I couldn't think of any other name for this blog but SABOTEUR- which is our team's newest addiction. It's a SUPER fun game- like a mix between Mafia and Settlers- and if you haven't played, you definitely should pick one up for a Christmas gift for a friend or yourself after reading this blog!! :)
Classes are finished for the semester, and I'm now working through grading journals and finishing grades for my senior students. Is it really possible?! I will give final exams on the 27th, 30th, and Jan. 9th... and after grading the last ones, I will be officially finished with my first semester of teaching! Please ask that I'll be motivated to get the grades done.
Our trip to visit other teachers in Quy Nhon with our organization for Thanksgiving was a great time. Here's a silly team photo showing the ocean behind us... we were attempting a fun "jump" picture, and it didn't quite work out... (L to R: Karen, Maren, me, Jenny). Oh, man. I'm really thankful for my teammates!
Since then, we have been enjoying the Christmas season. It's definitely not going to be a white Christmas this year, and even though the song, "I'll be home for Christmas" makes me tear up and get a big lump in my throat, I truly am excited for it. There are many places around town that put up Christmas decorations- so that makes it fun. I don't miss all the shopping and commercialism hoopla- that's for sure. We have added some Christmas touches to our apartments, have been playing Christmas music (thanks to my awesome cousin Chris), have been lighting candles (which are a rare and special here), and are enjoying hot chocolate from care packages!! The joys are simple and sweet this year. I cried the first Sunday I saw this massive and beautiful tree in our local fellowship! So beautiful :)
Tonight we started our Christmas party marathon! We had 16 people over for dinner in Jenny's apartment. It was quite the night :) We didn't expect quite that many as we don't have that many neighbors, but in VN, when you invite someone over, they often bring guests unannounced. We all breathed a sigh of relief when there was enough food- it just seemed to multiply! PTL. Tomorrow night we have our faculty friends coming over for desserts and games, and then Monday and Tuesday we have invited all of the English students to come at different times with their classes. I think over 700 total? Although, not everyone will come because of finals, other commitments, etc. It will be crazy though. Please uplift our time with them as we intentionally share the true joy of the season.
Lots of guests mean lots of dishes :) I do miss the modern convenience of a dishwasher at times- not going to lie. But it is becoming more normal... and I am thankful for HOT water, and music to listen to or a roommate to talk to or quiet time to think while doing dishes, and I could go on- we are so blessed.
I have some really exciting things I want to share and give thanks for!
First, I think I have finally found a possible language tutor. I have met with one gal several times who seems to be a great fit for me. She pushes me, and is organized in how she teaches me. She's also quite honest... sometimes the honesty of this culture still surprises me... after trying to repeat a sentence in our last lesson, she said, "Hm, no, that wasn't good at all." Oh, dear. Gotta laugh a lot when learning a language and making a fool of yourself!!
Second, we have received our class assignments for next semester- and I will be teaching most of the same students next semester! I am so excited about this... selfishly- because I don't want to learn more names (I can't keep up with all of the names from this semester), and I also feel like this will allow me to hopefully go deeper with some. I will be teaching Speaking 2 (two freshman classes), Speaking 4 (one sophomore class), and Journalism 2 (four senior classes).
Third, the Father has done some really neat things on our team. He is working in our hearts and continuing to stretch and grow us together. I am thankful for what He's teaching us, how He's humbling us, and I'm in awe of how He brought four random girls together in Dalat, Vietnam... and it is only in Him that we can be unified and effective for His purposes!!
More to come about our Christmas adventures soon. Enjoy some snow for me ;)