Saturday mornings are beautiful times for me. Things are quieter on the streets, I don't have to wake up at 5:30, and for the morning I feel like I have so much time left in the weekend to do my work that I don't feel the pressure. :) Today the internet is working beautifully and it is relatively cool as well. Just lovely.
(I do apologize, I failed to take pictures of my students during the week- I kept thinking about it after they left which doesn't do any good, eh?)
The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind, literally. So many things to think about and so many things to do. During the week it feels like I never stop, and even if I make myself sit down for a minute, my mind is still going full-speed. I had a nightmare about beginning band at one point, which is silly because it is going well. :) It is a struggle to keep up with everything, but we are still holding on. And truly, it is such a joy to do what I have been doing. It is insane, but when I am in the midst of the insanity, I love it because we are making progress, we are being productive, and we are serving the students who are so wonderful and so funny.
Our bands and choirs have started! For many of the students it's the first time in an ensemble like this, so it's not only musical learning, but logistical learning for them as well. There are some who are already making the music room their home and being a part of music their comfort zone. :) So cool. For band we have a strange mix of instruments so we have been arranging the music ourselves partly because we don't have any music but also because of the huge range of abilities within the group, we are writing parts for specific students. It is an adventure for sure, and neither You Jin or I have experience with this kind of work. I am so thankful to be working on things with her though, rather than doing it all on my own. :)
My relationship with my "pastoral group" of 8th graders has been a point of joy and a point of prayer. These students are the ones I get to see every morning for devotions and then on Fridays for an hour of "Christian Perspectives". They are dear to my heart, a classic group of 8th graders, but with more that is behind their 8th grader-ness. We have been doing journal questions for devotions once a week and I am learning so much about them, and as I'm learning, I am gaining more and more responsibility to respond, love on them and fight for them. This is why I wanted to teach in a school like this, and I am so excited and feel so privaleged to interact with them at this level, but also feel inadequate to be responding to all the thoughts and questions especially in a school setting. Though they are all the same age and they are all TCKs, each one of them has a different way of thinking about their sitation- both about the process of them moving to Cambodia and what the purpose is of life in Cambodia. Please pray for wisdom and courage with these kids.
For those of you who wanted to know about my first birthday in Cambodia, it was quite nice. :) I had the normal day of school, and had a list of things to get done (which didn't happen). My friends You Jin and Anu made a little party for me during my off-periods, another teacher brought me fancy cupcakes, my students were very cute all day, though my pastoral group was quite upset that I hadn't told them ahead of time so they brought in things on Friday and made me a beautiful card. (I found out birthdays at school are a big deal.) And my housemates took me out to dinner to a nice Italian restaurant and got me a cake. It was a good day. :)