Do I look like a teacher yet? :)
HOORAY!! We have just finished three weeks of classes (8:30-5:00 each day with a break for lunch). It has been intense, but SUPER beneficial. I am thankful for all of the amazing training on how to teach ESL in Asia. Next week we start our practicums... teaching for about 12 hours at a University here in Hanoi. We'll take turns teaching alone, team teaching, and observing others. Then we get feedback from mentors after each 2.5 hr. class. I'm excited to try to put into practice all that we've been learning!
The weekends have been nice breaks from classes. Last weekend was especially fun, as 14 people from our group went to Ha Long Bay! This bay features thousands of limestone isles in various shapes and sizes... and is in the running to be named one of the "New7Wonders" of the world :) There's a little trivia for you. And here's a summary of our adventure:
We took a bus for about 4 hrs. to get there, boarded a boat after turning in our passports, ate a lunch of fish and squid on the boat, visited an enormous cave where we were told all kinds of tails about the fairy mother and dragon father who lived there, went cruising around the islands on the boat some more, had a delicious dinner (of rice, roasted peanuts, french fries, shrimp, & cucumbers), hung out on the top deck in the cool of the evening with our group plus a random Frenchman who was the only other person on board, slept on the boat in a room with my 2 teammates who are also going to Dalat, enjoyed bread and jam for breakfast, went kyaking around the bay in the rain, attempted to rinse off in the drip coming out of the shower-head, and finally said goodbye to our tour guide (who said and did many interesting things over the weekend- such as telling us that girls are not
as valuable as boys- so it would be ok if we accidentally left a girl behind... oh, dear). Is that a run on sentence?!
Kayaking in the bay was definitely a highlight! Melissa and I made a great team :)
Pictures really don't do justice to this gorgeous creation called Ha Long Bay! What an awesome Creator we have. Sadly, as we kayaked through the breath-taking bay, we came upon TONS of trash and nasty junk floating on the surface of the water- it made me gag :( And it was such a vivid reminder of the reality that all people, who our Creator has made so beautifully in His image, are so polluted by sin and nastiness- which must make Him gag, too. I'm so thankful that He loves us enough to forgive and restore...
I expect that during this team-intensive year, as my identity is all stripped away in a new culture and setting, a lot of the pollution of my heart is going to rise to the surface. Yuck. I know it's good though, because when it's at the surface, my Creator can remove it and continue to restore me more and more into His created image of beauty. I also want to see the created beauty in each relationship ahead- especially with students, fellow teachers, teammates, fruit vendors on the street, etc. Instead of focusing on the pollution, may I be one who focuses on His originally intended beauty and walk with others towards true restoration.