in Lao. What have I gotten myself into! I love my bike even if I have only gotten to drive it one day. My roommate bought two locks plus I'll have the alarm. Hopefully that'll be enough. Please uplift my talking and driving. I also have to get keys replaced something I have never done before I don't even know how to find a place. I wanna go home! Not really but there are some things I will never understand.

Searching for strength,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Drivng a motorbike

So hopefully soon I will be getting my own motorbike. I have practiced so many times with my gracious roommate S who let me drive it home from a friends in town tonight. Once I have my own I will have to drive it from their house once a week. This may sound like not a big deal but I have to shift gears and the whole process is nerve racking. WHat should have taken 45 minutes took me a little over an hour. However, I would rather it have taken me to long and be safe than my rushed home to beat a record. It was so scary, not going to lie, but for a third time driving not bad. Once I drove for about 15 minutes being followed by S and her boy on a bike. then I drove to and from the ATM about 5 minutes away(close to the school). The irony is that I told myself for the first two weeks of having my bike I will only drive to and from school except for our meetings on Wednesdays and I have not even made it to the school yet. Ha ha ha.... I may not be the best driver, a learner in the process, but I know with the father on my side. Ill be okay. Please continue to uplift my driving. Thanks!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Loves and hates

I love me some mangosteens. They have been in season since about December but I haven't had a chance to eat as many as I thought I would. I also like jujubies, kumquats, and strawberries. Can't get enough of that fruit!

I also love V8 and corn but V8 is so expensive here $4 a can I got it for $1 in Thailand I had to enjoy it. Fresh corn is so good.

Lastly I love making new friends.

Things that I don't like. Being yelled at by Lao people saying "Falang", two sided washing machines, walking home in 104 degree weather, teaching in the heat and hurting others when I am trying to help because I don't know how to act.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The age I live in

So wow this year has been trying but good. I dont think I have ever encountered so many people with so many problems before or known truly the extent I have been blessed. I have I guess that is what they say "You never know joy until you have had sorrow." This week some of the SP teachers had a friends child die. Between knowing little Lao and being a foreigner I wasn't completely sure what was going on.

I went in to ask for more hours to teach because I only have 8 right now and after some talk between them I came to realize that there were none so I proceeded to hang out only to find out 5 minutes into it my favorite teacher M was bawling. I didn't know what to do. She is so sweet she even has a sweet cry! I then proceed to hear M's mother who also works there and speaks little English tell everyone what happened. Someone then turned to me and said "baby die." I think that she said in Lao they were on a motorbike and a car hit them and if the baby had been in the other arm it would have lived. They were taking a bus to go to the funeral. I tried to hand M a pack of Kleenex as she walked out the door but all I got was "Thanks, no worries"(in Lao). I didn't mean to make her lose face if I did oh well. I wanted to leave but ended up sitting there till lunch a whole hour I had not planned and then leaving after that.

I had spent the whole weekend with some of these teachers at another city(same as the funeral). I thought maybe I had met a relative(everyones related here it is crazy). I was angry at first but all that kept popping into my mind is that he has a purpose. I cannot help but think this is going to be used in their lives. Leading them another step closer. Please be uplifting them! Also when I left yesterday one of the teachers daughters M didn't know. Ask that I can know how to be there for them and this culture that is so different from mine!